A Valley News Publication

#FreePress: Led by the Boston Globe, the Valley News is among some 350 newspapers across the country responding to Trump’s ‘scurrilous attacks on journalists and journalism’

The Valley News in West Lebanon, N.H.

Please, please, please, read the whole Valley News editorial; not just the headline, not just the tweet and not just the first three grafs, which I have copied and pasted below: 

For many years it has been the general practice here at the Valley News not to respond in kind to critics of our coverage, even when the paper’s motives and good faith are questioned. The working theory is that journalists are not and should not be in the business of getting into public arguments; that we expect public figures to have a thick hide, and it is unbecoming to display a thin skin when they push back; and, most of all, that our coverage rises or falls on its own merits, as determined by the readers we serve, not on the opinion of those whom we cover.


And while the Valley News publishes the work of other news organizations, it does not assist in the planning or preparation of those stories and generally avoids coordinating its efforts in any way with other media outlets, except occasionally in sharing the costs of mounting expensive court challenges. The reasoning is that the public interest is best served when independent news organizations pursue their own priorities, projects and interests, thus providing a wide range of news and opinion.


Today, we depart from these customary stances, albeit reluctantly, to answer The Boston Globe’s call for newspapers across the country to respond to President Donald Trump’s scurrilous attacks on journalists and journalism.

(Full disclosure: I am a member of the Valley News editorial board.)

You can read the editorial from The Boston Globe, who led the call for editorials, at this link. That page also includes a collection of editorials from around the country; the list is being updated throughout the day.

Other papers who penned editorials published today include two of our sister papers, The Concord Monitor and the Daily Hampshire Gazette, of Northampton, Mass., and at least two Vermont newspapers: the Hardwick Gazette and The Commons, of Brattleboro.

You can also check out the #FreePress hashtag on Twitter.

Not everybody is participating. The Los Angeles Times editorial board wrote that their decision to abstain “is not because we don’t believe that President Trump has been engaged in a cynical, demagogic and unfair assault on our industry. He has, and we have written about it on numerous occasions.”

But, the board said, it “decided not to write about the subject on this particular Thursday because we cherish our independence.”

And here’s another perspective from Al Tompkins, The Poynter Institute’s senior faculty for broadcasting and online.

Come work with us at the Valley News! We are looking for our next editor, plus a features writer and night desk editor

The Valley News in beautiful West Lebanon, N.H.

Big news, y’all. The Valley News is hiring!

Information about the 46 towns included within our coverage area is online at www.vnews.com/almanac.

When I tweeted about two of these three jobs last month, we got some nice words from around the journalism world.

And more recently, our fearless leader, Martin Frank, announced he will retire in January after 32 (!!!) years at the paper.

INSIDE SCOOP: Probably the biggest perks of the editor job are overseeing Amanda’s and my ideas for the Lucky 7 News Quiz every week, and also the proximity of the snack table to the editor’s office. If you have any questions, feel free to get in touch with us. Application instructions are included in the job description links at the top of the page.

Listen to Valley News reporter Tim Camerato on NHPR’s ‘The Exchange’ this morning

Nice job, Tim!

Valley News staff writer Tim Camerato. (Valley News – Geoff Hansen) Copyright Valley News.

If you missed it live this morning, you can listen to the rebroadcast on NHPR at 7 p.m. or click here to listen to the episode online. It’s the latest episode in the program’s “Going Local” series, which explores the regions of New Hampshire on Thursday mornings.

Flashback Friday: ‘New Daily Starts Publication’ in the Upper Valley in 1952

See a PDF of the full article, and a text-only version, below.

Thank you to local history buff Art Pease for dropping this off at the Valley News this morning!

According to Art, it’s a clipping from the Hanover (N.H.) Gazette from May 29, 1952. “New Daily Starts Publication Wed. Afternoon, June 4″ is the headline, followed by the deckhead: ” ‘The Valley News’ Names Its Personnel And Plans.”

I scanned in the full article as a PDF below, and also typed it out at the bottom of this page.

Text version: 

New Daily Starts Publication Wed. Afternoon, June 4

“The Valley News” Names Its Personnel And Plans

The Valley News, first daily newspaper ever published in the Tri-Towns of Lebanon, White River Junction and Hanover, will begin publication on June 4 from its new plant on the Hanover Road in West Lebanon.

The six-day-a-week afternoon publication will be printed by the Valley Publishing Company, Inc. President of the company and editor of the News is Allan C. Butler of Plainfield, N.H. Allston S. Goff is vice president of the company and business manager of the News. Butler and Goff are both directors of the company and Robert Pittis of New York City is the third director.

The News is housed in a new one-story cinder-block building. Its machinery will include three Linotypes, a Duplex flatbed press and other new pressroom equipment. A darkroom and Fairchild engraving equipment operated by two staff photographers will insure quick photo coverage.

