A small town in Vermont will soon be served by three local news sources

Charlotte, Vermont. Photo (cc) 2014 by Rene Rivers.

Charlotte, Vermont, is an affluent community of 3,700 people about 13 miles south of Burlington that will soon be covered by three local news organizations.

Yes, you read that correctly. Last month, VTDigger reported on turmoil at the town’s nonprofit newspaper, The Charlotte News. The editor, Chea Waters Evans, resigned because of what she regarded as unethical interference by the publisher and the board.

Now Evans will serve as the editor of a startup nonprofit news project, The Vermont Bridge, whose journalism will be distributed via a free Substack newsletter. Evans tells VTDigger’s James Finn, though, that her intent is not to compete with her former employer:

Our main goal is transparency. And not in a way where we want to compete with The Charlotte News. Their focus is having community contributors, while I just want to focus on hard news. They can continue doing what they’ve done well for decades.

Among the Bridge’s board members are VTDigger founder and editor-in-chief Anne Galloway and several high-profile journalists who had quit the News’ board in support of Evans.

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And about that third news source? There’s also The Citizen, a for-profit newspaper that’s part of a Vermont-based chain and that covers Charlotte and neighboring Hinesburg.

It is fair to say that Charlotte is not a news desert.

Earlier:

A Vermont newspaper dispute raises questions over nonprofit ethics

Meeting house in Charlotte, Vermont. Photo (cc) 2018 by Nicholas Erwin.

The Vermont nonprofit VTDigger has a fascinating story about another nonprofit, The Charlotte News. Although it’s not entirely clear what happened, James Finn reports that the editor departed after the publisher and the volunteer board apparently tried to interfere with her coverage.

There are some big names involved in the controversy, including high-profile journalists who quit the board in support of the former editor, Chea Waters Evans. There’s also a discussion about new ethical dilemmas that have arisen as more and more community journalism is being provided by nonprofits. Poynter’s ubiquitous Kelly McBride weighs in.

All worthwhile topics, of course. But I have to wonder if these people ever worked for a small paper. A publisher who meddles in coverage? Pass the smelling salts! Anyone who’s ever had a story killed so as not to offend an advertiser (and yes, I have) will probably roll their eyes over this.

Still, it sounds like a good, dedicated editor-reporter was pushed into resigning when she should have been given a raise. I hope this is resolved so she can come back.