- NENPA University
Hall of Fame - Phil Camp
Phillip Cabot Camp, Sr.
The Vermont Standard
In many ways Phil Camp personifies the very best attributes -- the heart and soul -- of an ideal community newspaper publisher in modern day America.
Phil has owned the 160-year-old Vermont Standard for the past 32 years. After first distinguishing himself with his legendary career in the ski industry, Phil purchased the struggling newspaper in 1981 because he saw it as an opportunity to give back to his community. The Standard, which he quickly returned to profitability, epitomizes Phil’s vision of community journalism. “We don’t have an agenda. We just have a passion for providing information that people need, want and deserve, written in an unbiased, accurate and forgiving way.” Plus, to promote cooperation among neighbors, the Standard has organized regional and town redevelopment efforts and launched a series of public forums called “Woodstock Today and Tomorrow.”
Phil’s character, leadership and commitment to the Standard and his community have never been on display and needed more than in 2011 when Tropical Storm Irene flooded the Ottauquechee River and swamped the town and paper with flash flood waters that rose nearly six feet high inside the Standard building. Shouldering their obligation to keep the community informed during this time of crisis, he and his staff simply refused to break the paper’s record of never having missed an edition in 158 years. They scrambled for resources and worked feverishly to produce a robust paper that week.
“How we responded to the Irene crisis was one of the most proud and rewarding experiences of my life,” Phil said. “The Standard showed its true colors, and I celebrate how we made such a difference.” He added, “It’s how we’ve been for over three decades.”