While the pandemic has been difficult for the news industry, traditional papers have seen revenue and staffing declines over the last decade. According to the Pew Research Center, newspaper ad revenue in 2020 was estimated at $8.8 billion, a 29% decrease from 2019 — and an 82% decrease from 2000, when it was $48 billion. Analyzing data from the Bureau of Labor Statistics, Pew calculated that newsroom staffing was 30,820 in 2020, a 56% decrease from 2004.

As money gets tighter in the news industry, there are many communities that professional journalists aren’t writing about. “There have just been places across the U.S. that have never really been seen to be viable news markets,” Nikki Usher, media professor at the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign, said in an interview with Marketplace’s Kimberly Adams. “That doesn’t…

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