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Vermont Public Radio Asks Legislature For Coronavirus Relief Funds

An open floor news room
Jim Westphalen
Vermont Public Radio is requesting $874,000 in coronavirus relief funds from the Vermont Legislature.

Vermont Public Radio is asking the Legislature for nearly $900,000 in coronavirus relief funds, according to written testimony submitted on Thursday by President and CEO Scott Finn.

Finn's written testimony before the House Energy and Technology Committee asks for $874,000 for items including transmitter replacement, remote technology and support, and funds for expanded programming for VPR podcasts But Why and Brave Little State.

"Since March, Vermont Public Radio has devoted its statewide radio broadcast network and online resources to provide free educational services and access to crucial health and safety information," Finn wrote. "We have done so at a great additional cost, even as our members and underwriters face severe challenges, threatening our main sources of revenue."

The full letter, and proposed budget, can be seen here, and below.

The VPR newsroom learned of the request on Friday. While there are obvious complications, journalists have often reported stories on their own organizations, both in Vermont and elsewhere. The VPR newsroom remains committed to covering this story, and every story, with independence and integrity. We will continue to be transparent about this legislative request, and our coverage plans, moving forward.

Credit House Energy and Technology Committee, Courtesy

Credit House Energy and Technology Committee, Courtesy
Credit House Energy and Technology Committee, Courtesy

Mark Davis has spent more than a decade working as a reporter in Vermont, focusing on both daily and long-form stories. Prior joining Vermont Public as assistant news director, he worked for five years at Seven Days, the alt-weekly in Burlington, where he won national awards for his criminal justice reporting. Before that, he spent nine years at the Valley News, where won state and national awards for his coverage of the criminal justice system, Topical Storm Irene, and other topics. He has also served as a producer and editor for the Rumblestrip podcast. He graduated from the University of Maryland's Philip Merrill College of Journalism.
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