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Friday, August 21, 2020

Slideshow: We've Covered a Lot of News in 25 Years

Posted By on Fri, Aug 21, 2020 at 11:28 AM

Seven Days started out as a 28‑page arts paper; for the first five years, most of the bylines belonged to its culture-writing founders, Pamela Polston and Paula Routly. Soon, though, there were 80 to 120 pages to fill each week. Adding local news to the mix seemed like the next logical step.

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Seven Days hired its first staff writer, Ken Picard, in 2002. He started churning out news features, including the first exposé of Mexican farm laborers toiling in secret on Vermont dairy farms, published in June 2003. The next year we launched the “Local Matters,” section, located between Peter Freyne’s “Inside Track” column and the paper’s extensive arts coverage and comprehensive event listings. For decades Kevin J. Kelley, one of Seven Days’ most prolific freelancers, reliably contributed news stories and art reviews.

When the Great Recession hit in 2008, the internet and websites like Craigslist had already begun to beat up daily newspapers. Vermont newsrooms contracted in response.

Seven Days
did just the opposite. Knowing that responsible, fact-based journalism is essential to a functioning democracy, its owners decided instead to expand.

Today our news team is one of the largest in Vermont, made up of experienced local journalists — including three editors in the New England Newspaper Hall of Fame — as well as a rising generation of talented reporters, writers and multimedia storytellers. In recent years, this team has investigated Vermont’s nonprofit economy, the opioid epidemic, sexual misconduct in Vermont prisons and neglect in eldercare facilities. Another frequent topic: the state of local media.

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If you appreciate Seven Days’ in-depth news coverage and can afford to help us financially, please become a Seven Days Super Reader. Your recurring donation will provide a reliable revenue stream to help fund the award-winning journalism we continue to provide during these challenging times.

For the past 25 years, our local media company has depended almost entirely on advertising revenue from local retailers and events to pay the bills. Since March, COVID-19 has severely challenged that business model.

To thrive for another 25, we need your help. Can you cover us?

Thursday, August 13, 2020

Slideshow: We've Covered a Lot of Politics in 25 Years

Posted By on Thu, Aug 13, 2020 at 7:50 PM

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Seven Days has been writing about Vermont politics — with color, verve and insight — since columnist Peter Freyne joined our team in the fall of 1995. His first “Inside Track” for the paper combined a takedown of side judge and “political spin doctor” Althea Kroger with an update on South Burlington’s efforts to shut down a strip club on Williston Road.

Freyne wrote about politics in a way that made it understandable and entertaining. He asked the questions no other reporter would. Even U.S. Sen. Bernie Sanders, with whom Freyne had a complicated relationship, found kind words for him when he died on January 7, 2009.

But the truth is: Many of Freyne's columns would not have passed muster with our current team of news editors. Over the years Seven Days' political coverage has become increasingly rigorous and thorough. Paul Heintz's first cover story was a smart, even-handed analysis of Burlington's 2012 mayoral race among Kurt Wright, Miro Weinberger and Wanda Hines; more recently, he delivered an in-depth, remarkably suspenseful look at how Gov. Phil Scott handled the first weeks of the coronavirus pandemic. In the years between, he traveled all over the country covering Sanders' historic, back-to-back presidential runs.

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If you appreciate Seven Days’ political coverage — from Peter Freyne to Paul Heintz — and can afford to help us financially, please become a Seven Days Super Reader. Your recurring donation will provide a reliable revenue stream to help fund the award-winning journalism we continue to provide during these challenging times.

For the past 25 years, our local media company has depended almost entirely on advertising revenue from local retailers and events to pay the bills. Since March, COVID-19 has severely challenged that business model.

To thrive for another 25, we need your help. Can you cover us?

Monday, August 10, 2020

Slideshow: We've Covered a Lot of Arts in 25 Years

Posted on Mon, Aug 10, 2020 at 11:33 AM

This summer, Seven Days assistant arts editor Dan Bolles was working on a cover story about Vermont banjo legend Gordon Stone in anticipation of the musician’s long-awaited anthology double album, set to be released this month. Banjo fans saw Stone as a stylistic trailblazer who ranged from bluegrass to rock and jazz to world music. Local friends and fellow musicians knew he was also a troubled soul who struggled with addiction.

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Stone had been speaking with Bolles about both aspects of his life when the musician died tragically on July 10 — and the profile became an obituary. In this week’s Seven Days, Bolles pays tribute to a complex character who “understood that his musical legacy was important. But he also knew that the pain he’d caused to others was another kind of legacy.”

The connection of creativity and humanity is on display in every corner of Vermont. From day one, Seven Days has kept readers informed about local music, movies, books, theater, dance and visual art. A vital community resource, it’s also covered Vermont news, people, presidential campaigns and, most recently, a pandemic.

For the past 25 years, our local media company has depended almost entirely on advertising revenue from local enterprises to pay the bills. Since March, COVID-19 has severely challenged that business model.

To thrive for another 25, we need your help.

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If you appreciate our work and can afford to help us financially, please become a Seven Days Super Reader. Your recurring donation will provide a reliable revenue stream to help fund our award-winning journalism.

Can you cover us?

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