Going in, I didn’t think so much about what I could add, but what I didn’t know: how people get out of poverty. As a reporter, you know the tropes of how stories on poverty work in any country. A reporter will go to an NGO and say, “Tell me about the good work that you’re doing and introduce me to the poor people who represent the kind of help you give.” It serves to streamline the storytelling, but it gives you a lopsided cosmos in which almost every poor person you read about is involved with a NGO helping him. Our understanding of poverty and how people escape from poverty, in any country, is quite distorted.
Read more of Guernica’s amazing interview with award-winning reporter, Katherine Boo.