This week, Vermont’s nonprofit news publication VTDigger was awarded a $900,000 grant by the American Journalism Project to support its work as a daily statewide news source. This is the largest grant ever received by VTDdigger, which recently celebrated its tenth anniversary. VTDigger has been cited by Harvard’s Shorenstein Center on Media, Politics & Public Policy and the New York Times as a national model for providing local news. Anne Galloway, the founder and editor of VTDigger, talks about the future of local journalism in the age of Facebook & Google, how she started what began as a one-woman operation to cover state politics, the Trump effect on local news coverage and what is next for VTDigger. (January 29, 2020 broadcast)
Ken Squier is an American broadcasting legend and Vermont icon. He is best known to Vermonters as the owner of WDEV Radio Vermont, the 90-year-old independent radio network, and to its listeners as the host of Music to Go to the Dump By. The last three years have been especially momentous for Squier. He sold Thunder Road, the Vermont car racing track that he co-founded more than a half century ago. In January 2018, he was the first journalist inducted into the NASCAR Hall of Fame, a recognition of his lifetime achievement as a broadcaster with CBS and TBS and as the founder of Motor Racing Network. Squier reflects on community media, the state of the country and his legacy. (January 8, 2020 broadcast)
Ken Squier, NASCAR Hall of Fame broadcaster and owner, WDEV Radio Vermont
Steven M. Pappas is the editor of the Rutland Herald and Barre-Montpelier Times Argus, two of Vermont’s leading daily newspapers. Born and raised in Vermont, Pappas has not taken an easy road to journalism. Raised by his grandparents, Pappas was a successful high school student in Woodstock, Vt, but he hid a dark secret: he was homeless. Pappas recounts his odyssey through homelessness, being discovered by the school superintendent, and ultimately attending a journalism program at the University of Maine. He also discusses the attacks on journalists during the Trump era and his concerns for the safety of his staff, and the future of print journalism in Vermont. (January 2, 2019 broadcast)
Steve Pappas, editor, Rutland Herald and Barre-Montpelier Times Argus
Mike Donoghue is a veteran reporter who’s covered just about every story big and small in the state of Vermont — and lots of sports games in between. He has just retired after nearly a half century of reporting for the Burlington Free Press.
Donoghue has been named to five halls of fame. They include being selected by the New England Press Association for its Community Journalism Hall of Fame in 2000. Three years later he was named one of three charter members selected nationwide by the Society of Professional Journalists and The National Freedom of Information Coalition for their National Hall of Fame for Local Heroes. Other honors include the Yankee Quill Award in 2007 for a lifetime commitment to outstanding journalism in New England and beyond; selected the New England Journalist of the Year for print or electronic media in 2013; and voted by Gannett employees nationwide to receive “Greater Good Award” from the company in 2013.
Earlier this year Donoghue received the Matthew Lyon Award from the the Vermont Press Association for his lifetime commitment to the First Amendment and the public’s right to know the truth in Vermont.
Donoghue reflects on the stories he’s done that have changed policy, the state of journalism today, and shares some of the highlights of a storied career.
Tom Ashbrook,host of NPR’s On Point, a 2-hour daily call in show heard on 286 radio stations around the country, talks about his journey from growing up on a farm in Illinois to covering global hotspots as a journalist for the Boston Globe and NPR. He also reflects on life and grieving after the recent death of his wife of 42 years.
Sweatshops, worker’s rights, fair trade and the Bangladesh garment factory disaster, with Barbara Briggs, assistant director of the Institute for Global Labour and Human Rights. In our second half we talk with Candace Page, recently retired after 30 years as a reporter with the Burlington Free Press, about her life in Vermont journalism.