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Hill contributor: Washington media was disconnected from rural voters in 2016

Author and Hill opinion contributor Daniel Allott told Hill.TV Thursday that the news media should invest more in varying perspectives in order to accurately report on rural and middle America voters.

“The 2016 election exposed a real disconnect between the Washington media and much of the country,” Allot said. “Very few journalists predicted Donald TrumpDonald John TrumpBiden to nominate Linda Thomas-Greenfield for UN ambassador: reports Scranton dedicates 'Joe Biden Way' to honor president-elect Kasich: Republicans 'either in complete lockstep' or 'afraid' of Trump MORE’s rise or his election victory, and it didn’t seem like enough reporters were interested in really getting to know who his supporters were.” 

Allot’s new book, “On the Road in Trump's America: A Journey into the Heart Divided Nation,” delves into his experience with different communities in key battleground states, from West Virginia to Pennsylvania and Michigan.

“What I heard over and over again, was that ‘Trump listened to us,’ especially in rural places. ‘He listened to what our concerns are, he didn’t talk down to us,’” he said. “‘He prioritized what our priorities are,’ and that bond, he really created a bond of good will and trust with much of middle America and I think it’s still there.”

Allot argued that if the news media wants to have a better grasp on the state of the electorate and potential outcomes of the election, then they must reach out to individuals who possess different cultural experiences who could provide more context. 

“If you’re an outlet that wants to speak for the entire country and report for the entire country, maybe hire people who have lived in or grown up in other areas of the country,” he said.