A Small Southern Town’s Fight Against Big Business : Final Story Pitch

For my final story, I would like to write about the fight against Water Valley Mississippi in opening a Walmart super center in town. Many citizens are concerned about the effect that the big business will have on such a small town with an old time feel. The B.T.C Old Fashioned Grocery, located on Main Street has been an advocate against the new business. As recent as Monday April 14th, a Facebook page has popped up called “Long Live Water Valley”. Petitions are starting to appear urging against the construction, as well as people writing letters to the editor. I want to see why people are against the expansion.  Some numbers to think about include the population in Water Valley, the number of Walmarts in the country, and how much revenue Walmart is nationally making already.

My four sources are as followed, with reasons why I believe they would be good to speak to:

Source 1 : Alexe van Bueren (Owner of B.T.C)

Bueren was one of the first people to speak out against the new Walmart opening. She was in the group of people that pulled the town up back to it’s original small town charm. I would like to ask her:

1.) Are you originally from a small town? Does this impact why you believe keeping a small town feel is so important?

2.) How did you come up with the idea to get the town back to it’s original ways?

3.) Why do you feel like Walmart will ruin the town?

4.) You’ve urged people to petition and write letter to the editor, but what else have you been doing to combat the new business?

5.) What do you have to say to the people that want Walmart, and the convenience that comes with it?

Source 2 : The editor at the local newspaper, who is receiving letters about this


1.) What are people saying about the idea of a Walmart opening? Are these things that are being said good or bad?

2.) As someone who works for a small town newspaper, do you believe a Walmart would be good?

Source 3 : Larry Hart, Mayor


1.) Do you believe a Walmart is good for Water Valley?

2.) Do you think the people fighting against the Walmart make a good point?

3.) If Walmart does end up being in Water Valley, is there a way to compromise to make the town still feel the same?

4.) What are you doing as a leader to compromise with the people of Water Valley?

Source 4: Citizens of Water Valley

I am hoping to contact citizens through the Facebook groups associated with this cause, and see if there are varying opinions on this matter.

1.) How long have you been living in Water Valley, and what has the experience of that been?

2.) Are you for or against Walmart opening?

3.) What do you think a Walmart would do to the feel of the town?

4.) What do you have to say to the people that want Walmart for the convenience?

Other sources of information: http://www.preservationnation.org/magazine/2014/spring/small-town-renaissance-water-valley-miss.html http://www.huffingtonpost.com/national-trust-for-historic-preservation/how-hand-painted-signs-he_b_5084240.html

Media Additions:

1.) Social media has been a huge part in this issue, and people have really gotten involved on Facebook and Twitter.  I would like to make a Storify of peoples reactions to this issue.

2.) I think an interview on SoundCloud would be useful as well since this is a rather emotional subject for some people.  It would be better to hear it in their own words.


Beat Story 3 Story Pitch

Barnes and Nobel at Ole Miss : Keeping the Company Afloat?

I’d like to do my third beat story on the Barnes and Noble at Ole Miss, and how it’s affecting the company as a whole.  For the past few years, sales had been declining with an explosion in the use of tablets and e-readers.  Yet, according to the company’s recent third quarter reports, the company had a 3.9% raise in college earnings during the Spring buying season.  I want to localize the story and see how much students individually are buying at Ole Miss, what the Barnes and Noble on campus brings in for the company, and how this affects the company as a whole.  I would like to see if our individual store is following the national trends.


Forbes: http://www.forbes.com/sites/steveschaefer/2014/02/26/barnes-noble-turns-profit-tightens-nooks-belt-and-dismisses-buyout-bid/

Press Release From Barnes and Noble Regarding Third Quarter Sales: http://www.barnesandnobleinc.com/press_releases/2_26_14_bn_fy2014_3q_results.html

Screen shot 2014-02-27 at 12.26.17 PM

Manager at the Ole Miss book store and ask:

(662) 915-7137

1.) How much revenue do you bring in a semester?

2.) Recently, have you been selling more e-editions of books, or hard books?

3.) Have you as a store noticed an increase in revenue over this semester?

4.) As a store, do you bring in more revenue in the fall or spring?

Students at Ole Miss:

1.) How much did you spend on books this semester?

2.) Do you typically buy e-editions or hard copies of your text books?

3.) Do you feel like you spend more in the fall or spring?

Professors at Ole Miss:

1.) Do you look at prices when you choose books for your classes?

2.) Do you give the options for students to purchase e-editions or hard copies?

3.) Do you usually require students to have a book?