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.

 

Driving My Life Away

by and | Mon, Nov 18, 2019 at 6:00 CST
As physicians leave small towns, rural Texans must travel farther and farther for health care.
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Could Hemp be an Economic Lifeline for Rural Texas Towns?

As the Legislature considers greenlighting hemp production, a litany of farmers, rural economic development advocates and even conservative Republicans are singing its praises.

Haskell, a town of 3,200 an hour north of Abilene, is in high cotton. It has not one, but two grocery stores. Most of the storefronts in the downtown square are...Read More

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Ghosts of the Baker Hotel

What does it take to revive a struggling small town?

by Jason Heid April 15, 2019 “Those of you that don’t believe, I’m glad you’re on this tour,” Angela Morgan tells a crowd of about 150 ghost-seekers o...Read More

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