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ReMarket Podcast: The haves and the have-nots

Tucker Carlson's commentary on public radio funding Marketplace this week attracted a lot of responses from listeners.

This week on the ReMarket Podcast, the haves and have-nots. I'm Marketplace's senior development officer, which probably means nothing to you -- I'm essentially the grant-writer for Marketplace, so when you hear "support for Marketplace's reporting comes from the fill-in-the-blank foundation," I'm the person who writes the grant to get that support. As a fundraiser, I'm always interested in stories about both the haves and the have-nots: people who need help on one end of the spectrum, and at the other end of the spectrum, people I might be able to give that help.

And so, one of the pieces that resonated with me this week was an interview on Marketplace Money with actor Wendell Pierce. Many of you know him as Bunk Moreland from "The Wire," and he's doing something pretty unusual for an actor -- he's starting a chain of supermarkets to help people who live in high-poverty neighborhoods get access to healthier food. Since I'm not typically the one coming up with stories at Marketplace, I went to Marketplace Money's Senior Producer Paddy Hirsch to find out how this story went from concept to full-fledged on-air piece.

Another piece we did this week was focused on Louisiana and looked at some education reform being proposed there, which has the potential to have a deep impact on people in impoverished communities. Marketplace's Education Reporter Amy Scott told us about Gov. Bobby Jindal's plans to overhaul the state's education system by creating a large-scale voucher system. This piece hits on two of my favorite things about our shows: it looks at how big policy decisions impact every day people, and it made me want to learn more. I think that at Marketplace, we all hope our stories prompt listeners to ask questions and think deeply about crucial issues like education reform.

The next piece was one that definitely had an impact on listeners: Tucker Carlson's commentary about how we should pay for public radio. In his piece, he talks about the "typical" public radio listener. In short, the picture he paints is of someone who would fit into the "have" column on the "have" and "have nots" chart. We heard from A LOT of listeners -- and when I say A LOT, I mean A LOT -- and they painted a very different picture. They said they are definitely not the upper-middle-class listener that Carlson describes. We heard from people who identify as working poor; who work part-time because they can't find full-time work; public employees who make less than $30,000 a year; and even a listener who makes less than $10,000 a year.

And on a side note, we now have a surprising amount of information on what kinds of cars our listeners drive.

This is something that's great about Marketplace: We have outspoken, vocal listeners who aren't afraid to speak their minds. And we'd love to hear from you!

In the meantime, I'm off to raise some more money for Marketplace. Thanks for listening!

About the author

Megan Uebelacker is the Sr. Development Officer at Marketplace.

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