Welfare as We Now Know It

New from Marketplace, The Uncertain Hour podcast is about making sense of “making it” in America with its first season focused on welfare reform 20 years later

LOS ANGELES—April 28, 2016 —“Welfare as we know it” ended twenty years ago. But what do we know about it now? Join Marketplace senior correspondent Krissy Clark as she explores the last twenty years of welfare reform in her new podcast, The Uncertain Hour. Debuting today, listeners will travel across America with Clark as she brings to life welfare reform’s impact through interviews with affected individuals and explanatory reporting of how reform has been implemented in various regions.

“It’s The Uncertain Hour_MKTP_stacked 311striking that often issues we fight the most about are the issues we actually know the least about,” says Clark.  “The more I looked in to how the program we know as ‘welfare’ actually works today—the more blown away I was by how most of us really have no idea what it looks like or even does.”

With sponsorship from the Annie E. Casey Foundation, season one of The Uncertain Hour will release six 20-40 minute episodes on a bi-weekly schedule. The show will mark this significant anniversary of welfare reform by bringing the past, present and future to light. From how it all began to the miracle that wasn’t; from the profiteers to the “welfare queens”.

In late May, Marketplace will partner with Slate to present an interactive look at what welfare reform has accomplished and some of its surprising consequences.

“We’re delighted to be collaborating with Marketplace to examine 20 years of welfare reform,” says Slate’s features editor Jessica Winter, who is overseeing the partnership. “From exploring some of the country’s most unlikely welfare recipients to testing readers’ assumptions about how welfare benefits really work, we’re excited to unpack this important topic in such a comprehensive, multimedia-oriented way.”

Future seasons of The Uncertain Hour will explore one topic in depth, with an eye on the origin story. What is seen as ‘normal’ in the day-to-day of life didn’t just ‘happen’; it had a beginning. The show is an intimate portrait of life and those moments—the emotional, personal, and sometimes funny encounters individuals have with the economy. It’ll leave listeners thinking about their everyday in a whole new way.

About The Uncertain Hour

The Uncertain Hour is an immersive “docu-pod” that makes sense of making it in America. It takes a deep dive into one topic each season to paint intimate portraits of people trying to build a better life, and how abstract economic policies intersect with their day to day moments.

About the Host Krissy Clark

Krissy Clark is the award-winning senior correspondent for Marketplace’s Wealth & Poverty Desk, where she brings her infectious curiosity, playfulness and empathy to help make sense of some of the most fundamental shifts happening in the U.S. economy today, including the widening gap between rich and poor and what it means for economic mobility and the American Dream.

Krissy recently won a Gracie Award from the Alliance for Women in Media. She was a finalist for a James Beard Award and a Loeb Award in 2015. Her stories and documentaries have won honors from Scripps-Howard, PRNDI, NFCB, an Investigative Reporters and Editors Medal of Honor, and First Prize in Investigative Reporting from the National Awards for Education Reporting. She was a finalist for the Livingston Award for Journalists Under 35, and a Third Coast Award for Best News Feature.

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