Monday, February 8th, 2010 by

In a recent article that ran in the Samson Independent in Clinton, N. C., Julie Williams, author of the newly released Wings of Opportunity: The Wright Brothers in Montgomery, Alabama, 1910 remembers her tenure there as a very young journalist, when she honed her reporting skills and learned to appreciate the importance of home-town journalism.

The love of journalism that developed during her time at the Independent inspired Williams to pursue a Ph.D in the subject and later to draft a paper on local journalists’ coverage of a flight school established by the Wright brothers in Montgomery, Alabama. This project developed into a full-fleged book, the just-published Wings of Opportunity, appealing to students of both the history of flight and the history of journalism and public relations.

Dr. Williams shared her enthusiasm for small-town newspaper with the Independent, stressing that she “is also quite optimistic about the role that small town newspapers have in the lives of its residents. ‘I tell people all the time. Who else is going to cover a small town?,’ Williams remarked, adding that the newspaper is truly ‘the first place to make a difference’ in people’s lives.”

Wings of Opportunity is available from NewSouth Books,, or your favorite retail or online bookseller.