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Economic Struggle: How are You Getting By in San Diego?

Last month, producer Megan Burke and I were trying to figure out how we were going to tell the story of the local job market for this month's episode of our newly revamped public affairs show, Envision San Diego . We knew things were tough out there -- the unemployment rate & is the & highest it's been in more than a decade. The challenge really was to make all the statistics meaningful. We decided we would profile unemployed people -- & it seemed like a no-brainer.

But finding unemployed people, (there are 100,000 of you in the county), is harder than it sounds. I put an ad on Craig's list, our web team sent out a message on Twitter , and Megan asked KPBS & program director John Decker & to air something & you don't often hear on KPBS, radio announcements asking for your help. Decker agreed and for nearly a week we asked you to email us if you were unemployed and wanted to tell your story. You responded. You'll meet one of our listeners this Thursday, Sept. 25, at 8 p.m. on KPBS Television as she courageously describes her nearly year-long unemployment struggle. She was a casualty of the mortgage meltdown. The radio announcements worked; we found interview subjects, but it achieved something else. It gave you, our listeners and viewers another level of ownership in public broadcasting. You are reflected in our storytelling.

Our goal for the new Envision San Diego is to reflect our diverse community in the stories we tell. So often we the media, turn to the same experts, the same community organizations, the same politicians, to attempt to make sense of the news of the day. It is at times, unavoidable on daily and even hourly deadlines. We're lucky at Envision San Diego . We are given more time to find and tell stories in a different way. And so, here's where you come in again. We hope to include you on a regular basis. From time to time, you will hear us on the radio asking for your help. And now, you will even see us on this website asking you to tell us your story. I truly believe everyone has a story to tell. Here is your chance to get involved in the journalistic process and know that you are helping to shape the stories you'll see on KPBS Television. You'll still get the facts and analysis from the experts, but you'll also see how the statistics affect real people.

This month, we're asking you to tell us your story about how you are & managing in these difficult economic times. Rent, gas and food are all more expensive this year than last, but wages are stagnant. How are you getting by? You can post your story here in the public comments or send an email to gettingby@kpbs.org . So, join the conversation. We really do want to hear from you.

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