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The Investigative News Project Taking on One Small U.S. Airport at a Time


Aug 21, 2013 1:48 am

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Interactive, multi-media, and unusual, this project will likely be a fascinating look at the under-examined American destinations. And a bit of a thrill for excellent reporter/airplane buff Fallows.

— Eliza Ronalds-Hannon

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Sioux Falls is one of the first cities James Fallows will visit as part of the American Futures project. Don Graham / Flickr

In a collaboration between the Atlantic, Marketplace, and the Global Integration Software (GIS) company Esri, a project called ‘American Futures‘ will explore the country’s changing economy, mostly by way of its regional airports, the partners announced Monday.

In what the Atlantic‘s national correspondent James Fallows called “the classic American road trip, conducted by air,” he will travel throughout the United States with his wife, prioritizing the out-of-the-way towns that comprise most of the country.

“Wherever we’ve lived, I’ve been aware of the big-city-centrism of the news, and how many things you didn’t know enough even to wonder about until you’d left the capital,” Fallows said in announcing the project yesterday.

Maps powered by Esri will complement Fallows’ reporting as he travels, and one already lays out a preview of the towns he and his wife Deborah Fallows plan to visit.

The project is crowd-sourcing destination ideas by asking readers and listeners to pitch Fallows and his team on what is special about their towns, and the second-half of the couple’s itinerary remains open to those suggestions.


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