Rural Reporting Project

Texas has the largest rural population of any state—3.8 million people—yet many journalists treat much of the state as flyover country. The Observer has made reporting on rural Texas a priority with this long-term project. Staff writer Christopher Collins, who has investigated how crop dusting is putting Texans’ health at risk and the connection between destructive Panhandle wildfires and a mismanaged federal land program, is spearheading the effort from West Texas. View an interactive story map here.

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The 7 Most Pressing Issues Facing Rural Texas

In 2017, rural schools lost crucial funding, two hospitals closed and natural disasters wreaked havoc in what some regard as “flyover country.”

It’s been a tough year for rural Texas. In 2017, the 3.8 million Texans who live outside the state’s metro areas bore a bevy of hardships, including hospita...Read More

fracking, water pits, big spring by

Big Spring Vs. Big Oil

In the heart of the West Texas oil patch, a new fracking frenzy is putting a strain on groundwater.

In the heart of the West Texas oil patch, a new fracking frenzy is putting a strain on groundwater. – by Christopher Collins @collins_reports December 11, 201...Read More

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