Debunking Three Myths about Rural America

Rural Urban divide
How to improve research and reporting for the 2020 election and beyond

News media and scholarly reporting frequently misrepresent or misunderstand rural America. Few examples illustrate this more than the wake of the 2016 election, when droves of largely nonrural reporters flocked to rural communities to find out what happened.

Although much has been written critiquing such drive-by journalism, narrow and reductive depictions of rural America persist. This storytelling contributes to growing mistrust of outside researchers and reporters, and the oft-described rural-urban divide erases rural diversities and unduly polarizes differences between cities and small towns.


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