Melissa O’Brien

I know I have mentioned this in several different ways since I arrived back here a few months ago, but I wanted to make some things clear, believing that there are readers who harbor misconceptions about the nature of the operations of The News. As has been made abundantly clear by our recent celebratory “ads,” the paper was founded 60 years ago in the basement of the Congregational Church by several enterprising teenagers and the indefatigable Nancy Wood. This newspaper is a nonprofit enterprise, relying on advertising dollars and fundraising efforts to keep the presses rolling. Almost all of the contributors—writers and photographers—do so without compensation, and the staff members receive salaries that would probably make you laugh.

In other words, we are all engaged in this endeavor because we care about this newspaper.

We are also facing a swiftly changing journalism landscape. Most business owners know that they can advertise for free using social media platforms, and though it is indeed true that Charlotte is one of Vermont’s wealthiest communities, most of that wealth remains in the pockets of folks who are choosing to use it in other ways and not in support of our community newspaper.

We face an uncertain future and we (staff and board members) are trying to figure out what to do about that.

We have been working to construct a survey to find out what our readers are reading, not reading, interested in seeing more of, less of, and think we should do to keep The Charlotte News a viable part of our community’s infrastructure. Keep an eye out for that.

In the meantime, consider participating in some way. Send photos to us, write a story, cover an event, tell us about something that’s happening that we should be aware of…be a part of this paper. Make a donation if you’ve got more than you need.

We want nothing more than to hear from you.