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The Rural Blog’s Al Cross checks the vital signs of Appalachians a few days after Diane Sawyer’s 20/20 documentary, “A Hidden America: Children of the Mountains.” (The picture above came from Friday night’s report.) Cross interviews a number of people to see what they thought of the ABC reporter’s examination of poverty in Eastern Kentucky. Go here for the full report.

Marshall University professor Chris Green didn’t think much of Sawyer’s report. She “selected special cases and represented them in a way that blames the victim….” Daily Yonder publisher Dee Davis, however, notes that the area of Kentucky Sawyer visited has life expectancy rates lower than Mexico or China and asked, if Sawyer and ABC “weren’t gonna tell that, who’s gonna tell it?”

Cross talked to producer Claire Weinraub, who said the network was considering more reports on poverty in the U.S. Cross, meanwhile, encouraged “journalists in Appalachia to do their own reporting on the issues, not just the complaints.” The Rural Blog is a great place to keep up with this issue.

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