Quantcast

NEK publisher and founder of local newspaper honored - WCAX.COM Local Vermont News, Weather and Sports-

NEK publisher and founder of local newspaper honored

Posted: Updated:
BARTON, Vt. -

It's a big honor for a Vermont publisher and a big birthday for his newspaper.

Tucked in the basement corner of a tiny Barton building, Chris Braithwaite, the publisher and founder of the Chronicle, cranked out story, after story, after story.

"The interesting thing about community journalism is that the stories are there," said Braithwaite. "If you are going to do anything for 40 years, you ought to do it well or as well as you can."

The Chronicle is a weekly newspaper covering the Northeast Kingdom. The paper just marked its 40th anniversary.

"We were referred to commonly as that hippie newspaper for a long time," said Braithwaite.

Braithwaite moved to the Northeast Kingdom from Canada to grow organic carrots. He left a big journalism job at the Toronto Globe.

"So after four years here, I knew all the things I couldn't do well, like grow carrots," said Braithwaite.

His roots are in storytelling and he'd fallen in love with the Kingdom. So, he and his then-wife started the Chronicle in 1974. He didn't have high hopes.

"And I said for heaven's sakes, I'll never last 10 years at this," said Braithwaite.

But the community demanded more.

"They were curious," said Braithwaite.

That so called hippie newspaper became the area's paper of record. It had in-depth reports on everything Orleans County. It was a success.

"I don't think it was any one story," said Braithwaite.

A few stories stand out, like the Island Pond raid. An army of state police and social workers took 112 kids into custody. The state feared the children were being badly beaten by their parents as part of their church's strict disciplinary policy.

"It was an interesting story, because I broke the rules of journalism," said Braithwaite.

Braithwaite provided the state with information gathered by the Chronicle. He worried for the children's safety.

But that was not Braithwaite's only brush with controversy. In 2011, he reported on an anti-wind power protest in Lowell. Six demonstrators got arrested for trespassing. Braithwaite did, too.

"Which was a novel experience. Not one I would particularly recommend," said Braithwaite.

Charges were eventually dropped against him and Green Mountain Power paid his legal fees.

There were fun stories, too. Like when the Chronicle took aim at the Boston Globe for a negative article about the Northeast Kingdom.

"It really irritated people. So we conspired to do a piece on Boston," said Braithwaite.

The mock piece included a Boston prostitute, robber, homeless woman and the pimp (Channel 3's Darren Perron) getting in on the fun as a rookie journalist at the Chronicle.

"It was a lot of fun. We didn't get mad. We got even. We got even. Absolutely," said Braithwaite.

Braithwaite's colorful career in journalism and dedication to his craft just earned him big honors.

"I was totally surprised," said Braithwaite.

He was inducted into the New England Newspaper and Press Association Hall of Fame and now at 70, he's retiring. But don't expect this longtime reporter to go quietly.

"I don't quite know what my next project will be at this point," said Braithwaite

At the same time Braithwaite learned about the Hall of Fame, he also learned he had colon cancer. Surgery went well. He's recovering and the prognosis is good. But giving up his position at the paper will enable him to focus on his health and family.

As for the paper, Braithwaite says he's leaving it in the capable hands of staff.

  • Local NewsMore>>

  • Child car seats in the spotlight

    Child car seats in the spotlight

    Monday, September 15 2014 6:59 PM EDT2014-09-15 22:59:59 GMT
    Car crashes are the number one cause of death for children in the United States, which is why making sure children are buckled up correctly is so important -- unfortunately most are not.
    Car crashes are the number one cause of death for children in the United States, which is why making sure children are buckled up correctly is so important -- unfortunately most are not.
  • Franklin County residents focus on lake pollution

    Franklin County residents focus on lake pollution

    Monday, September 15 2014 6:48 PM EDT2014-09-15 22:48:35 GMT
    A proposal to save Lake Champlain's water quality was dead on arrival last February in the state legislature, but residents in Franklin County are renewing their push for legislation to improve the water.
    A proposal to save Lake Champlain's water quality was dead on arrival last February in the state legislature, but residents in Franklin County are renewing their push for legislation to improve the water.
  • Emily Peyton and Dan Feliciano add voices to the debate

    Emily Peyton and Dan Feliciano add voices to the debate

    Monday, September 15 2014 5:29 PM EDT2014-09-15 21:29:49 GMT

    Two other gubernatorial candidates shared the gazebo with Scott Milne and Gov. Peter Shumlin for Saturday's debate.

    Two other gubernatorial candidates shared the gazebo with Scott Milne and Gov. Peter Shumlin for Saturday's debate.

  • FAHC: The wrong bill is in the mail

    FAHC: The wrong bill is in the mail

    Monday, September 15 2014 4:51 PM EDT2014-09-15 20:51:03 GMT
    The medical center confirms that 3,800 people with last names that start with the letters L through Q, errantly received old bills Monday.
    The medical center confirms that 3,800 people with last names that start with the letters L through Q, errantly received old bills Monday.
  • Sterling College launches $2M fundraising challenge

    Sterling College launches $2M fundraising challenge

    A tiny Vermont college that focuses on environmental stewardship is launching a $2 million fundraising challenge.
    A tiny Vermont college that focuses on environmental stewardship is launching a $2 million fundraising challenge.
  • Dump truck rolls over in Berkshire

    Dump truck rolls over in Berkshire

    Monday, September 15 2014 6:06 PM EDT2014-09-15 22:06:37 GMT
    There was a mess in Berkshire Monday when a dump truck rolled over.
    There was a mess in Berkshire Monday when a dump truck rolled over.
  • 25 fastest growing Vermont businesses honored in South Burlington

    25 fastest growing Vermont businesses honored in South Burlington

    Monday, September 15 2014 11:35 PM EDT2014-09-16 03:35:13 GMT
    From world renowned cheese and maple syrup to companies that run entirely on renewable resources Vermont businesses of all kinds continue to flourish. And there are 25 in particular that are amongst the fastest growing businesses in the state.
    From world renowned cheese and maple syrup to companies that run entirely on renewable resources Vermont businesses of all kinds continue to flourish. And there are 25 in particular that are amongst the fastest growing businesses in the state.
  • Fall hearing could determine fate of Vt. GMO labeling law

    Fall hearing could determine fate of Vt. GMO labeling law

    Monday, September 15 2014 6:51 PM EDT2014-09-15 22:51:09 GMT
    A fall hearing could provide the first clue to the fate of the state's recently-passed GMO labeling law. A group of food producers is suing Vermont over the mandated labeling of some products made with genetically engineered crops by 2016. The legal process is expected to take years, but experts say the first ruling could mirror the final ruling.
    A fall hearing could provide the first clue to the fate of the state's recently-passed GMO labeling law. A group of food producers is suing Vermont over the mandated labeling of some products made with genetically engineered crops by 2016. The legal process is expected to take years, but experts say the first ruling could mirror the final ruling.
Powered by WorldNow
All content © Copyright 2000 - 2014 WorldNow and WCAX. All Rights Reserved. For more information on this site, please read our Privacy Policy and Terms of Service.