After leaving my full-time reporting job at a Baltimore-area weekly in July 2019 to help my mom after a cancer diagnosis, I figured I could get by working as her aide and freelancing. Then the coronavirus pandemic hit, locking me out of caring for her and cutting me out of freelance work as local publications took a hit.

A monthly magazine I wrote for cut its freelance budget when its ad revenue dropped and page counts went from 100 to 50. Its sister pub, a 100-year-old Baltimore weekly, is suffering a similar fate with its freelance budget and page counts.

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