How Anne Galloway built VTDigger into Vermont’s largest news organization

Anne Galloway speaks at VTDigger’s 10th anniversary celebration in 2019. Photo by Glenn Russell, courtesy of VTDigger.

On this week’s “What Works” podcast, Ellen Clegg and I talk with Anne Galloway, the founder and editor-at-large of VTDigger in Vermont. Like many journalists, she was laid off in 2009 from her job as Sunday editor of the Rutland Herald and The Barre-Montpelier Times Argus.

VTDigger, which is a nonprofit, started with a $16,000 budget with no employees. As Galloway put it in a recent letter to readers, it has grown beyond her wildest dreams. It’s the largest newsroom in Vermont, with dozens of employees and more than 550,000 monthly readers. Galloway not only built the organization, she also wrote notable investigative pieces. Among other issues, she broke open a fraudulent scheme that involve developers at Jay Peak. I visited Galloway and wrote about the newsroom in my 2018 book “The Return of the Moguls.”

Earlier this year Galloway stepped aside from her management position in order to concentrate on investigative reporting.

Ellen has a quick take on a study about the state of U.S. democracy from the Carnegie Endowment for International Peace. The study says it’s critical to fight disinformation, and advocates rebuilding trusted local news sources.

I report on a promising merger between public radio station KERA and the Denton Record-Chronicle, a daily newspaper that covers the suburbs north of Dallas. This move was facilitated by the National Trust for Local News, which raises money and connects legacy newspaper owners with possible buyers in order to keep them from either shutting down or falling into the hands of corporate chain owners. Our podcast with Elizabeth Hansen Shapiro, CEO and co-founder of the trust, can be found here.

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