The Valley News has been selected to add two journalists — a photojournalist and a climate and environment reporter — to our newsroom through Report for America, a national service program that boosts local news by harnessing community support.

Please consider donating to this effort.

From the publisher: Report for America program is a chance to support local news

  • Dan McClory. Copyright (c) Valley News. May not be reprinted or used online without permission. Send requests to permission@vnews.com.

  • Learn more about Report for America at https://www.reportforamerica.org. Donate toward the Valley News' two RFA positions (a photojournalist and a climate reporter) at www.vnews.com/rfa. (Image courtesy RFA)

Valley News Publisher
Published: 3/12/2021 5:50:01 PM
Modified: 3/12/2021 5:49:58 PM

Later this year, the Valley News will welcome two new journalists partially funded by a program called Report for America. And in the coming weeks, we’ll be asking for your support in bringing them to our newsroom.

It’s an exciting proposition, but we’ve weathered a difficult year to get here.

On March 24, 2020, I wrote about the painful decisions that were made at the Valley News in response to the economic downturn caused by the COVID-19 pandemic. I honestly never thought a year later we would still be grappling with this horrible disease and its widespread impact.

The support of our readers and advertisers during the last year has been inspiring. Thanks to the response from our appeal for help during the downturn, and federal loans, we have been able to restore one position and stabilize our operations.

I have been reminded of some valuable lessons during the last year, some personal and some professional. It was a reminder of how important family and friends are when you can’t see them in person as much as you would like to (and I know I am fortunate compared to many).

On a professional level, it reminded me of the vital service that the Valley News provides to the Upper Valley and just how much so many of you appreciate and support our mission. It also highlighted once again how privileged I am to be surrounded by such skilled, passionate and caring co-workers.

Just before the pandemic struck, we were making plans to welcome those two new journalists — a photojournalist and a climate and environment reporter — to our newsroom through Report for America, or RFA for short. RFA is a national service program that places journalists into local newsrooms to report on under-covered issues and communities. An initiative of the nonprofit media organization The GroundTruth Project, it is structured to harness the skills and idealism of an emerging group of journalists plus the creative spirit of local news organizations. When the pandemic arrived, we delayed this initiative because of the uncertainty of the pandemic.

I am delighted that we will be adding those two positions to our staff in June. The program term is one year with an option to renew for a second year. The ultimate goal is to have these positions become part of the permanent staff after two years. In the first year, Report for America will pay one half of the salaries and benefits; we will be fundraising for the other half. The exact cost is not known yet, but our goal is to raise $50,000 to cover our costs. I am asking those who believe in local journalism and in the Valley News to visit www.vnews.com — look for the language at the top of our homepage — to learn how to support this initiative.

The other thing that is abundantly clear is the changing business landscape in the Upper Valley. As more local businesses reduce their presence or close altogether, it has a direct impact on all of us, including the Valley News. We are working on a mechanism to support local journalism growth beyond 2021.

Thank you for your continued support and please support local businesses.

Valley News publisher Dan McClory can be reached at dmcclory@vnews.com.




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