Poverty and Participation in the Media


Project Strategy

Spectacle were commissioned by The Joseph Rowntree Foundation to develop and produce a DVD which both discussed and engaged ideas of Poverty and Participation in the Media.

Running workshops in three London boroughs, each profiled frequently by media sources for their economic deprivation, and providing participants with the media training and equipment to produce their own content. The documented discussion explored these representations of poverty with those with personal experience.

The project, parts of JRF's Public Interest in Poverty Issues programme runs along side research by Durham University. Studies from this project can be found on our Resources page.


Forming Video Workshop groups in Luton's Marsh Farm Estate, Larkhall in Stockwell and The Pepys Estate, Rotherhithe, and running sessions in both technical and interview skills: The films produced offered an unmediated right to reply, with participants involved in all aspects of the production process.

The results challenge stereotypes and expose examples of a priori media reporting. Exploring the personal experiences of those who find themselves the inadvertent cast of media representation. Surrounded by characters and places that they do not recognise.

The project explores questions such as:

  • How is UK poverty depicted in the media – TV, radio, press, online.
  • What are good examples and what are not? Why?
  • How would participants like to see their lives and situations depicted in the media?
  • How much influence do those living in poverty have on how poverty is portrayal

The thematic clips which make up the final DVD can be viewed online in the project page with additional footage under extras.

Media Attitudes and Accessibility

The project is expansive in it's consideration of media sources, considering both traditional mass media attitudes, some examples of which are included on our project Links page, as well as exploring the ways in which New Media possibilities have changed these.

In the spirit of engaging all aspects of the projects themes, please contribute to the debate on the Spectacle Blog with any ideas or discussion points or contact us on our Myspace or join our Facebook group.

Poverty and Participation in the Media, 5 Minute Edit

Please click the player below to view the 5 minute edit of the discussion and interviews from our project workshops, which was screened at the Reporting Poverty in the UK Launch throughout Britain. For a longer version and more information, please see the Workshops page.

Interview footage from our Larkhall, Marsh Farm and Pepys workshops

Find out more about fair reporting by using our Resource Centre

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