Listen as reporters in the 2019 IowaWatch Simpson College Journalism Project take you to small-town Iowa and the struggles those towns face.
This report is the result of an IowaWatch Simpson College Journalism Project involving student journalists in Simpson’s spring 2019 journalism seminar.
Reporters for the project were:
- Randy Paulson
- Zoe Seiler
- Emily Carey
- Austin Hronich
- Taylor Bates
- Dustin Teays
The journalists worked on this story starting in January 2019 with Lyle Muller of IowaWatch and Mark Siebert, Simpson assistant professor of multimedia communication.
Small Iowa towns are seeking ways to stem population declines, while state government invests in larger cities where the population is growing. This is happening even as the state tries some new efforts to revitalize its rural areas.
Reporting this spring by an IowaWatch Simpson College Journalism Project showed cities with populations more than 50,000 people received $61.3 million in direct financial assistance through state and federal grants and loans in 2018. Several of these communities also received assistance in the form of tax benefits.
Meanwhile, rural businesses and communities with fewer than 5,000 people received a little less than $24.9 million in direct financial assistance from the state and federal government, the reporting project revealed.
Assistance was awarded to businesses and communities for economic development purposes that include job growth and expansion as well as capital rehabilitation and renovation.
Read the project’s stories: