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Wednesday, October 18, 2017
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  • Writer Login


    Joseph B. Atkins

    Joseph B. Atkins
    Joe Atkins, professor of journalism, has taught at The University of Mississippi since 1990. He teaches courses in Advanced Reporting, International Journalism, Ethics & Social Issues, Media History and Labor & Media. Atkins is the author of Covering for the Bosses: Labor and the Southern Press, published by The University Press of Mississippi in 2008, and editor/contributing author of The Mission: Journalism, Ethics and the World, published by Iowa State University Press in 2002. He organized an international “Conference on Labor and the Southern Press” at Ole Miss in October 2003. A statewide columnist and 35-year veteran journalist, Atkins was congressional correspondent with Gannett News Service’s Washington, D.C. bureau for five years. He previously worked with newspapers in North Carolina and Mississippi. His articles have appeared in publications such as USA Today, Baltimore Sun, Atlanta Journal-Constitution, Progressive Populist, Southern Exposure, Quill and the Oxford American. His blog on labor issues in the South is LaborSouth.blogspot.com. He can be reached at jbatkins@olemiss.edu. Joe's stories often appear on Labor South, Facing South, The Progressive Populist, In These Times, and AlterNet
    Number of posts: 7
    Email address: email
    Linkedin: Linkedin
    Facebook: Facebook
    Twitter: Twitter
    Amazon: Amazon

    By Joseph B. Atkins:


      howard industries

      Low-wage MS firm, fined by OSHA, raided by ICE, enjoys subsidies

      by | 0, Add your Comment | Sep 10, 2015
      Low-wage MS firm, fined by OSHA, raided by ICE, enjoys subsidies

      OXFORD, Miss. – Politicians and local editorial writers love Howard Industries of Laurel, Miss. The editors at the Laurel Leader-Call shower their blessings on Jones County’s largest employer and castigate any naysayer who might want to offer an alternative viewpoint. Politicians shower the producer of electrical transformers with money—taxpayers’ money…

      t-party vs. country club republicans

      Populists vs. Bourbons in Miss. U.S. Senate race

      by | 2, Add your Comment | Jul 24, 2014
      Image: Don’t Feed On Me - Caricature by DonkeyHotey via his Flickr photo stream and used under Creative Commons license.

      More than a century ago the “forgotten man” of Mississippi and across the South — the farmer, the common worker — decided he’d had enough of “Wall Street speculators who gambled on his crop futures; the railroad owners who evaded his taxes, bought legislatures, and over-charged him with discriminate rates; the manufacturers, who taxed him with a high tariff; the trusts that fleeced him with high prices; the middleman, who stole his profit.”

      union rights are civil rights

      Union loss in Chattanooga doesn’t deter Mississippi workers

      by | 1, Add your Comment | Feb 28, 2014
      Union loss in Chattanooga doesn't deter Mississippi workers

      Chip Wells, 43, an 11-year veteran at the 5,200-worker Nissan plant in Canton, Mississippi, says the recent bad news coming out of the Volkswagen plant in Chattanooga, Tennessee, did nothing to deter him and fellow pro-union Nissan workers from their campaign to join the United Auto Workers. “People think that derailed us,” says Wells, who works in Nissan’s paint department, “but we think it made us stronger.”

      representing the ruling class

      Modern-day Southern “nullifiers”

      by | 3, Add your Comment | Nov 20, 2013
      Modern-day Southern "nullifiers"

      Way back in 1988, I sat across from Strom Thurmond in his Capitol Hill office in Washington, D.C., and listened as he explained his opposition to federal anti-lynching laws and any other federal encroachment on states’ rights during his long career.

      “I felt it was dangerous to shift it all to Washington,” the then-85-year-old U.S. senator and former Dixiecrat presidential candidate from South Carolina told me.  “Lynching was nothing but murder. All states had laws against murder. … I’ve never had any feelings against minorities.”

      Operation Dixie Revised?

      UAW vs. Nissan in Mississippi

      by | 0, Add your Comment | Aug 15, 2012
      UAW vs. Nissan in Mississippi

      Michael Carter hardly evokes the Hollywood image of a podium-pounding, fire-breathing labor agitator. With his dark blue “New York” cap, light blue knit shirt, slight build and soft-spoken voice, he looks like what he is: a 38-year-old working man, husband and father of two.

      He’s talking with me in the United Auto Workers’ newly opened office just off Nissan Parkway and within view of the 3.5 million square-foot Nissan plant. On the wall behind him is a framed, black-and-white photograph of Martin Luther King Jr. Prominent among the crowd of men close to King is Walter Reuther, the legendary labor leader who helped found the modern-day UAW…

      Political Zombies

      Privatizing America for Kings David and Charles Koch

      by | 1, Add your Comment | Feb 18, 2012
      Charles and David Koch leading ALEC with more than 2,000 legislative zombies in all 50 states

      OXFORD, Miss. – I’m having this nightmare, a kind of weird, modern-day version of the movie I Walked With A Zombie.

      Armies of well-dressed, fresh-faced Republican legislators, many of them newly elected, march dutifully off to some remote island, where twin voodoo kings put them all under a dark spell. As they prepare to leave, their eyes bulging with voodoo magic, they swear to do the kings’ bidding throughout the unsuspecting world.

      As I open my eyes, I realize to my horror that it’s true! It’s not a nightmare. It’s really happening!

      Light on the South

      Dimming the lights: The Republican Takeover in Mississippi

      by | 15, Add your Comment | Nov 28, 2011
      Dimming the lights: The Republican Takeover in Mississippi

      OXFORD, Miss. – It was late at night, and my relatives were tired after their seven-hour journey from Pensacola, Fla. Within minutes came the inevitable comment.

      “It sure is dark in Mississippi,” one of them said, repeating an observation I’ve heard many times. “Between Jackson and Oxford is the wilderness.”

      Just wait until your next visit up here, I told them. “It’s about to get a lot darker in Mississippi.”

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