Tuesday, June 16, 2009

Reporting that overlooks rurality

This New York Times story about programs (part government subsidy, part private sector initiative) to provide cell phones to the poor is just one recent news item that left me wondering: what about the rural? Like so many stories, the people and places featured here are urban (Bronx, NY and Greensboro, NC), and I wondered if rural residents are also benefiting from programs like this one. Perhaps similarly needy residents of rural places unable to benefit because of lack of cell phone service in their locales? Or perhaps the men featured in this story just happen to live in cities. I'd like to know.

In contrast, thanks to Barbara Ehrenreich who, in her Sunday Op-Ed in the Times, "Too Poor to Make the News," used a rural example--along with urban ones--to illustrate her point that, for the working poor, the recession is just "same old." As Ehrenreich expresses it, they "are no more gripped by the recession than by 'American Idol.'" The hardships they continue to endure are no news at all.

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