Starting in 2013 and running for three consecutive years, the Vermont Standard was voted the top small weekly newspaper in New England by the New England Newspaper and Press Association.
The Vermont Standard is Windsor County’s largest and Vermont’s oldest weekly newspaper. It is the hometown newspaper of Vermont’s Representative to Congress, Peter Welch. The Standard serves the towns of Barnard, Bridgewater, Hartland, Killington, Plymouth, Pomfret, Reading, Quechee, West Windsor and Woodstock. The weekly estimated readership is 12,000, and the paper is read throughout the United States by former residents and those interested in the central Vermont region.
Founded in 1853, the Vermont Standard was originally conceived as The Vermont Temperance Standard, an anti-alcohol publication. It quickly transitioned into the paper of record for the Woodstock region, outperforming and outliving 13 other publications that existed during the latter half of the 19th century.
Throughout its more than 160 year history, the Standard has never missed publication. Not even the burning of the newspaper’s offices in 1867, a flood in 1973 – which destroyed the entire pre-press and press operations – could prevent the newspaper from arriving on the stands. And, then in August 2011, Tropical Storm Irene which totally destroyed the operation, but not the commitment to publish every week.
As the paper was originally located under the local funeral parlor, presses were regularly interrupted out of reverence for the ceremony going on above. In 1969, the newspaper relocated outside of the village in West Woodstock until the late August 2011 flood when the paper relocated to Lincoln Corners, west of Woodstock Village on US Route 4.
While many papers across the country are struggling to maintain a 25 percent advertising to news ratio, the Standard seldom has an advertising ratio percentage below 50 percent.
The Standard has a robust Special Advertising Promotion schedule, with over 40 ROP and stand-alone supplements. These separate sections include large summer and fall Home & Garden broadsheet supplement, a Spring Bridal section, a high school graduation section, and a Holiday Greetings supplement.
“We hold up a mirror to the community, so that it can see itself as it really is” has been a motto for our coverage of local issues over the years. Like politics, all things at the Standard are local. We offer coverage that the dailies either miss or deliberately avoid. We have had a strong commitment to photography and endeavor to weave several photo features into the flow of the newspaper each week. Hopefully each of these features will tell a story with pictures instead of exclusively with words.
Our commitment to community service organizations is virtually unprecedented in publishing. We actively support and interact with more than 50 non-profit organizations, offering free public service promotion through our Area Briefs and many times complimentary advertising to give these groups an extra boost.
The Vermont Standard participated in a local media forum at the Norman Williams Library, February 21, 2013.