For MLK50: Justice through Journalism, 2019 was a year of spurring change by shedding light, particularly on exploitative medical debt and its effect on the poor.
Investigations by MLK50 and ProPublica effectively interrupted the use of the courts as a collection agency for Methodist Le Bonheur Healthcare and Southeastern Emergency Physicians, which contracts with doctors who staff emergency rooms at four Baptist Memorial Hospital facilities. After the stories broke, Methodist and Southeastern ended their aggressive debt collection practices and Methodist erased about $11.9 million in medical debt.
While this revelatory reporting took place, our photographers spent time reflecting on a Memphis landscape in constant flux. We wanted to slow down horse-race coverage of this year’s municipal election, but be present and ready to document when the People’s Convention sought to encourage communities to organize according to their needs and principles.
Below are highlights of our year. Thank you for helping us uplift the people of Memphis.
This story is brought to you by MLK50: Justice Through Journalism, a nonprofit newsroom focused on poverty, power and public policy. Support independent journalism by making a tax-deductible donation today. MLK50 is also supported by the Surdna Foundation, the Southern Documentary Project at the Center for the Study of Southern Culture and Community Change. Sign up for our newsletter.