Op/Ed

Letter to the editor: Reader suggests changes in paper’s election coverage

Having moved to Vermont from New York City a year ago, one of my favorite changes (from a long list) has been the more personal connection to my local community provided by the Addison County Independent and local government. I feel that my representatives in Montpelier, and the devoted citizens running my town both have a much better and more personal understanding of local needs than when I lived in New York. This feeling comes to me via the Front Porch Forum, the Saturday meetings at the library, town emails, and especially the Independent.
The recent articles examining each of the local candidates for the upcoming elections have been particularly useful in making me feel like I’ll be able to make much more informed choices when I vote.
Given the importance of citizen engagement, especially these days, I strongly encourage the Independent to group this series of articles, as well as other pieces that are of prime importance in informing voters, under a single, easily found heading or tag such as “local elections” pinned at the top of the webpage and Facebook page. I tried using the search function with several likely search terms, “election,” “representative,” etc. to find them myself, but had no luck. I finally found the piece on Molly Gray’s run, but the tags at the bottom were merely her name, the byline, and “lieutenant governor,” none of which will lead me to the other similar pieces.
Further, and perhaps more important, make this series available for free to all readers, and not locked behind the paywall. I realize journalism isn’t free, that’s why I’m happy to subscribe, but I think it’s far more vital that this information be made freely available than nearly any of the other pieces that are routinely posted for free. Thank you for your consideration.
Kris Diehl
Middlebury
 
Editor’s note: The writer makes some good points. In an effort to make it easier for readers on our website to find stories, letters and editorials about candidates, we will add the tag “ELECTIONS” at the bottom of each of these stories. You will notice that at the bottom of every story there is at least one tag, and when you click on it you go to a page with all the stories with that tag on it. This should make it easier to find items about local elections.
Second, we have made a plan to pull together all the candidate profiles and stories together under a single header on our website. This will take a few days, but it is in the works.
Third, we would love to make everything free on our website, but as many news organizations larger than ours have shown, creating content and then giving it away is not a sustainable business model. Nevertheless, we do take seriously our role to inform the public on public matters, including elections. Therefore, we will make the candidate profiles and related stories free on our website for the three weeks before the election.
Plus, we hope to go into greater depth with candidates as the general election approaches. Thanks for reading and subscribing to the Independent.

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