At FCN, we have nine principles we try to follow each day in our story selection and execution. One of them is transparency. That principle means we don't mind explaining what we do and why we do it for our viewers.
This week, On Your Side reporter David Williams is adjusting his life to truly reflect a week of living on minimum wage, $7.79 an hour. It is clear from the reaction the overwhelming majority of our viewers are finding the series helpful.
However, we share that viewer Bill sent us an email saying in part:
"I'm trying to understand the purpose or point of David Williams' story? The minimum wage has been part of America's finances for decades and was meant to be an "entry level" wage, for youth employment, or part-time work. It was never to be used as "sustainable income."
"D. Williams living on minimum wage for a week is a joke. I understand the concept, however when you know this is just an experiment, you can get through it. Live on minimum wage for real and then talk about it. One week is not a life's lesson. It's a great experiment though, but not real."
We want everyone to know that we had 17,293 reasons for doing the series Rising Above the Wage. According to the U.S. Census Bureau, that's the number of families in Jacksonville who lived off of minimum wage OR LESS between 2007-2011.
While Sheila is correct, David's life will go on after this Friday, he was humbled by this experience, and he said it will change the way he does his own budgeting moving forward.
We hope it'll help at least some of our viewers as well.
First Coast News