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“Cost to Live” by Kennedy Patton and Kalei Nash debuts at this spring’s J-School Journals

By Yasmine Dierestil

Some challenges Americans face today may be rooted in demographics rather than geography, such as housing, job hunting, or finding groceries. In some cases, views about the severity of local problems are more strongly linked to race, and socio-economic status than to the type of community one lives in.

Imagine having a conversation based on research that in rural or suburban area gas stations is well stocked and nicer than the stations on the South side, or the inner-city Urban Tax is a term that explains strain or a heavy demand on an underserved population. 

The filmmakers localized this national issue in Tallahassee, Florida. They focused their story on the inner city, especially the south side, in the “cost to live.”

Kennedy Patton is a broadcast journalism senior at Florida A&M University from Detroit, Michigan. Ms. Patton is one of the filmmakers that pitched the documentary idea. 

“The documentary is current news, and I hope it causes an impact and that people become self-advocates,” Patton said. 

Since doing a lot of stories around Tallahassee, Ms. Patton noticed people needed to know how to go about making changes in small ways.

Kalei Nash is a third-year broadcast Journalism student at Florida A&M University from Orlando, Florida. She is the videographer and editor for the project. 

When asked if she was alarmed about the findings, Ms. Nash said, and I quote “ I  wasn’t too shocked. I grew up in a similar area. Some of these things happen so often that you become accustomed.” 

Nash adds that “seeing closed businesses and traveling extra distances to get fresh groceries or other necessities is not out of the norm for most African American families and other minority family groups.”

Kenneth Jones, the director of J-School Journals, said that “the whole term of urban tax is that if you stay in an urban area inside the inner-city you pay a higher cost to live.” 

Knowing Ms. Nash and Ms. Patton’s work ethic in class and that this story has not been done for J-School Journals Mr. Jones knew that they would do an excellent job.

The documentary shares stories from an under-represented standpoint and their effects on housing, necessities, and the quality of public areas among urban and suburban areas. The documentary used participants such as political figures, local civilians, community advocates, and local businesses to amplify the issue at hand and provide steps needed to ensure a solution.

“Cost to Live” will debut on Sunday, April 16, 2023, in Lee Hall Auditorium and is open to the public.