"You know, sometimes just before deadline I feel like I was here from day one, 160 years," said Phil Camp, the owner and publisher of the Vermont Standard.
During that time, the Vermont Standard has never missed an edition. Camp has manned the ship for the last three decades.
"We think that little people and little things are just as important as major things and very important people," Camp said.
Make no mistake-- important people do stop in from time to time. But the majority of the paper's content comes from its readers. Its size and circulation, which is now about 4,500 printed copies a week, continues to grow.
"We know all the different spots that the Standard existed at one time or another. Downtown, uptown, now we are way uptown," said Jon Estey, the general manager.
That's because in 2011, the Standard became the story. Raging waters from Tropical Storm Irene ravaged the newsroom.
"It was one of the proudest moments of my life," Camp said.
The paper moved into temporary digs just below their new permanent headquarters and continued to print the news, just one day behind schedule.
"We were nominated for a Pulitzer for that particular edition," Camp said. "And we think that is pretty good for a little hometown weekly."
But it's their local focus that sets them apart. Spot coverage of a recent car accident involving two horses is an example. Reporters were quickly on the scene covering the news that matters to the community.
"It is a constant conveyer belt," Estey said. "The news is coming in, the advertising is coming in, we are assembling it, it moves out the door and then we start all over again."
As bigger newspapers struggle to stay alive in an increasingly online world, the Vermont Standard is thriving. Though, it too, is focusing more and more on the web, a possible glimpse into the businesses 160 years from now.
"What it looks like physically, I can't tell you what it is going to look like physically. I know it is going to be the same sort of information, I'm positive. It is going to be community based, it's going to be locally based, it's going to be original content, and it is going to be driven by local people," Estey said.
And this old news hound will more than likely be right in the mix.
"Little by little I'm letting go of that, but it is still tempting because, you know, I've lived here for 77 years and I have a feeling for what makes a community tick," Camp said.
And in doing so, setting the standard for local newspapers in Vermont.
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