By Dan Cotter, publisher
If ever there was an industry in which people are the product, it’s got to be newspapers.
Think about it. Each edition of a newspaper is essentially a compilation of the best efforts of a bunch of different people, all with complementary roles and responsibilities, who invested their time, talent, and creativity to produce their piece of a report that briefs you on the latest news in the community. Especially at a small paper like the Standard, there’s very little redundancy – everyone has a distinct job to do and they are counted upon to perform it to the best of their ability, under the pressure of deadlines, for a quality finished product to come together.
A community newspaper is sometimes referred to as “the weekly miracle,” because each week papers like the Standard start out with a blank page, and by deadline there’s a completely hand-crafted, finished local news report in your hands or available on your screen. It’s unique each week; full of content that is fresh and different from any of the earlier editions of the paper in its 168-year history.
Nearly all of the content in the Standard is reported, written and photographed from scratch by our own journalists and contributors.
Unlike most other media, we don’t simply pass along AP news stories or syndicated articles. We are the only news organization that is dedicated to serving our communities with original reporting about news that either happens here or directly affects the people who live here.
So, when you make a contribution to our 2021 Annual Appeal, you’re actually supporting the day-to-day efforts of a sizeable group of deeply committed individuals who collaborate every week to produce the Standard. Nearly 40 people, both paid and volunteers, play a role in keeping you informed about the news that affects you most – local news.
The people who produce the Standard are your neighbors. When you support the paper, you’re supporting them.
Week in and week out, our small in-house editorial team plans our stories and stays on top of local news events to cover. We also rely upon our stable of freelance reporters and photographers who carry out assignments beyond what the staff can handle. Plus, we have a small cadre of regular contributing columnists and feature writers who provide their expertise, insight, and perspective — sometimes adding in their sense of humor — to engage our audience and hopefully give them something interesting to think about.
Beyond that, we have about a dozen town columnists who are our eyes and ears in their designated outposts. They dig up and report hyper-local news and happenings in their own community.
And those are just the people on the front lines that you’d recognize from their bylines.
We also have a small group of people who do the critical behind-the-scenes work that makes the miracle happen. They design our pages and ads, manage our award-winning Vermont Standard THIS WEEK website and our digital products and services, provide customer service to our advertisers, subscribers and single copy dealers, truck our paper to post offices and retail outlets, and perform our billing, bookkeeping, and HR functions. An outsourced press crew also contributes by printing our paper.
And, of course, we have Phil Camp, the president and face of the Vermont Standard. He’s 85 years young, all spent living in the Woodstock area. No one takes more pride in this community and its people. No one is more welcoming to visitors. No one wants the Standard to be strong more than Phil, to position itself for the future and to live on forever to serve his cherished town and neighbors.
This is certainly a labor-intensive labor of love! But in order to keep producing local journalism for the communities we serve we need funds to pay for the costs involved. Revenue from our advertising sales used to cover this, but the marketplace has experienced fundamental shifts that directly impact us, and the way many businesses promote themselves has changed. So now we need to turn to you our readers for help.
If you’re able, please help us overcome our revenue deficit. We’ll do our best to ensure that Woodstock and our surrounding communities continue to enjoy the benefits of quality local journalism. The Standard isn’t a 501(c)(3) nonprofit organization, so you won’t get a tax deduction, but our organization is a group of good people who are hanging in there, working hard on your behalf during this time when we must invest just as much energy and passion to fight for our own survival as we do to cover the news. You’ll be supporting our work and our fight.
Our need is urgent, so please don’t delay. Simply send us a check at PO Box 88, Woodstock, VT 05091 or go on our Vermont Standard THIS WEEK website at www.thevermontstandard.com to make an Annual Appeal contribution with your credit card. We gratefully welcome any and all contributions from individuals, families, businesses and organizations.
The people of the Standard thank you.
Thank you for considering a gift to support the Vermont Standard!
Please send your check, payable to the Vermont Standard, to PO Box 88, Woodstock, VT 05091. Be sure to write “Annual Appeal” on the memo line. If your name and address isn’t on your check, please insert a note with your contact information so that we’ll be able to thank you properly.
You can also contribute with your credit card by going online to thevermontstandard.com. There you’ll see a prominent button that will ask for your contact info and accept your contribution.
Please contact president Phil Camp or publisher Dan Cotter at firstname.lastname@example.org or (802) 457-1313 x102 if you’d like further information.
THANK YOU for supporting local journalism in our community!