The Register-Herald, Beckley, West Virginia

Latest News

December 30, 2012

Poll puts state in a pretty good light... sort of

— Although many West Virginians fear MTV’s reality show “Buckwild” will reinforce negative stereotypes, a Washington-based public relations firm says many Americans see the state in a positive light.

Widmeyer Communications said nearly one-half of the American public described West Virginia as “natural” and “friendly” when asked to describe the state in a public opinion poll.

“Our national survey indicates some good value openers for the state,” said Scott Widmeyer, CEO of Widmeyer Communications.

“A couple of key takeaways; Based on what we learned from this survey, nearly 75 million Americans are likely to visit West Virginia within the next three years. Secondly, the small-town friendly charm that West Virginia offers is something the state needs to capitalize on. This can be a real magnet to attract people who are looking for getaway vacations that offer recreation, leisure and relaxation.”

This poll comes on the heels of MTV’s “Buckwild,” a show focusing on “an outrageous group of childhood friends from the rural foothills of West Virginia,” and is set to debut Jan. 3.

Many people are saying “Buckwild” will be the new “Jersey Shore” and Sen. Joe Manchin didn’t lose any time voicing his opinion on the show.

“Instead of showcasing the beauty of our state, you preyed on young people, coaxed them into shameful behavior and now you are profiting from it,” he said in a letter to MTV producers, which also asked for the show’s cancellation.

“This show plays to ugly, inaccurate stereotypes about the people of West Virginia.”

But Widmeyer Communications’ poll seems to depict otherwise: “While the survey found one-quarter has a favorable opinion of the state, nearly two-thirds have no impression of West Virginia.”

The show, regardless of opinions, may at least bring more awareness about West Virginia, as 8 percent of those polled thought the state was part of Virginia and another 16 percent were not sure it was a separate state.

Widmeyer said of those surveyed, many would enjoy outdoor activities, sightseeing, and arts and crafts if they visited the state.

The poll was conducted in October and each question was asked among a representative sample of 1,000 adults.

— E-mail: wholdren@register-herald.com

1
Text Only
Latest News
  • W.Va., 11 other states, ask Supreme Court to declare new EPA rules illegal

    Attorney General Patrick Morrisey said Friday that West Virginia led a bipartisan group of 12 states that are asking the U.S. Court of Appeals in Washington, D.C., to declare illegal a settlement agreement in which the EPA promised to issue its now-pending rule concerning existing coal-fired power plants.

    August 1, 2014

  • Ebola outbreak moving faster than control efforts

    An Ebola outbreak that has killed more than 700 people in West Africa is moving faster than efforts to control the disease, the head of the World Health Organization warned as presidents from the affected countries met Friday in Guinea's capital.

    August 1, 2014

  • Oak Hill man arrested for selling drugs to police officers

    A Fayette County man is in jail after his arrest Thursday evening for several drug offenses, according to a press release from the Fayette County Sheriff's Office.

    August 1, 2014

  • Suspect arrested, faces felony charges following shooting incident

    A Mercer County man was arrested and arraigned on felony charges Thursday after a domestic altercation led to a shooting incident in the Montcalm area of Mercer County.

    August 1, 2014

  • pittsburgh rally 5,000 rally in Pittsburgh against EPA Clean Power Plan

    The echo of people chanting, “Hey, hey, EPA, don’t take our jobs away” could be heard in downtown Pittsburgh Thursday. The voices came from about 5,000 United Mine Workers of America (UMWA) members and their families, along with other unions such as the Boilermakers and the Brotherhood of Electrical Workers International (IBEW), marching through the streets.

     

    August 1, 2014 1 Photo 3 Stories

  • Alpha plans to idle coal workers

    Approximately 1,100 employees at 11 Alpha Resources-affiliated surface mines, preparation plants and other support operations in southern West Virginia got notice late Thursday afternoon that their jobs could be in jeopardy.

     

    August 1, 2014

  • New rules to fight black lung disease kick in today

    Joe Massie has spent the last 22 years of his life fighting a disease that takes his breath away, a disease he contracted deep underground in the coal mines over a period of 30 years.  Black lung may take away his breath; it has not stilled his voice.

    August 1, 2014

  • target red Zero tolerance Target Red campaign hopes to lessen intersection crashes

    It happens every day. A driver hurries on his or her way to work, school or maybe nowhere in particular. Just ahead, a green light turns yellow. With a little more gas, the vehicle just might be able to clear the intersection before that light turns red. Or maybe not. 

    August 1, 2014 1 Photo

  • Alpha announces intention to lay off 1,100 surface miners

    The announcement dealt another blow to Appalachia's iconic, but dwindling, fossil fuel industry. The company said 2015 industry forecasts show Central Appalachian coal production will be less than half of its 2009 output. It's due to a combination of familiar factors, Alpha said: competition from cheaper natural gas, weak domestic and international markets and low coal prices.

     

    July 31, 2014

  • Justice mines have violations in 5 states

    A West Virginia coal billionaire has more than 250 pending violations at mining operations in Kentucky and four other states.

    July 31, 2014