Almost all rural newspapers are delivered by mail, and deliveries have slowed lately because of postal workers' pandemic illnesses, increased package volume, and systemic financial challenges to the U.S. Postal Service. The threat of postal-rate increases of 7 to 9 percent in 2021 and 2022 for publishers, as a result of a Postal Regulatory Commission decision in 2020, is adding to local publishers' anxieties.
NNA Chair Brett Wesner, a publisher in Cordell, Okla., said in a press release that rural newspapers, like the Postal Service, are "fighting valiantly against enormous odds" to serve their communities. "There are paths to help us all and save our communities from the worst ravages of this era," Wesner said. "They all lead to Congress, which must address the need for funding universal mail service as it continues to examine financial backing for small businesses until the nation pulls out of this challenging time."