Friday, July 23, 2010

Appalachian Exploitation in the Media (Part 1)

On Sunday evening, Dateline NBC will feature a story on how the economy has affected the poor - in none other than Southeastern Ohio.  Several locations and families in Athens County will be featured in the piece as reported by NBC's Ann Curry. The preview can be found here.

As a "child of appalachia" born and raised in central West Virginia, I tend to feel a little sensitive toward the way in which the appalachian region is portrayed in the media.  Currently, I am a resident of Athens County, and I'm looking forward to seeing how my home is portrayed in Ann's report.  I am aware that there is poverty in appalachia, but it seems as though reporters hunt down the most down-and-out, poorest humans that they possibly can to make the news stories more interesting. On the other hand, I'm also aware that these people are real, the conditions are real.  I'm stuck in the middle when it comes to Appalachia in the media.  The people are exploited, and this gives the rest of the nation a negative impression of a region that is actually beautiful, with lots of tourism, several high-ranked division I colleges and universities, and incredibly nice people. However, attention must be drawn to those suffering in Appalachia - it is a region in need, in many different aspects. 

Today, Ms. Emily Ann blogged about regional stereotypes and for me, her post hit home.  She's a super down-to-earth writer, and I appreciated her realistic view on the subject. As a West Virginian who moved to Ohio 4 years ago, I have been in appalachia all my life, and suffer the consequences of stereotyping on a daily basis! I definitely attribute part of this to the media's portrayal of the appalachian region.

I'll be back on the Appalachia-in-the-Media topic following Sunday evening's Dateline.  The fun starts at 7pm Eastern time. 

You're probably wondering, "GEEZ, what's with Steph being all serious lately?"  Well.. don't worry.  I've got some fun ramblings to spat out, so here we go!:

Two of my blogging buds are hosting awesome giveaways
Ashley @ My Carnival Ride is giving away a beautiful necklace and a few delicious smelling, homemade triple-scented candles. This is her first giveway - she's celebrating her 100th post! Head over to her blog and enter to win, and congratulate her on all of her fantastic blogging!

My fellow Marshall fanatic and Christmas-obsessed gal pal, Jennifer @ Crazy Shenanigans, is giving away a SURPRISE MYSTERY GIFT... just like Christmas morning! She was inspired by the whole Christmas in July thing, and trust me - she's a super fun girl with awesome taste, so you can be sure that the surprise giveaway is worth signing up for!

And don't forget about my own giveaway!  WIN the wooden BLOGGING QUEEN sign, made by yours truly!  It ends tomorrow night (Saturday, the 24th) at 11:59pm! 

One last thing - and I have to give Mama Kat major props, because without her, this would not be possible. Many of us bloggers participate in Mama Kat's Writer's Workshop during the week, because her writing prompts are AWESOME. I printed off about 50 of my favorite prompts from her writing prompt archive, separated the prompts with the office paper cutter (aka finger slicer... I've had some accidents), folded each one up in a little square and tossed it into a fat drinking cup.  SO... on those days that I'm at a loss for words, I'm going to draw a random prompt from the cup, and go for it!  This should be a lot of fun, but I do think I'm going to need a cheering section, so... let the encouragement begin!  

I hope you all have a terrific weekend!  Join me tomorrow for "Sweets for the Sweet"... I'll be sharing yet another favorite summertime treat - this time, it's fast-food related!

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Tamara Nicole said...

Hey it's ok to be serious sometimes:-)

Hope you have a fabulous weekend dear, and thanks for your sweet comment on my blog!!!

The Tucci's! said...

Well said :-) I hear a lot of the stereotypes about WV too.. everyone thinks it's fun to make fun of ME because I'm a "hillbilly"..

Crazy Shenanigans said...

Aw, thanks for mentioning me! I completely know how you feel and I'm probably not going to watch the documentary because I refuse to get annoyed. I hate when people stereotype WV!

Amanda said...

Ah man!! I grew up in SE Ohio and now live in TN. I was just hoping to find some info on the program since it appears that I missed it by like 2 hours... ughhh......

Anyway, in my search for Dateline NBC poverty in Appalachia... your blog came up. Soooo I suppose I might as well say hello here. So did you watch the program? Was it horrible? I know what you mean about the media portraying appalachia in a negative manner. I hope they didn't do it too much but I bet they did.

I'll check back by soon to see if you have any more thoughts on the program.

Take care!

Amanda (from Gallipolis and now in Chattanooga TN)