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New 'Burlington Free Press' Executive Editor Emilie Stigliani On 'Leaning Into' Digital

Burlington Free Press executive editor Emilie Stigliani holds up a phone displaying a Burlington Free Press news story.
Bayla Metzger
Emilie Stigliani, the new executive editor of the Burlington Free Press, said the news organization is "incredibly focused on digital."

The Burlington Free Press has a new leader. Emilie Stigliani has been named executive editor after a nearly six-year stint at the news organization, serving most recently as its digital director.

Stigliani told VPR that the Free Press is “incredibly focused on digital,” citing the organization's work in video, breaking news and its Facebook Live morning news roundups, where reporters and editors go through the day's headlines and interact with viewers.

Listen above to Emilie Stigliani's conversation with VPR's Mitch Wertlieb.

She said, under her leadership, the Burlington Free Press will continue fulfilling its obligation to serving Vermonters. But, Stigliani said, it’s important to tell stories that people want to read and discuss — and much of those conversations happen online.

Stigliani acknowledged that the internet is a space with potential for both the best and worst of humanity — but, she said, she’s not intimidated.

“My goal is to undertake the mission that our newspaper has always had, which is to educate the electorate,” she said.

"My goal is to undertake the mission that our newspaper has always had, which is to educate the electorate." — Emilie Stigliani, Burlington Free Press executive editor

Stigliani said the paper is pushing a subscriber-based revenue model, as other news organizations are doing (including VPR).

“I do believe that this is a strong model for helping reach a sustainable place for news organizations,” she said.

Stigliani is only the second female to lead the Burlington Free Press newsroom in its history, and she said her identity as a female is important as part of her own personal history.

“I come from a family of recent immigrants on both sides, and I’ve come from a line of ambitious, intelligent women," Stigliani said. "And I feel like I am sort of their dream of what is possible in America."

A graduate of NYU with a Master's Degree in journalism, Mitch has more than 20 years experience in radio news. He got his start as news director at NYU's college station, and moved on to a news director (and part-time DJ position) for commercial radio station WMVY on Martha's Vineyard. But public radio was where Mitch wanted to be and he eventually moved on to Boston where he worked for six years in a number of different capacities at member station a Senior Producer, Editor, and fill-in co-host of the nationally distributed Here and Now. Mitch has been a guest host of the national NPR sports program "Only A Game". He's also worked as an editor and producer for international news coverage with Monitor Radio in Boston.
Bayla joined VPR in 2018 as the producer for Morning Edition. She left in 2019.
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