Vermont Newspapers Among 300+ Publications Running Freedom Of Press Editorials

Aug 16, 2018

“We are not the enemy of the people." That's the message being sent out Thursday to readers of newspapers all across the country, in a coordinated effort spearheaded by the editorial staff at the Boston Globe in response to President Donald Trump's frequent attacks on the media.

The Globe reached out to editorial boards to write and publish their own pushbacks Thursday in a show of media solidarity — and more than 300 publications nationwide have signed up.

One of the papers on board with the effort in Vermont is the Addison Independent, which published a letter from editor and publisher Angelo Lynn on Thursday.

Read Angelo Lynn's full Aug. 16 editorial here.

Lynn said he agreed to write the editorial because it’s the responsibility of the press to inform the public about what’s happening on both local and national levels.

“[President Trump is] really trying to confuse the general public in terms of what is true and what is false, but also just diminish the trustworthiness and the integrity of news across the nation, so that nobody can believe anything,” Lynn told VPR. “And that’s very damaging to democracy.”

"[President Trump is] really trying to confuse the general public in terms of what is true and what is false, but also just diminish the trustworthiness and the integrity of news across the nation, so that nobody can believe anything." — Angelo Lynn, "Addison Independent" editor and publisher

Lynn said he believes that Trump's anti-press rhetoric filters down to how people feel about local news media. He cited reports of local officials denying information to the press — though he noted that’s not often the case in Vermont.

Lynn also said he hopes community newspapers around the U.S. participate in the coordinated editorial action.

“You can be very critical of somebody that you don’t know, the New York Times or the Washington Post or faraway places," Lynn said. "It’s a little different when you’re reading something that your local editor of a local community newspaper says. ... If you’ve read somebody for 20 years, which is often the case in Vermont, you tend to form a bond and a trust with that writer."

Lynn’s editorial will also be published in other Vermont newspapers, including the Milton Independent, Colchester Sun, Essex Reporter, Brandon Reporter and the Killington-based Mountain Times.

Listen above to Lynn's conversation with VPR Morning Edition host Mitch Wertlieb.