Vermonter Logs 52 Years Watching Publishers Diversify p.13

By: Robert Neuwirth In the 52 years Virginia Mitchell, owner of Ver-mont's Rutland Herald, has been coming to Newspaper Association of America conventions, the crowd has been getting more mixed, and the treatment of women has changed dramatically.
At her first NAA outing, in 1947, the year she and her husband, Bob, bought the Herald, women were herded over to New York's famed Waldorf-Astoria Hotel for a fashion show while the men held meetings. At night, everyone would get together for parties, and Mitchell is still known for her prowess on the dance floor.
At the NAA convention in Dallas, Mitchell said that her husband wrote daily editorials for 50 years until his death five years ago. In tribute, the family published The Bob Mitchell Years, a collection of his best writings, with an introduction by Tom Wicker.
Mitchell still refers to her husband as "my honey" and her paper as a labor of love. She remembers they once had an option to sell out to a chain, but refused because, "The paper was more than a business. It was part of us."
Now, with her son John running the paper ? the family also owns the Times Argus in Montpelier, Vt. ? Mitchell, still vigorous at 80, continues to come to the NAA meetings because of her great fondness for the group and also because she has started a new venture ? book publishing ? with her younger sister, Mary Wright Shaw, 79. Five years ago, they formed Gander Publishing Inc. (phone, 800-982-5394; Web,, named after their mother, Anna Gander. Their first book was a 1994 memoir of severe injury and healing by Beverly Differding, whose spinal cord was severed in a car wreck with a drunken driver.
This year, they are promoting a new tract: Go With The River, a collection of autobiographical stories by Shaw, a public health nurse for 40 years until she retired in 1981. Shaw, who turned to writing in 1987, enrolling in the fiction writing program at Stanford University, also takes pride in her volunteer work with Pacific Islander Outreach, a literacy program for immigrants in E. Palo Alto, Calif. The two say they learn lots about publishing and marketing at NAA sessions.
?(E&P Web Site: http://www.mediainfo. com) [Caption]
?(copyright: Editor & Publisher April 25, 1998) [Caption]


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