Forum, Oct. 8: It’s the News, Not the Paper

Sunday, October 07, 2018
It’s the News, Not the Paper

I have been a Valley News subscriber for about 40 years. Your reporting is as good as ever; even better, I would argue. I am grateful for your management’s efforts to keep the newspaper alive, even as newsprint costs rise prohibitively, along with other expenses.

Here’s my request: Please remember the old lesson (not) learned by the failed railroad companies. They mistakenly believed they were in the train business when, in fact, they were in the transportation business. Choose to be in the “news” business, not the “paper” business.

True, old timers like myself love the paper we can touch and peruse. But we are a disappearing demographic. And even I, for the first time ever, have a paid subscription to The New York Times, not paper, but online. I love it. I am online a lot.

You already excel in local news reporting. Figure out how to deliver and monetize that content online. Your website has improved greatly since it launched, but there is more to be done, via social media, I suspect.

Hunker down with the founders and developers of newspapers that are positioned well for the inevitable transition. (I’m thinking particularly of Burlington’s Seven Days.)

Surely this must be the No. 1 topic in your industry. I am rooting for you.

Suzanne Stofflet


Front-Page Photo Makes a Splash

The Sunday Valley News recently had a huge front-page picture by photographer August Frank. It shows a Special Olympics athlete stroking through the swimming pool at the CCBA’s Witherell Recreation Center in Lebanon (“Soaring Through Sports: Upper Valley Hawks Special Olympics Program Turns 20,” Sept. 23). An underwater photo shot. The extra mile by your photographer. Kudos. Very nice work. Thanks.

Stan Swienckowski


A Plethora of Prepositions

I read the Concord Monitor story that the state of New Hampshire had “signed off on” a deal to transfer the lease of Mount Sunapee Resort (“Council, Sununu to Finalize Sunapee Deal,” Sept. 27).

Wouldn’t “approved” have done?

However, if the Valley News style manual says the more prepositions the better, perhaps you could write “signed off on under,” since a signature usually is at the bottom of a document.

And if the signature isn’t on the last page, you could write “signed off on under between.”

Richard Andrews

Springfield, Vt.

The Enemy Is Us

In a field in Shanksville, Pa., on Sept. 11, 2001, there was a large and empty hole in the ground. There was no evidence of a plane crash. We’re to believe that it all just disintegrated into the earth. If it weren’t so tragic, it would be hilarious. After so many years of lies and deceptions, America is a tormented place; a broken, divided and fighting place; tearing itself apart. What else can be expected from a country like this? We’ve brought it on ourselves. We are our own worst enemy.

Neil Meliment


Support for Carl Demrow

I am writing to express my support for Carl Demrow for a state representative in Orange District 1 (Corinth, Vershire, Orange, Washington, Chelsea and Williamstown). I have known Demrow personally and professionally for many years and believe the integrity and thoughtfulness he possesses makes him a highly qualified candidate for our district.

He is a listener first and a speaker second. He is clear on his positions but not bunkered into dogmatic thinking that won’t allow discussion and understanding. He is focused on economic and environmental justice and education, issues that affect the quality of all our lives. A good quality of life includes economic security but not at the expense of our health and well-being. Demrow understands that these issues, often portrayed as conflicting, can be paired creating economic prosperity and a more resilient and healthy Orange County.

Please vote for Carl Demrow and bring a quality person to the Statehouse.

Phillip Mulligan


Townsend for Senate

I’m writing to inform your readers about the candidacy of Wayne Townsend, of Bethel, for senator to represent Windsor County.

Townsend is a farmer, a logger and multigenerational Vermonter. The life experience he has accumulated, coupled with his drive, common sense and honest sense of humor, make him uniquely qualified to hold office. Townsend has a deep reverence and respect for the traditional Vermont values that so many of us hold dear.

If elected he will go to Montpelier ready to work tirelessly so that all Vermonters will have the educational and economic opportunities that encourage future generations to stay here and enjoy successful lives without having to leave. I encourage your readers to visit his Facebook page: Wayne Townsend for Vermont State Senate.

Ken Colby