Wednesday, February 25, 2009

Fed up, Vt. journalist creates his own news outlet

As the newspaper industry around him continued to slip, journalist and Vermonter Jon Margolis, left, took matters into his own hands with a few hundred dollars and a web domain, creating Vermont News Guy.

Since its launch on Dec. 5, Margolis' site has garnered the attention of 56 subscribers (and growing), as well as the Committee of Concerned Journalists. Margolis, a former chief political reporter for the Chicago Tribune and author of The Last Innocent Year: America in 1964, writes on the CCJ Web site that Vermont News Guy is "a news site, not an opinion-mongering blog." Topics are chosen by proximity and relevance to the rural area where he lives, ranging from stories on stimulus package handouts to education reform and "The Carcass Conundrum" about hunting and fishing standards.

"Old-fashioned journalism need not be dull," Margolis wrote in his first blog post. "It need not mean writing wire-service style pyramid leads or abstaining from judgment, which is not the same as opinion." The future of the site depends on its usefulness to Vermonters, but until that becomes clear, Margolis isn't going anywhere. "You know what I’m doing five days a week? I’ll tell you. In my little home office here on the phone or Internet or in the Capitol in Montpelier schmoozing with legislators, I’m covering and writing the news." Read more.

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