We at The Valley Reporter are incredibly disappointed and concerned that our neighbors in Waterbury are losing their free weekly newspaper, the Waterbury Reader.


That paper has been mailed to mailboxes and post office boxes in Waterbury and parts of Bolton, Duxbury and Moretown since November 2020. Lisa Scagliotti, editor and publisher of the Waterbury Roundabout, an online news platform, has provided content for the print paper. She informed her readers last week that the print paper would cease publication later this month.

The Waterbury Reader was printed and distributed by the Times Argus. Times Argus editor Steve Pappas voiced regret over the decision, noting “This has been such an amazing partnership and it provided us with great opportunities to keep our product in this important Vermont community. But without ongoing advertising support, it is impossible to cover our production, printing, trucking and postage.”

Scagliotti made clear, in her message to readers, that the Waterbury Roundabout will continue its excellent coverage of the community -- for now. The Waterbury Roundabout is an independent nonprofit and Scagliotti and photographer Gordon Miller will continue their work along with their digital editor Julia Bailey-Wells and other community volunteers – for now.

“But all of that still relies on a significant number of volunteer hours. And without revenue from the print edition, that becomes even more tenuous,” Scagliotti wrote in her message to readers last week.

She is exploring other options for raising revenue but the future really depends on the residents and businesses in Waterbury. Six weeks ago, the Waterbury Reader and Roundabout reached out to the community with a message titled, “We’re invested. Are you?” That message expressed the desire to keep news coverage free of charge and noted that that would not be possible without investment from community and support from readers and local businesses.

Waterbury has been incredibly well served by the Waterbury Roundabout and Waterbury Reader. Do residents and businesses understand how important community journalism is in keeping people informed, in providing context to understand the actions of local officials, in shining the light of public scrutiny where it needs to be shown?

How does a community communicate without curated and accurate information? Social media platforms and community messaging boards only go so far and there’s very little if any accountability.

We are huge supporters of the Waterbury Roundabout and we want to see this great work continue.