Standard launches its first annual fundraising
For 168 years, the town of Woodstock and its surrounding communities have relied on the Vermont Standard to report local news.
The newspaper’s mission each week has been to keep residents informed of the latest events; let readers know what’s going on; give them something to talk about; tell them when somebody is born or when somebody dies, and everything in between. We tell you who won, who lost; if there is reason to celebrate or cry; whether to be skeptical or to go all out; whether to be optimistic or cautious. Good or bad news, Standard audiences just want to know, “What’s up here, what’s the latest?” “
No other media covers this particular slice of Vermont. Sure, regional news providers, such as TV stations, online sites, or other city dailies, tackle our region and report some of the biggest stories that are happening, but our communities are not theirs. main objective or their main concern. At Standard, however, our own communities are our only concern.
And the “little” stories are often just as important as the “big” ones to those who inhabit this place. As we do.
We believe our mission is noble. We pride ourselves on being responsible for keeping our communities informed and connected. We educate residents on local topics that may interest, touch, entertain or inspire them. Independently owned, we work on behalf of the individuals, businesses and organizations of this area.
And readers eagerly await the newspaper every week. Whether printed or digital, they read it, they trust it, and discuss with their family and friends the information they find there.
It was like that so many years ago when Standard started and throughout all these decades since. This is how it is still today.
Since 1853, the communities we serve have needed us. Right now, we need them.
Today, Standard is launching its first Annual call.
Like almost every other local news outlet across the country, the advertising revenue that fed the Standard has dwindled to the point that it is no longer sufficient to fund the newspaper’s operations. The effect of the pandemic on the economy has only made matters worse. Now we have to find other sources to fill the void and generate enough funds to pay our expenses. So we turn to you, our audience and all those who want to ensure that the Great Woodstock continues to have meaningful community journalism.
We turn to those of you who believe that the role Standard plays in our community makes it a better place to live, work, visit, or do business.
Despite our difficult financial woes, Standard has so far resisted the pitfalls that have accelerated the descent of other newspapers into a slow and painful death spiral. It is now common practice in the newspaper industry to cut staff and news content to the bone in order to minimize expenses. But current practice does not always make sense, as these cost-cutting strategies leave the community only the shadow of an article hardly worth reading or supporting; alive but not well. This is not the kind of paper Standard wants to be, nor would that kind of paper be able to serve our audience adequately.
And we haven’t implemented dramatic increases in our coverage and subscription prices either, as so many newspapers have. While this approach helps raise short-term funds, it also limits access to news for readers who cannot afford it, causing circulation drops that ultimately make the newspaper less able to do its job: effectively disseminate news, information and advertising throughout the community.
Instead, we ask that you give a special gift to our annual appeal. Much like a church, university, or other crucial community entity, we reach out to those who appreciate what we do to ask if you are considering helping us close the gap between what we collect as fees from our customers. advertisers and readers and the expense of producing a strong local news story each week.
You can be assured that we are fairly careful in our spending; we are running a frugal, no-frills operation. And we are pursuing strategic initiatives that evolve the news and marketing services we provide to meet the changing needs of our clients, which we believe will generate new revenue to help fund our journalism for the long term.
We’re just trying to break even; to simply afford what it costs to produce local journalism. Any money we receive beyond this limited target would be used to create an endowment to help fund the standard going forward.
So, over the next few weeks, we’ll use this space to encourage you to think about what the standard and local journalism mean to our community – the value we bring to life here. If you can, please send us a check at PO Box 88, Woodstock, VT 05091 or, on our Vermont Standard website THIS WEEK, see the Vermont Standard Annual Donation Form to make a contribution with your credit card.
The Standard is not a 501 (c) (3) non-profit, so your donation cannot be deducted from your taxes, but your donation will help ensure that The Standard will be there to serve our community for a long time to come.
Starting next spring, we plan to make this annual call a celebration of local journalism in our community, with events you can attend each year (p. Etc.)
Consider joining 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 many years to come.
Thank you for your kind consideration and for giving the staff at Vermont Standard the privilege of serving you. We consider this an honor.