A Hidden America: Children of The Mountains Documentary
The full ABC News 20/20 documentary from 2009 (video).

A Hidden America: Children of the Mountains
A written summary from ABC News of Sawyer’s documentary.

The Economic Impact of Coal in Appalachian Kentucky
This article from the University of Kentucky’s Center for Business and Economic Research analyzes the social and economic impact of the coal industry in Kentucky.

ABC News Honored with Peabody Award
Sawyer’s documentary wins the prestigious Peabody Award.

To Diane Sawyer, The Hills Are Alive with Hope
Sawyer details her reasons for the documentary.

Bill O’Reilly interviews Diane Sawyer
The Fox News host talks to Sawyer about the documentary and wonders if Appalachia is hopeless (video).


Speak Your Piece on Diane Sawyer
This op-ed column from was written by a woman in rural West Virginia and takes issue with the depth of reporting by 20/20’s feature.

Reviewing ‘Children of the Mountains’
This Kentucky blog post critiqued the documentary for lack of solutions to social problems.

Didn’t Go Far Enough
Al Cross of the University of Kentucky offers an argument for the role of journalists in solving social problems.

Dear Diane Sawyer: The Other Children of the Mountains
Jeff Biggers writes on the Huffington Post February 17, 2009 that it’s a shame Sawyer didn’t look at the deeper causes of poverty.

Diane Sawyer: Talk to Ashley Judd, Don’t Overlook the 800-lb Gorilla On 20/20
Biggers suggests in a March 22, 2009 follow-up that the primary problem in the documentary is its lack of covering mountaintop removal strip mining.


A Hidden America Made Me Mad as Hell
A Kentucky TV station reposted Neil Middleton’s original post from 2009 about the program, where he admits the truth hurts.

A Worthy Report From Diane Sawyer
Article in Variety argues that Sawyer’s documentary brought needed national attention to the social problems in the Appalachian region.

Will Sawyer’s Report lead to Local Action?
Al Cross wonders if, despite criticism, the 20/20 report will lead to more regional action to help solve the problems in Appalachia.

Appalachian Poverty Special Rates Huge for ABC
The documentary gives ABC its highest Friday viewer ratings in over 16 months.

How a Small Newspaper Won a Big Award
Poynter reports about the work of the Charleston Gazette’s Ken Ward, Jr and his investigation on mine safety.

Related Topics

When Sensationalism Rules the News
Emerson College professor Jerry Lanson examines the news media’s role in promoting sensationalism.

Meet The Children of the Mountains
Pictures of the families and children in the 20/20 documentary.

Rebuttal from Johnson Central High School
A local TV station shows off that one Kentucky high school had some pretty special things going on in February 2009. (video).

Upper Big Branch Mine Disaster
The Charleston (WV) Gazette-Mail’s archive of articles related to the April 5, 2010 mine explosion.


Outliers and the Hillbilly Stereotype
Don McNay takes author Malcolm Gladwell to task for advancing the hillbilly stereotype in media.

The Christian Appalachian Project
One of the relief groups helping in the at-risk areas.

Mobile Dentists Help Appalachia Smile
USA Today article from 2005 on Dr. Jeff Bailey and his work as a mobile dentist.

Going Home to Rediscover Appalachia
The Nieman Reports at Harvard shares reporter Diana Jones’ story where she tries to tell the story of poverty by looking through a different lens.