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There are 3.8 million Texans living in rural areas. By supporting our Rural Reporting Project, you help us give them a voice.
203 backers pledged $11,229 to help bring this project to life.

About

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$11,229

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The Texas Observer is thrilled that thanks to a generous anonymous donor, we have a matching $10,000 for this campaign. So any amount you can give will go twice as far toward supporting this project. Click here to see all the stories published as part of the Rural Reporting Project. 

Texas has the largest rural population of any state: 3.8 million people. 

Many problems are the same as those in the cities: stagnant wages, income inequality, health-care woes, racial conflicts. But rural Texas faces a set of issues all its own, including stagnant or declining populations, economic dislocations from globalization and trade, a severe shortage of primary care physicians, land fragmentation, water scarcity and myriad agricultural challenges that barely register with city-dwellers.

The Texas Observer is one of the only publications — not just in the state of Texas, but in the entire nation — with a staff writer dedicated to covering rural populations. As newspapers shutter their doors and those that remain purge staff, fewer and fewer can afford to send reporters to these regions; fewer still call rural areas home. As a result, rural Texans don’t just suffer from a lack of relevant news; they also go largely unheard and misunderstood.

That’s why we started the Rural Reporting Project. Abilene-based reporter Christopher Collins has crisscrossed Texas to find the stories, from examining the economic benefits of immigration in the Panhandle town of Dalhart to covering rural hospital closures in East Texas. 

Getting a nuanced understanding of rural communities is critical to bridging divides and promoting community understanding. We need full portraits, not caricatures. Hear Chris talk more about his work in the video above and check out this list of stories he mentions:

Rural Poverty, Youth Homelessness Abound in Loraine, Pop. 587

‘How Can You Do This to People?’: After Rural Hospitals Close in Milam County, Residents Scramble to Find Care

Report: Oil and Gas Production Is Making People Sick in Rural Texas

Costs for Rural Towns Surge after Hurricane Harvey Hits Water Systems

In East Texas, Chicken Plants are Polluting Rivers and Lakes with Oxygen-Sucking Contaminants

Risks and challenges

Our Rural Reporting Project launched in August 2017 thanks to generous grant funding. Now, as we head into the third year, we're exploring ways to continue funding this incredibly important project. As a nonprofit media outlet, we rely on both grants and individuals to fund our work.

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Support

  1. Select this reward

    Pledge US$ 5 or more About US$ 5

    Thank you so much for your support!

    You will get a thank you note from our staff and our undying gratitude!

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    Digital Subscription to Texas Observer

    You will receive a thank you note from staff and a digital subscription to the Texas Observer

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    1 Year Print Subscription

    At this level, we'll send you the magazine for a year -- that's a $10 discount off the cover price! Plus the items listed at previous levels.

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    1 Yr Print Sub + Koozie

    When you pledge at this level, we'll send you the magazine for a year, plus a TXO koozie!

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    Pledge US$ 55 or more About US$ 55

    1 Yr Print Sub + TXO Tee

    At this level, we'll get you 1 year of the magazine plus a TXO "Fight for Truth" tee shirt!

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    Pledge US$ 75 or more About US$ 75

    1 Yr Print Sub + Tee & Premium Content

    When you pledge at this level, we'll get you 1 year of the magazine, a TXO "Fight for Truth" tee and we'll send you our premium monthly newsletter with exclusive insider content.

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    Pledge US$ 100 or more About US$ 100

    TXO Tote Bag + 1 Yr Sub

    At this level, we'll send you a TXO tote bag, 1 year of the print magazine, and we'll send your our premium monthly newsletter with exclusive insider content.

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    Pledge US$ 150 or more About US$ 150

    TXO Tote Bag + Sub + Special Thank You

    When you pledge at this level, we'll send your our TXO tote bag and a koozie, 1 year of the print magazine, access to our monthly premium newsletter, and you'll get a special thank you from Chris.

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    Pledge US$ 250 or more About US$ 250

    Tote, Tee, Sub and more!

    At this very generous level, you will get everything listed at the $150 level -- including the special thank you from Chris -- plus our TXO "Fight for Truth" tee.

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    Pledge US$ 500 or more About US$ 500

    Call with the Publisher + More!

    Thank you SO MUCH for your generosity! At this level, we'll invite you to join our annual conference call with our publisher, you'll hear more about how your support is helping to shape the future of the Rural Reporting Project. You will also get everything from the previous level.

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    Pledge US$ 1,000 or more About US$ 1,000

    Rural Reporting Collection

    Wow! You are incredible! At this level we will send you a special printed collection of articles featuring the best of our Rural Reporting Project. You will also get everything from the previous levels.

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Funding period

- (14 days)