Media

New VT Digger editor knocks MA communities “full of white people”

By Guy Page

Journalist Auditi Guha criticized communities “full of white people” as “boring” on Twitter on March 15, just two days before VT announced her hiring as a senior editor at VTDigger

The tweet provides a link to a Massachusetts news website story on “the top 25 places to live in Massachusetts.” Above the link she comments, “Ugh another whitewashed Boston piece. This is what happens when white people make news according to their income and (limited) interests.” She comments beneath, “These are all extremely wealthy communities that maybe 5% can afford to live or buy in. They are also largely boring and full of white people and entitlement.”

Taken on face value, her comments appear to link white skin color with being boring, wealthy, and entitled. Vermont Daily emailed VTDigger publisher Anne Galloway last week to comment on Guha’s tweets. No reply has been received. 

Screenshot of March 15 tweet by Auditi Guha, new senior editor at VTDigger

According to the March 17 announcement, “Guha will join veteran journalists Jim Welch and Tom Kearney as a senior editor of VTDigger, working closely with writers from pitch to publication.”  

In other words, readers may not see her byline, but they will see her influence in story selection, angle, choice of language, etc.. Maybe VTDigger wants Guha to bring more racial and gender diversity and national and international news gathering balance to the senior leadership team? Welch and Kearney are both reputable, veteran journalists with extensive Vermont experience. Welch was a helpful, approachable editor when I interned at the Burlington Free Press in 1979. 

One certainly can’t blame Guha’s racially-charged tweet on journalistic inexperience. The March 17 story lists her resume:

“Most recently, Guha served as northeast regional reporter for Rewire.News, focusing on social justice issues across New England. Prior to that, Guha worked for several Massachusetts newspapers, including the New Bedford Standard-Times, the Somerville Journal and the Cambridge Chronicle. Guha, who has a master’s degree in journalism from Emerson College, got her start reporting for television and print news organizations in Mumbai, India.”

She was let go from Rewire.com in 2019 as a seeming victim of union busting, according to a GoFundMe page by Rewire.News Union. (VT Digger is no stranger to apparent union-related dismissals. Former political reporter John Walters reportedly linked his departure with taking a leadership role in the VT Digger union.)

The ‘boring’ tweet isn’t the only comment that makes one wonder why Guha took a job in Vermont. On March 20 she tweeted about a good Maryland vaccine program, “and people wonder why I constantly dream about living outside of New England.” (Although in all fairness, by mid-March many life-long Vermonters also dream about living elsewhere, too.)

Guha’s hiring by VTDigger raises some questions. For example: does she have negative stereotypes about white people? Does she find white people “entitled” and “boring?” Boring is a real problem for journalists and their subjects. Boring people by definition have nothing interesting to say. Boring people get ignored. Vermont is 94.2% white. Has she mentally written off most or all of 94.2% of Vermont as boring, uninteresting, and having nothing worthwhile to say? 

One would hope not. Perhaps her tweet merely swung and missed at making a more subtle point about the need for more diverse media coverage. Vermont Daily welcomes a response from VT Digger or Ms. Guha herself. All Vermonters can agree that it would be unconscionably racist for a reporter to tweet negative comments about a community “full of BIPOC people.” Yet recently a UVM professor was pressured to resign for protesting the anti-Whiteness campaign at UVM. Is it okay to single out white people for criticism? Why, or why not? Your constructive, civil thoughts are welcome on the comments section below this news story.

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24 replies »

  1. So who’s the racist? I’m sure everyone would rather live in Southey than Cambridge… Is VTDigger really bringing this drivel to Vermont?

  2. All I can say about Ms. Guha’s perception of places that are predominantly white is that she as I have no physical ties to any one place. We live in a free society, and are all able to exercise our option to find a place where we truly enjoy living. God bless America !

  3. Vermonters are growing tired of being stereotyped. What is particularly striking is the contrast between the “rich, privileged, boring” stereotype of white people with the poor, neglected, hard-working poverty of white Vermont farmers for 200 uninterrupted years. It is tragic that these new racists call themselves champions of justice — they are the opposite: opportunists.

  4. I wrote the following email to Anne Galloway after reading about the Digger’s announcement of the new editorial hires. Anne never responded .
    “Hello Anne
    I must say I was quite baffled when I Googled one of your new editors . Auditi Guha .https://twitter.com/audispeak?ref_src=twsrc%5Egoogle%7Ctwcamp%5Eserp%7Ctwgr%5Eauthor
    Is it possible that as a reader I can absolutely be comforted by the objectivity of a woman who tweets about Americans by describing the color of their skin and in that description her entire ideology suffuses and her mental filter is de facto established ?.
    The Digger , news you can distrust … At least an editor should have an objective mind rather than being an activist . Or was it ever like this and in this case I am made aware of Auditi’s slant because of the miracle of Twitter…..or maybe , just maybe it is NOT the same person ?
    Well that’s the way it is in journalism in Vermont in 2021.
    I am not sure how much longer you can pull the wool over the reader’s minds but this being Vermont you might for the rest of your career most likely .
    Sad …..
    I just hope you are pleased with yourself.
    Best”

    • A VT Digger Editor with an objective mind??? You gotta be Kidding!!! I gave up on Digger 2-3 years ago because they lacked everything that comprehensive, fair , and openness would be about.
      Sorry, but that is the way it is…… as Edward R Murrow was famous for saying.

