Chester board names Telegraph paper of record

© 2021 Telegraph Publishing LLC

The Chester Select Board on Wednesday night voted unanimously to give the annual paper of record designation to the online only Chester Telegraph, the first “born-digital” newspaper in Vermont to receive that designation.

The designation means that the town of Chester will use The Telegraph to publish all legally required public notices. Those include tax sales and warnings for hearings, meetings and votes including Town Meeting Day.

The move took publisher Cynthia Prairie by surprise. “We had applied for the designation off and on for years but the argument against us was never the price or the fact that we reached more readers. It was that we were online only.” But, she added, the pandemic forced three papers of record in northern Vermont to go to online only and their towns kept them as papers of record. So far this year, two have approved them again as papers of record, she added.

State law only says that a paper of record has to “publish” not print, which indicates that The Telegraph would qualify, says Prairie.  However, she adds, even with the Secretary of State’s office backing that opinion, it has been difficult convincing some people that The Telegraph would qualify. Prairie adds that attempts to clarify the law to include online-only newspapers in the law have failed.

On Wednesday night, Select Board member Heather Chase addressed that issue, saying that state lawmakers were not keeping up with the technology.

What this means for the public is that all the public notices will be easily accessible in The Telegraph, found on the top navigation bar and through an ad in the right-hand ad stack. And the town will be spending less money for the advertising. Last year, Chester spent $10,486 on such ads with the Vermont Journal. If the town submits the same number of ads this year to The Telegraph, it would spend $5,025.



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  1. Kelly Arrison says:

    An excellent decision. Long overdue.

  2. Linda Diak says:

    Congratulations! And smart move by the town.

  3. Ken Slater says:

    Congratulations! I am very pleased with this decision and very happy for the Telegraph. You rock!