June 12, 2012

The Great Recession is technically over, but in many communities, people are still reeling from months of unemployment and financial struggle. There are stories to be told — if journalists can find them. Many people are reluctant to talk about their problems, and ethics standards prevent psychologists and health-care providers from referring their patients to reporters.

In a live chat on Poynter.org, I talked with Nancy Molitor, a clinical psychologist and assistant professor of psychiatry at Northwestern University, and Medill professor Bill Handy about how reporters can uncover these stories.

We discussed:

  • How have economic woes affected mental health issues?
  • How has economic stress affected different groups, such as stay-at-home moms, students, high-income professionals and men?
  • How can you find people struggling with these conditions?
  • What are the best ways to tell these stories?
  • Where can journalists find research to back up the personal stories?
  • What stories should journalists look out for over the next couple of years?

This chat was conducted in conjunction with a Specialized Reporting Institute on the Recession and Mental Health, sponsored by the McCormick Foundation.

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Steve Myers was the managing editor of Poynter.org until August 2012, when he became the deputy managing editor and senior staff writer for The Lens,…
Steve Myers

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