Covered railroad bridge in Hardwick, Vt. Photo (cc) 2010 by John Rife.

The Hardwick Gazette, a weekly paper that serves several communities in Vermont’s Northeast Kingdom, is selling its building, going nonprofit and getting rid of its print edition. Volunteer citizen journalists are being recruited as well. Owner and editor Ray Small tells Mary Engisch of Vermont Public Radio:

I think that the key to the survival of the Gazette is it’s not necessarily a new approach — but it’s a new approach for the Gazette and it’s something that we tested several years ago — having the communities in essence cover themselves, partially because of local demand, partially because of looking forward to this day, which has now arrived.

I’m skeptical of the volunteer model, not because it can’t work — it can — but because it can take a long time to build up. But good for Small for coming up with new ideas to keep the Gazette going rather than just walking away.