ABC News Launches “Hidden America” — A Special Long-Terms, Cross Platform Series

By David Ford

Apr 24, 2012 12:25pm

abc hidden america dm 120424 wblog ABC News Launches Hidden America    A Special Long Terms, Cross Platform Series

First Reports to Air This Week on “World News with Diane Sawyer” and “Nightline”

Today ABC News announced it is launching a new division-wide series of reports, “Hidden America,” to shine a light on the people, places and stories of struggle and hope that are not well known or apparent to many Americans. The reports will also spotlight the creative and innovative things some extraordinary Americans are doing to help people in their communities. This long-term commitment grows from Diane Sawyer’s remarkable and award-winning “Hidden America” documentaries on Camden, Appalachia, and Pine Ridge. Reports from ABC News anchors and correspondents will air across all broadcasts and platforms including “World News with Diane Sawyer, “Nightline,” and “20/20.”

Plus, ABC News will produce a series of photo essays for ABCNEWS.com and Yahoo! to capture the moments that illustrate each “Hidden America” story.

ABC’s Chris Cuomo kicks off the series Tuesday, April 24 on “World News with Diane Sawyer” with “Hidden America: Invisible Health Crisis.” The numbers are shocking — 16 million low-income children received no dental care in 2009, and the consequences can be dire. Cuomo goes deep inside this crisis, taking you to a clinic in Florida, where children go for treatment of last resort. We also follow a dentist in Lafayette, LA to discover the innovative approach he has taken to help these underserved children gain access to dental care. “World News with Diane Sawyer” airs at 6:30pm/ET on the ABC Television Network. Watch promo.

Read: Hidden America: Medicaid’s Youngest Face Dental Crisis

Then John Quinones returns to the Texas-Mexico border, where an estimated 100,000 American children live in isolation and poverty in thousands of communities in Texas called Las Colonias.  Basic services and health care are hard to come by yet every day more people put down stakes hoping for a piece of the American Dream.  These young U.S. citizens and their families often live without electricity and running water, which leads to higher rates of diseases like tuberculosis, cholera and hepatitis.  Despite a daily struggle for survival, the children of more than 2000 communities known as Las Colonias have an indomitable belief in a better life in America. Quinones takes a close and personal look at the largely forgotten children of the border in his special “Nightline” report. “Hidden America: Dreaming Off the Grid” will air on Wednesday, April 25. “Nightline” airs at 11:35pm/ET on the ABC Television Network.

Plus, Diane Sawyer revisits the Pine Ridge Indian Reservation. Last fall in reporting her primetime special “Hidden America: Children of the Plains,” Sawyer found a once-mighty people, the Lakota Sioux tribe, desperately trying to hold on despite all of its grinding poverty and alcoholism. In part inspired by ABC’s broadcast, the tribe has filed a lawsuit against some of the world’s largest beer makers, arguing that they have contributed to the tribe’s devastating alcohol-related problems. In addition, after our report aired, the young boy profiled was reunited with his long lost father. The report will air in the coming weeks on “World News with Diane Sawyer,” which airs at 6:30pm/ET on the ABC Television Network.

In January 2007, Diane Sawyer delivered an eye-opening report on poverty in America, “Waiting on the World to Change,” which gave viewers insight into the lives of families in Camden, New Jersey – the poorest city in America. The report was honored with several awards including an Emmy Award, and the 2008 Casey Medal from the Journalism Center on Children & Families.  Ms. Sawyer and her team of producers then spent 18 months in the hills of Appalachia reporting the February 2009 special “Hidden America: Children of the Mountains,” which won a Peabody Award, a Robert F. Kennedy Journalism Award, and an Emmy. Most recently Sawyer reported the startling realities of life on the Pine Ridge Indian Reservation with “Hidden America: Children of the Plains.”

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