With varying degrees of dismay, a couple of Vergennes Union High School boys’ basketball backers recently wondered why the Independent did not honor the Commodores with a Monday front-page photo after they completed their 24-0 season.
A parent in an email to me was particularly puzzled because the March 11 edition in question featured a picture of a skier on the front page. The other, a true Commodore fan not related to a team member to my knowledge, shared with an Independent employee her belief that we would place a Middlebury team on the cover.
Well, we certainly intended no slight to the Commodores, or to the Mount Abraham girls, whose picture also did not grace our Monday, March 18, cover after they won their D-II title two days before. Nor, in the past have we had anything but admiration for the MUHS girls’ and boys’ lacrosse, Mount Abe boys’ basketball, VUHS girls’ soccer or other teams who have won championship games contested on Saturdays. But they haven’t been pictured on Monday covers, either. And we’re certainly not going to wait five days to print Saturday news on a Thursday.
The truth of the matter is weekend sports coverage at the Independent has a later deadline than the rest of the paper. The news section, including the front page, the editorial pages, the obituaries, classifieds and everything else except the two or three pages of sports, is finished and laid out by Friday afternoon. The pages are then sent digitally to our printer.
Then, Trent Campbell, our photographer, and I go out and cover events on Friday evenings or Saturdays. He and I usually arrive back at the Independent on Sunday mornings to process photos and write stories.
Later on Sunday someone else in a rotating crew — right now news editor John McCright, publisher Angelo Lynn and fellow reporter Xian Chiang-Waren are taking turns — come in, edit the stories, choose which photos to run, lay out the pages, write the headlines, and whisk the finished product off to the press. That’s usually at least two days after the front page has gone out the door, if you can use that metaphor for launching stuff into cyberspace.
Oh, that picture of the skier? Trent took it earlier in the week. Middlebury College was hosting the NCAA championship ski meet from Wednesday through Saturday, and our editors chose that shot for the front page because it was a cool graphic, not because it was a sports photo.
Hey, we meant no disrespect to you or your sons.