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VT Digger founder speaks about journalism and pursuing dreams

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Getting a job with an English degree isn’t the easiest thing in the world, especially in Vermont where there are writers in every nook and cranny. Becoming a successful journalist is even more challenging.

Anne Galloway is an excellent example of an individual who, against all odds, has become incredibly successful. She got a degree in English and, straight out of college, she had no idea what to do. Eventually, she found herself delving into the world of journalism.

In her mid-20s, after college, she took odd jobs here and there but she always came back to news writing. She pursued some freelancing during this period too. It was at this point she knew that it was her passion and she had to pursue it.

Funny enough, her husband was from Hardwick in Vermont and that’s where she really started. She got involved with Hardwick Gazette and learned to make cold calls at this point.

Eventually, she got laid off from an editorial job and decided to start a newspaper herself. WordPress had only recently added more customization to its website creator as it had been used previously for blogging purposes. Seeing this, she put it upon herself to start up a website. She saw that newspapers were beginning to become obsolete due to how easy and cheap it is to advertise over the internet. Eventually, this website known as Vermont Digger became one of the bigger news sources in all of Vermont.

Galloway also said that it’s easier to get ads on websites than it is in newspapers. The reason behind this, she said, was because all the big corporations like Google handle ads online and because they’re so big, the ads are very cheap and easy to get whereas a paid ad in a newspaper will cost quite a bit more. She claimed that around 90 percent of the advertising on the internet is done by these big corporations.

Beyond this, having a website and not a newspaper saves a lot of money due to not having to print copies. The reason Galloway decided to do this was because, early on, she just didn’t have the resources to be able to fund such a venture.

Galloway had a passion for news writing and, because of her diligence and force of will, she accomplished a good portion of her dream. Of course, like many of those with lots of dreams, she moves onward and keeps aspiring for bigger greater things. What is it that made her so successful?

She said that you have to “spend a lot of time talking to a lot of people,” all to figure out, “What’s going on here?” And that’s what she did for a while with the Vermont Digger. She pursued stories in the capital building in Montpelier for a while as she saw that there were a lot of stories going uncovered.

Ultimately, she came to a conclusion about the purpose of news writing. She said that it wasn’t about who wrote the story or whom the story was even about. “It’s about the reader,” she said.

She tries to be unique, as well as publish daily. She said that the Vermont Digger currently produces 10 to 12 stories a day, six days a week. She also saw the southern part of Vermont seemed unrepresented when it came to news stories. She wanted to change that and be an outlet for the entirety of Vermont.

One of the final things she said was crucial to being a news writer was knowing people. Although she said getting tips plays a huge role, especially in investigative journalism, it comes down to knowing the people you’re writing about. Perhaps being a sheriff’s good side will get you into the crime scene so you can write that important story.

Another piece of advice that Galloway shared was regarding how she manages the website. She made it a daily news site very early on and committed to it. She knew that the internet was a busy place full of busy people and that uploading daily could help her get a concurrent reading base that would eventually end up coming to the site every day for more news.

Knowing and connecting with people will always be important when it comes any job related to English. Whether you’re an aspiring writer trying to get your work published or being a lone reporter looking for a good story, knowing people will always help push not only your career forward but also your passion and dreams to one day be successful.

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VT Digger founder speaks about journalism and pursuing dreams