  5. With ALL the mostly white trailer parks in this state – people “of color” are under the impression that all “pale-faces” in VT are rich & privileged?? Ummmmmm…..No.

    I lived in Pownal, VT for two decades – nine trailer parks (or was it eleven?) and the vast majority had these VT pale-faces living as though they were in the slums of India…..not to mention those in Bennington & Woodford, VT.

    The Bennington Banner once referred to those living in the parks as living in “less than 3rd world conditions”. What has been done to remediate the problem? NADA.

    But the VT legislature, headed on the committee by the long-term former select board Chair OF POWNAL, is prepping to give reparations to African Americans for slavery – which VT had little to no part in.

    Bernie Sanders et al have done NOTHING to ease the poverty for white Vermonters. And they couldn’t care less.

    • One of the most eye-opening (for me) stories I ever wrote was about the generational poverty at a trailer park in northern Franklin County. St. Albans Messenger, about 35 years ago. It did indeed feel like a different world.

  6. Well, she’s staked out her position. She’s woke…her seat at the cool kids lunch table empowers her to enlighten us backward folk…rescue us heathens from our Right-think affliction. Didn’t the Tories take a posture like that back at the beginning? We are the constituents/customers. Will we be granting credibility to her, her reporters, what the Digger publishes…or are they further cementing themselves to the role of an ever fainter voice-in-the-wilderness.

  7. “Journalist Auditi Guha…” Seriously, Guy????? Why do you refer to an obvious opinion writer as a “journalist”? Vermont Digger is yellow journalistic leftist trash, nothing more. Don’t flatter them, there are no actual journalists there.

  8. isn’t Auditi Guha boss, Little Orphan Annie (Galloway) about as full of liberal whiteness as anyone living the “Livin’ La Vida Loca” in the boston suburbs ?

  9. Honestly, any white person would have lost their job in this country if they made such a racist comment. But let’s allow any one to make a hateful racist comment towards whites & it’s ok… smh 🤦‍♀️

  10. Lest we forget, Media is a business and needs to make money. Galloway and Vt Digger need money. Readers of Vt Digger see the advertisements and donate money to Vt Digger. Galloway caters to what her perceived audience is, those that donate and click on ads. Galloway and Vt Digger never had any desire to hide political leanings and philosophy.
    Racism, systemic racism and bias of all kinds are the new buzz words, these topics are what get some peoples interest. The people that click on her ads and donate. Hire a controversial editor, shift the focus more to the left? I’ll bet it makes Galloway more money.
    If you read Vt Digger for news, without opinion, you may be fooling yourself. Vt Digger is no different than most media outlets, catering to dollars not information.

    • All very good points. It is worth noting VT Digger operates as a 501c3 federal non-profit, thus paying no federal or state income tax. Also worth noting that as such, VT Digger’s tax returns are available for public inspection and easily located for perusal.

  11. Vt Digger is the right arm of WCAX Burlington,A very liberal news agency.To call Vermont too white is a racist statement and hate speech only intended to justify moving illegal aliens,immigrants and more into Vermont at taxpayer expense!!Liberals want them to help our work force and schools,but why are Vermonters leaving our schools,and why are Vermonters not working on our farms ?One last note,systematic is a con job,because there is no sign at Vermont borders that says any man woman race etc can”t enter Vermont as long as it is done legally!!

  12. That humans stereotype isn’t news. We all do it, and for good reason in many cases. VT Digger has every right to hire and publish as Anne Galloway (and the various progressive organizations like the Johnson Family Foundation that financially supports her) chooses. My only caution to TNR readers is best emphasized by this Fredrich Nietzsche quote:

    “Whoever fights monsters should see to it that in the process he does not become a monster… [for] if you gaze long enough into an abyss, the abyss will gaze back into you.”

    I stopped trying to dissuade Anne Galloway from her discriminatory tendency years ago. I also have nothing against people living in trailer parks, regardless of the color of their skin. And I understand, to some extent at least, that when I see a racoon stumbling and weaving down the path in broad daylight, that I stereotypically assume the creature to be rabid. Or when I see someone driving a car in the same fashion, assume someone is DUI. Or when Digger asserts its point of view, it’s reasonable (only human) for me to make a similar judgement.

    Fool me once.

  13. And a lot of those white people are moving here to escape the Socialist Soviet Republic of MA. What ! is he scared they might change the electorate

  14. So…I guess we should take empty vans to other States…and forcibly fill them up with American Citizens who CHOOSE NOT to live HERE?!!! SMH

  15. White people are terribly sensitive. When someone tweets about a town you’ve never been to, nor will ever go to, and it makes your tiny white heart so sad, it’s honestly time to get out more. I, for one, am sick of the weak white people in America who are so sensitive. Our brothers and sisters survived slavery and Jim Crow and are doing things like voting en masse and electing black people to offices while our white people cry like babies when someone tweets something they don’t like?! This is why we will become obsolete as a race. We’ve lost our edge. Our privilege is not saving us anymore.

    • What you are reading and referring to is to be expected, and justifiably so. Good people who are not racists rebelling against sinister, combined governmental, corporate, and media efforts to divide people. To foster hatred and anger among people. Of course, those that enable establishment efforts to promote division and hate, such as you are doing here, only fuels their nefarious efforts.

  16. Being judged by the color of my skin by people saying we must be judged by the color of our skin – because they were judged by the color of their skin – so two wrongs makes it right in the new math way of looking at everything…the freaks of misery will never stop

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