Business & Economy

Kearney, Elletson join VTDigger newsroom

Dear Readers,

VTDigger is announcing several staff changes this week. We are bidding a fond farewell to an editor and a reporter who are leaving for new opportunities. We are also welcoming a new weekend editor, a Burlington reporter and a fall intern. Our two summer interns, who have been key contributors to VTDigger’s news coverage over the past few months, are returning to school. 

Elizabeth Hewitt

Elizabeth Hewitt, who has been a major contributor to VTDigger as an editor for the past few years, is moving to the Netherlands. Elizabeth has been with VTDigger since 2015 as a reporter and editor. Over the past five years, she has written more than 1,200 stories on criminal justice issues and the Statehouse. She has been a regular contributor to Vermont PBS’ Vermont This Week and has hosted the show several times. As a freelancer, her work has appeared in Columbia Journalism Review and the Hechinger Report. Since the fall of 2018, she has served on VTDigger’s editing team. 

Tom Kearney, former managing editor of the Stowe Reporter, is VTDigger’s new Weekend Editor. Tom has a storied career in journalism. He was managing editor of the Stowe Reporter from 2005 to 2020, with the exception of an 18-month stint as a senior manager for a local news startup with YellowBook. He also oversaw improvements in The Other Paper of South Burlington, Shelburne News, and The Citizen of Charlotte and Hinesburg, after the Stowe Reporter acquired the newspapers.

Tom Kearney
Tom Kearney

Earlier, he spent 20 years as executive editor of The Keene Sentinel, a regional daily in New Hampshire. He is past president of the New England Society of News Editors; a former board member of New England First Amendment Coalition and the New England Newspaper and Press Association; and co-chair of the N.H. Committee on Judiciary and the Media. He’s a two-time juror for Pulitzer Prizes in journalism and a member of the New England Newspaper Hall of Fame. His awards include the Yankee Quill and the N.H. First Amendment Award. He’s married and has two children, two stepchildren and five grandchildren.

Aidan Quigley, our Burlington reporter from 2018 to 2020, is taking a job with a defense industry newsletter in DC. Aidan carefully covered the Burlington City Council, the mayor’s office and criminal cases in the city and over the course of his tenure at VTDigger wrote about 500 stories. He also broke several major investigations about the CityPlace development scandal and examined a series of stories about property ownership in the Queen City, “Who Owns Burlington.” 

Grace Elletson interviewing robot
VTDigger’s Grace Elletson interviews the AI-powered robot Bina48 at the Terasem Movement Foundation. Photo by Mike Dougherty

Grace Elletson, our BOLD fellow from Ithaca College for the past year, will become VTDigger’s Burlington/Chittenden County reporter. Grace has proven her mettle as a versatile and adept political reporter, leading the charge on VTDigger’s daily Statehouse report, “Final Reading.” She has also been a key contributor to our primary coverage with in-depth profiles of statewide candidates. 

We are very excited about her growth as a reporter over the past year, as evidenced by her central role in legislative coverage and as a key member of the politics team. This should serve her well as Burlington heads toward what should be an interesting mayoral election on Town Meeting Day. 

Our summer interns, Jasper Goodman and Sawyer Loftus, are returning to school next week. We are very grateful for their sterling service this summer. Both Jasper and Sawyer have covered important statewide and regional issues since June, and we are excited for their future careers in journalism. Jasper is returning to Harvard Univeristy where he works on the team of the Harvard Crimson student newspaper. Sawyer is going back to school at the University of Vermont, where he will serve as the editor-in-chief of The Cynic, the UVM student newspaper. 

Columbia Journalism School grad Mac Blauner will join VTDigger Sept. 8 as a general assignment reporter through a joint internship program of the Institute for Nonprofit News and Columbia. The 11-week internship will run through Nov. 20. VTDigger was selected from a large pool of applicants providing meaningful reporting experience to Columbia’s May graduates, who are entering a job market dramatically altered by the pandemic. Mac, who received his undergraduate degree in history from Brooklyn College, was an investigative fellow in the master’s program at Columbia. 

About VTDigger 

VTDigger is a nationally-recognized, born-digital nonprofit news organization dedicated to watchdog reporting on municipalities and state government in Vermont. We also cover health care, business, education, criminal justice and politics. We are known for our award-winning investigative reporting, nitty-gritty approach to local and state news, and our entrepreneurial model.

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