News

James and Deborah Fallows In the Press

'Our Towns' in 'The Atlantic'

Posted on May 19th, 2019 at 4:49 PM

The Atlantic, Our Towns, What David Halberstam Learned in Mississippi

Jim reports on what renowed writer and journalist David Halberstam learned during his first job after college, reporting for the tiny Daily Times Leader in West Point, MS. Halberstam talked about it in a commencement speech at age 71, reflecting a lifetime of learning, questioning, and reconsidering -- something Jim points out as a useful example in these times.

Read the report here.


'Our Towns' in 'The Atlantic'

Posted on May 19th, 2019 at 4:21 PM

The Atlantic, Our Towns, Can Schools Teach Students to Think?

In this post, Deb reports on a response she received to her earlier report about the Mississippi School for Mathematics and Science (MSMS), challenging the idea that a school like MSMS -- a public high school that chooses its students from around the state -- can meaningfully claim to be "teaching students to think."

Read the letter, from Georgia Gwinnett College professor Paul Camp, and MSMS English teacher Thomas Easterling's response here


'Our Towns' in 'The Atlantic'

Posted on May 19th, 2019 at 3:48 PM

The Atlantic, Our Towns, National Policies have Local Effects

Jim reports on the effects that changes at the national level, in the areas of trade policies and refugee admittance, are having on local communities.

In Winters, CA, nut growers are seeing demand and prices plummet in Chinese markets, primarily because of retaliatory tariffs imposed at the national level.

In Erie, PA, the reduced number of refugees the U.S. is accepting is depleting their corps of entrepreneurs and other workers, which reduces the tax base and leaves jobs unfilled and existing housing stock vacant.


'Our Towns' in 'The Atlantic'

Posted on May 19th, 2019 at 3:33 PM

The Atlantic Our Towns Small Towns, Big Ideas

Jim reports on a session he moderated on May 13, sponsored by the renowned social-entrepreneur organization Ashoka. Four of its fellows working in rural or small-town locations report on innovations you hadn't been aware of before, four more examples of the breadth of renewal efforts in towns and cities large and small.

Watch the YouTube video of session here.


'Our Towns' in 'The Atlantic'

Posted on May 19th, 2019 at 3:07 PM

The Atlantic, Our Towns How to Teach Students to Think

Deb Fallows returns to the Mississippi School for Mathematics and Science, a two-year residential high school in Columbus she has written about before. In this post she describes an 11th grade English class studying Larry Brown's Dirty Work

Students in this school, she reports, are getting a "first chance" at their lives. Read the post here.


'Our Towns' in 'The Atlantic'

Posted on May 10th, 2019 at 4:39 PM

The Atlantic, Our Towns The Last Family-Owned Daily in Mississippi

In his May 10, 2019 post, Jim returns to the subject of local journalism, its importance in communities as potentially the only source of community-wide information and accountability and also the intense pressure local press is under. 

And he reports on one small daily newspaper bucking the national trend, The Commercial Dispatch of Columbus, MS. Read the post here.


'Our Towns' in 'The Atlantic'

Posted on May 10th, 2019 at 12:02 AM

The Atlantic, Our Towns Dead Malls Everywhere

Jim writes an additional installment with reader views on whether abandoned and bankrupt malls can become the sites of civic and architectural rebirths for their communities.

Read the post here.


Featured in The Dispatch

Posted on May 9th, 2019 at 5:42 PM

The DispatchHBO Documentary to Feature Area African-American History Event

The Dispatch reported on James and Deborah Fallows and their HBO crew, in Columbus and Starkville, MS this week filming for their upcoming HBO documentary based on their Our Towns book. The Mississippi School for Mathematics & Science's annual Eighth of May production in Sandfield Cemetary will be featured.


'Our Towns' in 'The Atlantic'

Posted on May 9th, 2019 at 2:39 PM

The Atlantic, Our Towns Mississippi Emancipation Day

Jim and Deb are back in the Golden Triangle of northeastern Mississippi on Emancipation Day, whose commemoration they first observed five years ago and reported on in The Atlantic and also in Our Towns. They will be reporting this week on the schools, industry, history, inclusion and exclusion, progress and struggle of the area. 

Read the current post here and earlier posts here and here


'Our Towns' in 'The Atlantic'

Posted on May 7th, 2019 at 3:44 PM

The Atlantic, Our Towns Dead Malls, Reborn Cities

In his May 6, 2019 post, Jim shares what he has learned from readers over the few days since his original post and a follow-up on the fates of buildings that have outlived their original economic or civic function.

Read the most recent post here.