Newspapers arrive at Stowe office

The Thursday, Nov. 18, editions of the Stowe Reporter and News & Citizen arrived to the Stowe office late morning on Monday, Nov. 22, and then were delivered to post offices and businesses. The sales team helped unload the truck to expedite delivery.

The last edition of our newspapers did not make it to newsstands or mailboxes last week on time due to a series of failures at our printer, with whom we contract to print all five weekly newspapers under the ownership of the Vermont Community Newspaper Group.

Please know that this is not due to any lack of commitment, hard work and dedication from our newsroom, production department or sales and business team, nor from any lack of contributions — letters, photos, event listings, obituaries and innumerable others — from our communities. Our papers went to press as scheduled last week, and unfortunately, what happened next is out of our hands.

We are working on getting our printing problems resolved, but this is just another example of how the pandemic has affected the supply chain, and we ask that you have patience while we get things figured out.

Our printing company is confronting an unprecedented series of events: staffing shortages, an outbreak of COVID-19 and equipment failures.

Supply chain disruptions are real things, and our print newspaper is very much a manufactured product, made week in and week out by a small but talented and dedicated crew. Everything you see in this paper was created, curated, placed and produced by someone, from every headline to every period, from every photo to every advertisement.

All our stories appear on our website, and we even briefly discussed going online-only for a couple of editions until our third-party printer issues were resolved. We decided against that for a few key reasons.

First, it’s important to remember that not everyone has adequate access to the internet, and they rely on getting their news in their mailbox or from the newsstand.

Second, we are the newspapers of record for nearly 20 communities, and local government is statutorily obligated to place legal notices in our newspapers.

Third, we are still a print-first company. Although we have a crackerjack team (of two) making sure we get every story, letter, opinion piece, photo and box score online, they do that only after they — and the rest of the newsroom, production team and sales office — have worked long hours to carefully curate everything into a handsome digest of stories, photography and graphic design.

We believe a local newspaper is meant to be read cover to cover, and we work hard every week to purposely present our readers with that, every week, 52 times a year, as we have done for decades — or, in the case of our oldest-running paper, the News & Citizen, for nearly a century and a half.

Our papers will once again go to press on time this week. Our hope is that they will arrive in your hands on time as well.

And, please know that we’re working overtime to ensure the problem is a short-term one.

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