The View from Home: Images of Appalachia and the “Rural-Urban Divide”
In the wake of the 2016 presidential election, news media used Appalachia as a convenient illustration of the “angry, white, rural voter” that common wisdom said determined the election. Like generations of journalists before them, media-makers found exactly what they were looking for. But this time around, the image-making occurred within an increasingly complex media environment that can serve niche audiences based on factors like geography, ideology, shopping habits, or romantic interests. How does the contemporary communications system affect the way we and others perceive Appalachia? Is there a national urban-rural divide? And if there is, where does Appalachia fit in that picture?
Tim Marema is editor of the Daily Yonder (www.dailyyonder.com), a national news site that covers rural economics, politics and culture. He is a founding staff member of the Center for Rural Strategies (https://www.ruralstrategies.org/), which publishes the Daily Yonder and facilitates a wide range of communications and organizing activities for rural advocates around the country. Before that, he was development director at Appalshop (https://www.appalshop.org/), the media arts center in Whitesburg, Kentucky. Tim is former editor of The Chapel Hill (North Carolina) Herald (published by the Durham Herald-Sun). Tim holds a B.A. from Berea (Kentucky) College and an M.A. in journalism from the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill. Tim grew up in Eastern Kentucky and lives in East Tennessee. He is married and has two adult children.
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