National and international news will be furnished by the United Press wire service. Both national and local news will be processed by teletypesetting equipment.

Heading the nine-man news staff will be James L. Farley of Windsor, managing editor. He has had five years’ experience reporting and at-desk work on the northern New England daily newspapers.

Advertising manager is John W. May, who until recently held a similar post with the Natchez, Miss., Times. William A. Russell of Woodstock is circulation manager, and David W. Durward, former mechanical superintendent of the Las Vegas, N.M. Optic, has a similar position with the new newspaper.

The news staff includes Michael J. de Sherbinin, city editor; Roy G. Kimball of Lebanon, sports editor; Mrs. Marcia O’D. Grodon of Woodstock, society editor; Granville S. Austin of Norwich, Edward S. Barnes and Weston A. Cate, Jr., of Hartford, reporters; William O. McAllister, chief photographer, and Hanson T. Carroll of Woodstock, assistant photographer.

Gordon A. Landry is composing room foreman on the News and Lyndon H. Kelley of Woodstock is press superintendent. Andrew R. Boisvert is advertising makeup man.

Mrs. Maxine D. Day of Wilder is chief teletypist and working with her are Miss Doris J. Wilkinson of West Lebanon and Miss Beverly J. Way of Hartland.

Mrs. Theresa A. Goular of Hartford is office manager. Edward J. Bennett of Canaan is consultant to the News in production and advertising and Harry Pearson of West Lebanon is Russell’s assistant in the circulation department. William J. Peck of West Lebanon is building custodian.

The News has hired a full staff of correspondents to gather items of local interest. They are Miss Frances E. Haslett, Hanover; Mrs. Jerome B. Hickson, Norwich; Mrs. John D. Warren, Wilder; Miss Josephine P. Sargent, West Lebanon; Mrs. Harold K. Gibson, Lebanon; Mr. Harry H. Gibbs, Hartford; Mrs. Henry Kessler, Quechee; Mrs. Earle E. Phelps, North Hartland; Mrs. C. A. McKenny, Hartland; Mrs. Herman Rogers, Meriden; Mrs. Palmer C. Read, Jr., White River Jct.,; Mrs. Willis K. Shirley, White River Jct.,; Mrs. S. J. Stebbin, Etna; and William E. Finley, West Hartford.

In addition to the UP wire service the News will carry the International News Service’s Wire Photos of national and international events. The Walter Lippman, Drew Pearson and Frederick C. Othman columns on national and international politics will be carried, as well as Sylvia Porter’s business and finances column, Mary Haworth’s Mail, a column of advice on personal problems, and John Crosby’s radio and television comment.

Nine comic strips — Steve Canyon, Blondie, Pogo, Donald Duck, Ozark Ike, Etta Kett, Dick Tracey, Rex Morgan, M.D., and Mary Worth — will appear daily. Jimmy Hatlo’s panel, “They’ll Do It Every Time,” will also be carried, as will a daily crossword puzzle and Thornton Burgess’ “Bedtime Stories.”

Hanover, N.H., Gazette; May 29, 1952

Congratulations to Amanda for winning the MacGregor Fiske Award honoring promising young journalists

Amanda, left, and Mary McCann. (Photo courtesy John Gregg)

From John Gregg, Valley News news editor:

On the same day as the massacre at an Annapolis newspaper, this happened: Mary McCann, right, drove six hours roundtrip from her home in southeastern Massachusetts to present Amanda Newman at the Valley News with a $1,500 check as the winner of the annual MacGregor Fiske Award.


Named for Mary’s late husband, the award is intended to encourage promising young journalists in New England to persevere in the field. (Amanda is a talented night editor and designer, and great fun to work with).


I was lucky to have known Mac Fiske when he worked, in quasi-retirement, as a copy editor at the MetroWest Daily News. Mac had been in the merchant marine, served in the Army during the Korean War, and was a fine pitcher in his day. Someone once called him “the Marlboro Man who could recite poetry.” He also was a fourth-generation newspaperman. As it happens, Mary McCann’s father was the chief photographer of the old Framingham News, and her mother, Jane McCann, was an obituary writer and columnist for what was then called the Middlesex News into her 80s. Mary and her sisters used to work as proofreaders on Friday nights, and she was later a compositer.


Since the attack at the Capital Gazette, lots of people, and even a source I occasionally spar with, have reached out to say hang in there. There is no question. A good newsroom is a magical place, and thanks to Mac, Mary and the Amandas of the world, we’re all going to pay it forward.

Here’s a nice story about Mac Fiske, following his death in 2009, from the MetroWest Daily News in Framingham, Mass.

I was lucky to know Jane McCann, and later Mary, through my dad’s career at MetroWest. Well into old age, she would come by our house for a bowl of tomato soup. I was just a kid and she always had something kind to say. It was great to see Mary again yesterday, a difficult day for the journalism industry.

Congratulations, Amanda. Keep on keepin’ on.