MANKATO (WJON News) -- A new report focuses on the decline of local hometown newspapers.

The Center for Rural Policy and Development based in Mankato put together the report called "The Disappearing Rural Newspaper".

They say every county in our state still has at least one newspaper, but between 2000 and 2022 Minnesota lost around 120 newspapers, either to a merger with another paper or by closing altogether.

Around 60 percent of the papers that no longer exist were smaller weekly Greater Minnesota newspapers that covered 'hyperlocal' news like city council and school board meetings and community events.

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The report says, according to the Minnesota Department of Employment and Economic Development, since 2000 the number of newspaper establishments that were print-first and not online news outlets in the state fell from 344 to 254, a 26 percent drop. The number of employees working at newspapers fell from 9,499 to 2,844, a 70 percent drop. The average number of employees per establishment went from 28 to 11.


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