One line in the middle class story struck me: “…Brazilian friends who had created new lives for themselves in New Jersey, Florida and Italy are coming back.”
So, I ask: Why? What changed in the US and/or Brazil that prompted the desire to return to Brazil?
And: Why did they come to the States in the first place?
And: Are Brazilians unique in this? What other immigrant groups are RETURNING to their home countries?
These questions can be answered by going into the local ethnic communities. Then make a few calls to the Census Bureau, INS (or whatever it is called now), and maybe a few private social groups.
And BOOM! You have a story with international and local links all without traveling.
An added benefit to struggling news organizations is that once immigrant groups realize the local media are actually paying attention to them, maybe the members of those groups will start paying attention to those media groups.
All it takes is a reporter and editor willing to look beyond the normal story.
New readers/viewers and real news about local groups with international links. Bean counters pay heed.