Don't Relegate Nonprofits to the Style Section

Saturday, May 23, 2009

Poverty is not a lifestyle choice. You have printed several excellent articles, notably a May 18 Style article ["Poor? Pay Up."] on the economics of poverty. But they are inappropriately placed in the Style section. These articles should be on the front page or on the business pages, or at a minimum in Metro. The topics covered, the unseen cost of being poor and the difficulty of making a life in America even when working long hours and double jobs, deserve better placement. They are not equivalent to reviews of current pop culture, lifestyles of the rich and famous, or other frequent Style topics.

Similarly, you placed an article in Style on nonprofits' struggle to translate social networking into donations ["To Nonprofits Seeking Cash, Facebook App Isn't So Green," April 22]. The article focused on the "business" of operating a nonprofit. Normally you cover such material in the A-section. You need to devote a section to nonprofits, a major sector of our economy and a pillar of the community. Nonprofits touch almost every aspect of our lives: education, child care, faith, the arts, the environment, poverty alleviation, physical and mental health, shelter and housing, hunger, employment, and training. They and their clients should be news just as regularly.

-- Shirley M. Marshall


The writer is director of NonProfit NoVA.

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