On Thursday night, co-founder and publisher of Seven Days, Paula Routly, spoke to us about the years she has spent in the newspaper industry. Seven Days is a local Vermont paper that is published, as its name suggests, every seven days. The publication has survived an economic depression and digital revolution, and is still growing while countless other printed publications are forced to shut down.
What makes the paper so successful? When Seven Days began, Paula and her partner Pamela Polston had a clear vision of the paper they wanted. The decisions they make are not based on any market research, but rather the fact that they know the people of Burlington. They have been here long enough to know their market well. They also began with less money than they were told was needed, and thus were able to grow organically. Seven Days also has unique features such as “What’s Good?”- a student’s guide to the Burlington area, and “7 Nights,'” a section dedicated to food and dining that keep readers interested.
All of Seven Day’s material is authentic, interesting, and based on a close-knit community. Paula called their success a “testament to our market.” She did not believe that the paper would have succeeded anywhere else.