Standard starts its first annual fundraiser
For 168 years, the city of Woodstock and its surrounding communities have relied on the Vermont Standard to cover the local news.
The newspaper’s mission each week was to keep residents informed of the latest happenings; let readers know what is going on; give them something to talk about; tell them when someone is born or when someone dies and everything in between. We tell you who won, who lost; whether there is reason to celebrate or to mourn; whether there is reason for skepticism or reason for all-in; whether optimistic or cautious. Good news or bad news, the standard’s audience just wants to know: “What’s new here, what’s the latest?”
No other news media are covering this particular piece of Vermont. Sure, regional news providers like TV stations, online sites, or daily newspapers from other cities touch our area and cover some of the bigger stories, but our communities are not their primary focus or concern. However, with the Standard, our only concern is our own communities.
And the “little” stories are often just as important to those who call this place home as the “big ones”. Like us.
We think our mission is a noble mission. We pride ourselves on being trusted to keep our communities updated and connected. We inform residents about local issues that might interest, touch, entertain or inspire them. As an independent company, we work on behalf of the people, companies and organizations of these Area.
And readers look forward to the newspaper every week. Whether printed or digital, they read it, trust it, and chat with family and friends about the information it contains.
It was so many years ago when the standard began and all the decades after that. It has remained that way to this day.
The churches we serve have needed us since 1853. Right now we need them.
Today the standard brings its first Annual roll call.
As with almost all other local news outlets across the country, the advertising revenues that backed the standard have declined so much that they are no longer enough to fund the newspaper’s operations. The economic impact of the pandemic only made things worse. Now we need to find other sources to fill the void and generate enough funds to pay our expenses. We appeal to you, our audience, and anyone who wants to ensure that Greater Woodstock continues to practice meaningful community journalism.
We appeal to those of you who believe that the role standards play in our community makes it a better place to live, work, visit or do business.
Despite our difficult financial hardships, the Standard has so far withstood the pitfalls that have hastened other newspapers’ descent into a slow, painful spiral of death. It is now common practice in the newspaper industry to cut staff and news content to the bone in order to minimize costs. But current practice does not always result in common sense, as these rigorous cost-cutting strategies only cast the shadow of a paper on the community that is barely read or supportive; alive but not healthy. This is not the type of paper the standard wants to be, nor might that type of paper be able to adequately serve our audiences.
And we haven’t increased our cover and subscription prices dramatically, as so many newspapers have done. While this approach makes money in the short term, it also restricts access to the news for readers who can’t afford it, leading to declines in circulation that ultimately make the newspaper less able to do its job: news, information effectively to spread and advertise throughout the community.
Instead, we ask you to make a special gift for our annual roll call. Much like a church, university, or other important community institution, we reach out our hand to those who value our work and ask if they are considering helping us bridge the gap between the fees we receive from our advertisers and Readers, and to close the fees we collect. the cost of producing a solid local news report each week.
You can be sure that we are reasonably prudent with our expenses; we run an economical, no-frills business. And we are pursuing strategic initiatives to further develop the news and marketing services we offer to meet the changing needs of our customers who we believe will generate new revenue to fund our journalism in the long term.
We just strive to be balanced; simply afford what it costs to produce local journalism. Any money we get beyond this limited goal would be used to set up a foundation to help fund the standard in the future.
So over the next few weeks we will be using this space to encourage you to reflect on what the standard and local journalism mean to our community – the value we bring to life here. If you are able, please mail us a check at PO Box 88, Woodstock, VT 05091, or visit our Vermont Standard website THIS WEEK to view the Vermont Standard Annual Donation Form to use your credit card to make a contribution Afford.
The Standard is not a 501 (c) (3) charitable organization, so your gift may not be deductible from your taxes, but your gift will help ensure that the Standard will serve our community for a long time to come.
Starting next spring, we plan to make this annual appeal a celebration of local journalism in our community, with events you can attend every year (e.g. a celebratory community-wide barbecue, special guest speakers, competitions, raffles, etc.) .)
Please remember to join your neighbors who have already contributed. If we all participate, together we can ensure that Woodstock and our surrounding communities will enjoy the benefits of local journalism for years to come.
Thank you for your kind consideration and for giving the Vermont Standard staff the privilege to serve you. We consider it an honor.