What’s the News About the Valley News

Thursday evening, July 30 at 6 p.m. at the Claremont Savings Bank, 145 Broad Street, the public will get a chance to hear directly from the folks at the Valley News about their plans for news coverage for Claremont and surrounding communities. “We’d like to tell you a bit about us, offer some light refreshments from the Stone Arch Bakery, and respond to your questions and comments,” says VNews publisher Mark Travis.

The newspaper based in the Upper Valley now has a full-time presence in Claremont.

In Sullivan County, Claremont is the only city, and has a (declining) population estimated at about 13,000, according to the NH Office of Energy and Planning. The county’s 13 towns are Acworth, Charlestown, Cornish, Croydon, Goshen, Grantham, Langdon, Lempster, Newport, Plainfield, Springfield, Sunapee, Unity and Washington.

While the VNews has “a history in Claremont as old as the 57-year-old Valley News itself,” Travis wrote recently. “Serving a community is, in the end, a two-way relationship, and it proved difficult for us to sustain a high level of Claremont coverage while splitting the support of advertisers and readers with another daily paper.”

However, the situation has changed.

When the Eagle-Times closed shop July 10, the VNews immediately started to get calls and subscriptions, part of that “two-way relationship” Travis referenced.

The VNews pubisher has reassured readers that the newspaper is “healthy, pressed by the recession, like many businesses, but strong,” and they’re in “for the long haul.”

Referring to the former Eagle Times, Travis said, “We cover a different mix of communities” 42 centered around Lebanon, Hartford and Hanover, and the newspaper will not be “stretching to cover Bellows Falls, say, as the Eagle did.”

“In general our stories will dig deeper and show more ambition……covering local news is the most important service we provide. We cannot and will not let tight times stop us from improving what we offer.”

In Sunapee, “the loss of both the Argus Champion and Eagle Times has left a tremendous void in our area,” a life-long resident wrote SunapeeNew.com. “I emailed the VNews about my interest in a one-year subscription and urged the newspaper to improve coverage of the huge triangle of Lebanon, Claremont and Newport-Sunapee.”

This former public official is anxious over the lack of consistent town, county and school coverage and wants to see more news  about state policy changes that affect towns such as Sunapee.

The response, turnout and comments, the VNews gets tomorrow in Claremont, will help “influence our next steps in the Claremont region and, perhaps, beyond,” the publisher said. For those closer to Sunapee, some are looking to help forge that two-way relationship.

To share your views about news coverage and the media, leave us a comment. If you plan to attend tomorrow’s meeting, send us your feedback.

One Response

  1. Hello,
    I would just like to take this opportunity to let your readers know that the New Hampshire Union Leader has also expanded its Claremont coverage since the closing of the Eagle Times. As the local Claremont correspondent, I would like to invite the area’s newspaper readers to check out their options for local and statewide news coverage before making a choice.

    Kristen Senz
    Union Leader Correspondent
    Contact: 603.763.3280

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