By Eric Friedman
Happy 50th birthday to The Valley Reporter! It is hard to imagine that our favorite, local news source is half a century old. Congratulations on a job well done for all these years. You have been here for our community in good times and bad and for that we thank you. We are fortunate to have a newspaper that covers our local community so well and takes their journalism seriously. Many communities that are larger than ours are not lucky enough to have a news publication of that caliber.
If not for The Valley Reporter, who would be covering our local select board and school board meetings? Who would be highlighting and photographing the achievements of our students and athletes? Who would be helping to promote our business community? Who would be giving a voice to readers and commentators on the issues of the day? Who would share with us the passing of our friends, family and neighbors? Who would inform us on all the good things being done in our community? Who would remind us of our interesting history? Who would share with us information about our local environment? Who would teach us to garden and cook? Who would document a record of our community that we could look back on for generations to come? For 50 years The Valley Reporter has been doing all of those things and more.
The Valley Reporter also brings us much more than the news. Their editorial content is a vital part of our democracy that cannot be underestimated. They put our global and national news into a local context. They give our community an opportunity to hear the various voices on all sides of the issues at hand They bring up, sometimes uncomfortable, topics that need to be discussed. Without it, we would be less of a community.
This past year has proven why our local newspaper is so vital to the Mad River Valley. While their own business was being threatened they were front and center informing us, advocating for us and entertaining us when we all needed it most. Most notably, The Valley Reporter flexed by expanding digital content, enabling the MRV to have more timely information than the weekly printed version ever could. They have been there every week representing us at the governor’s press conferences asking pertinent questions and sharing important information.
With that we would once again like to wish The Valley Reporter a very happy 50th birthday! We encourage our community members to support The Valley Reporter with advertising, subscriptions and newsstand purchases because without it they won’t be able to be here for us. On behalf of the MRV business community we’d like to thank Lisa, Pat, Jeff, Hadley, Ingrid, Rourke, Keith and all The Valley Reporter’s contributors and wish you many happy and healthy birthdays to come. Thank you for everything you do and have done for the Mad River Valley.
Friedman is the executive director of the Mad River Valley Chamber of Commerce.