Tuesday, July 24, 2018

Town rallies to help weekly's staff get the paper out after fire

Publisher Phillip Camp thanks Production Manager Lisa Wright.
(Photo by Erin Clark, The Boston Globe)
"In the smoky chaos of the fire that devastated the offices of the Vermont Standard on Monday [July 16], two things quickly became apparent: This historic town would rally around its newspaper, and the paper would go to press this week, as it had each week for 165 years," reports Amelia Nierenberg of The Boston Globe. "As firefighters fought the blaze, editors asked them if they could save just two computers — the main server and the graphics computer. They could make do with just those. They got all 12. Residents started a relay . . . handing them down the line to a safe location."

The Woodstock library gave the staff of the weekly (Vermont's oldest), the workspace to put together last week's edition, which was published on Friday instead of the usual Wednesday. "At a time when many newspapers are struggling to survive, Woodstock’s support of the Standard was a reminder that community papers in some areas remain viable," Clark writes. "The Standard distributes over 5,000 copies every week, and says that over half of all households in the surrounding area subscribe."

The fire, which started in an adjoining building, is under investigation. Publisher Phillip Camp told Nierenberg that to his knowledge, the paper missed its deadline only once before, in 2011, when the remnants of Hurricane Irene put six feet of water into its building. "Such a desire to soldier on, come what may, resonates in the picturesque town in the middle of Vermont, with its classic village green, gracious inns, and covered bridges," Nierenberg writes, quoting Mary Reilly, who worked at Woodstock Town Hall for more than 20 years: “You can count on Phil Camp to get that paper out. You can count on the Vermont Standard.”

No comments: