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Vermont Guardian

For The Independent Mind

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The Guardian Mission

Less than two decades ago, Vermonters could pick up a newspaper and expect solid reporting from a locally owned business with stakes in the community.

But as Vermont led the way toward social and political progress in the United States, its media outlets moved in the opposite direction, falling victim to corporate consolidation taking shape at the national level. Out-of-state conglomerates have bought many of the best dailies. In attempts to keep pace with these fierce new competitors, other Vermont papers have cut staffing and squeezed news space to make room for more advertising.

The Vermont Guardian will stand in stark contrast to this trend. Through our weekly newspaper and daily Web site, we will provide an independent perspective with a commitment to credible investigations, and provocative and informative stories that others either miss or choose to ignore.

Too often, today's media cast coverage in a political rather than a human light. Stories and subjects are tagged as "left" or "right," ignoring the subtleties and
nuances that define Vermont.

The Vermont Guardian will reinvigorate the credo that journalism speaks for the individual, checks abuses of power, and stands vigilant in the protection of democracy and free speech. By hosting regular editorial meetings throughout the state, and presenting news in a statewide context, we will give Vermonters a unifying forum from which to view and address today's issues. Knowing that Vermonters value news and perspectives from beyond their borders, the Vermont Guardian also will provide timely and provocative stories from around the country, and the world, through an independent network of writers.

Our pledge to you -- readers, advertisers, and subscribers -- is to provide socially responsible news and opinion on a human scale. With correspondents throughout the state, and offices in Winooski and Brattleboro, we will be Vermont's editorial town commons, a place where Vermonters can share ideas and forge solutions. Those outside Vermont can look to the Guardian as a showcase for "the Vermont way," that unique ability to solve problems and define politics.

Our business model is unique in its approach, in part because Vermont is a unique state. A weekly newspaper, combined with our Web site that will be updated daily -- www.vermontguardian.com - will provide you with breaking stories as they become available to us, whether that be in Vermont, in the U.S. or around the globe.

Thank you for joining us in this inaugural issue, and taking us into your homes, schools and businesses. We hope you'll keep coming back for more. And, as always, let us know what you think.

(September 2004)

The Vermont Guardian Staff