School of Journalism and New Media

The University of Mississippi

Flooding in the Delta

Posted on: January 21st, 2020 by hbvines

Professor Michael Fagans took his Jour 456 Journalism Innovation/Capstone students down to the southern end of the Mississippi Delta to cover the ongoing flood. More than 500,000 acres were flooded and 400,000 acres of that was farmland.

The road to this homestead flooded despite the sandbag effort of the owners along State Route 61 between the towns of Valley Park and Redwood.
"This summer, as I was teaching JOUR 456 (Journalism Innovation/Captone), Deans Norton and Wenger suggested that I take my students down to the southern end of the Mississippi Delta to cover the ongoing flood. An area approximately the size of the state of Rhode Island, 500,000 acres, was flooded and 400,000 acres of that was farmland. 

I could tell you in pedagogical terms why this was an inspired idea or I could have the students tell you in their own words. I suspect you can guess what might be more effective."
Michael Fagans
Mike Fagans
Journalism Professor
A side road off of State Route 278 flooded at the north end of the Delta.
“I have never been ‘at the scene’ like that before. The Delta trip wasn’t just a field trip – it was an experience and milestone for me as a journalist.”
Millicent French
“I really enjoyed the opportunity of being able to go into the Mississippi Delta. It really took me outside of the comfort zone when it came to reporting. It also taught me to improve my interview skills, and working with people you never met in a totally different region really opened my eyes. ”
Michael Lawrence
“The group that I was with that day each focused on print journalism, which was quite different than my broadcast journalism experience. It was interesting being able to collaborate with and see the different journalistic processes.”
Madison Aman
The Sardis Lake reservoir was filled beyond capacity through the summer and this enterprising fisherman took off his boots before fishing from the parking lot guardrail.
A drone captured this image of a flooded home to the west of State Route 61 near the town of Smedes.
A truck drives out into the flooded parking lot of the Sardis Lake reservoir, northwest of Oxford.