‘Out in the Mountains’ ceasing publication

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(Host) After twenty-one years, Out in the Mountains is ceasing publication.

The monthly newspaper served as a voice for the Gay, lesbian, bisexual and transgender community.

VPR’s Steve Zind reports:

(Zind) When the Out in the Mountains Board of Directors met early last month, they were told the paper had $235 dollars left to last the remainder of the month. After a long struggle to keep the paper afloat, the board decided that this week’s issue would be its last.

Board President Brian Cote says it was a far cry from the days when Vermont was in the national spotlight over the Civil Unions.

(Cote) “We had national advertisers advertising in the paper. People were willing to give us lots of money both through grants and donations. Subscriptions were way up and we had a tremendous number of volunteers helping out with the organization.”

(Zind) At its height, Out in the Mountains had a monthly run of 7,000 copies distributed statewide.

Cote says the paper had been struggling for a number of years, hampered by some of the same problems that are plaguing newspapers today – primarily the increasing use of the Internet as a news source.

But he says the newspaper was also a victim of its own success in helping to bring issues important to its readership to the fore.

(Cote) “Part of the success of Out in the Mountains over the last 21 years has been a voice for the community. But today there are other newspapers that are willing to cover our community and stories about our community that they would never have covered ten years ago.”

(Zind) Cote says the paper’s most important function was to bring news about the gay and lesbian, bisexual and transgender community to its members in rural areas of Vermont.

He says it’s still an important task, and now that Out in the Mountains has disappeared from news stands it’s possible it or a similar publication could someday take digital form on the Internet.

For Vermont Public Radio, I’m Steve Zind.

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