Martha Shirk


Martha Shirk, founder of Palo Alto-based Impact Communication Consulting, provides consulting services to the Center, drawing on her extensive experience working with foundations, media organizations and non-profits. Previously, she spent 23 years as a reporter for the St. Louis Post-Dispatch, where she won numerous awards for her coverage of social welfare and public health issues. She is the co-author of three books on poverty-related social issues, including "On Their Own: What Happens to Kids When They Age Out of the Foster Care System," winner of the 2005 Pro Humanitate Book Award, which honors the year’s best child welfare book. She has been a Knight International Press Fellow in Hong Kong as well as a fellow of the Casey Journalism Center on Children and Families.  She earned a master’s degree in urban studies from the University of Chicago and a bachelor’s degree in psychology from Swarthmore College.


<p>America has trash pickers, too. A visit to a recycling facility in San Jose, California, suggests numerous health and workplace safety stories for journalists to explore in their communities.</p>

<p>Dori Maynard, the president of the Robert C. Maynard Institute for Journalism Education, spends her life talking to journalists about how factors like race, gender, and age affect our understanding of what's news and our ability to empathize with our subjects. She spoke compellingly about these issues just a few weeks ago at our most recent Fellowship sessions. As she waited for a foundation executive earlier this month in the lobby of a Hampton Inn in Washington, she had a chilling firsthand experience that will no doubt inform her presentations to come.

<p><!--StartFragment--></p><p class="MsoNormal">A conference on health disparities for an audience of journalists is bound to produce lots of story ideas, and the one under way in Washington, organized by the National Association of Black Journalists, is no exception.</p> <p class="MsoNormal">Here are some ideas for stories that have emerged from two days (so far) of discussions:</p>