Frequently Asked Questions about VTDigger

What is VTDigger?

VTDigger is an online investigative news daily covering Vermont. Headquartered in Montpelier, we are dedicated to public service journalism. We report on the state Legislature, state and local politics, Vermont business, health care, the environment, education, criminal justice and other matters of public concern.

What’s the mission?

Our objective is to publish readily available news reports that hold government and public officials accountable. We aim to educate readers, while also encouraging them to engage with governing institutions and broaden the scope of civic debate.

Who owns VTDigger?

VTDigger is a project of the Vermont Journalism Trust, a 501(c)(3) nonprofit organization.

The Vermont Journalism Trust is governed by a rotating board of community members.

How is the nonprofit funded?

We are supported by foundation grants, business underwriting and individual contributions from members. Our tax forms are publicly available here. We publish a complete list of donors and underwriters. To become a member, click here.

What about paid subscriptions and advertising?

VTDigger doesn’t rely on revenue streams typical of traditional commercial journalistic enterprises. Many newspapers and news outlets have struggled to survive in recent years because of falling ad revenues and the rise of free information available over the internet, among other factors. VTDigger was founded to address the decline of in-depth reporting on state politics and public policy.

Who decides what gets published?

The editors and staff decide what stories to cover and what to publish on a given day. Editor in Chief Paul Heintz ( leads the editorial team.

Does VTDigger represent a particular political point of view?

No. The coverage is nonpartisan, and we strive to convey multiple perspectives on issues. We choose to not publish unsigned editorial opinion reflecting the views of the editors or the trustees.

We aim to fairly and accurately report the facts, hold officials accountable, and reveal government malfeasance when we find it.

What if I find errors in a story?

We appreciate corrections. There is a report an error form at the end of each story. To reach us by phone, call 802-225-6224 or email and an editor will get back to you.

How do I send a letter to the editor?

We invite you to write considered responses on topics covered by VTDigger. The letters, up to 250 words, will be published several times a week, depending on the number submitted. They will appear on the front page of VTDigger and in an archive found here. To submit a letter, complete this form.

We also accept 400 word-plus signed commentary pieces. For commentary guidelines, click here.

Do readers ever oppose our coverage?

Yes! And we view polite opposition as a good sign. Some readers may assume the site was founded to present a particular point of view about issues such as wind power or health care, for example. But that’s not the case. Good journalism demands impartiality and rigorous fact-finding. At a time when there is widespread distrust of media and discussion about the harmful effect of “fake news,” VTDigger seeks to adhere to the highest code of journalistic ethics and reporting standards.

So, how do you satisfy your donors and underwriters?

We thank our donors and underwriters for their generous support, without which we could not exist. But we also value our editorial independence, a mark of journalistic excellence, and strive to ensure that there is no relationship or influence between donors and editors who make decisions regarding the news coverage.

Who are the donors and underwriters?

VTDigger publishes an annual report listing all donations we receive. The list is available online here. Because we are committed to transparency, we do not allow anonymous donations through our website. To learn more about donations and underwriting, click here.

How do I get VTDigger to show up in my gmail inbox?

Readers who use Gmail sometimes complain that they have signed up for VTDigger's Daily Digger, but they aren't receiving their free email subscription.

Many readers are not aware that Gmail automatically sets up tabs for all users that filter email into three major categories: primary, social and promotions.

VTDigger, like other email subscription services, often winds up under the "promotion" tab.

Changing your Gmail filtering system is easy. Just go to the settings gear symbol in the upper righthand corner of the screen and select "Settings." When you get to the "Settings" page, choose "Primary" as your default. This allows all of your email to be combined into one inbox.

Here's a screenshot of the page.