Former Seven Days staffer John Walters will start next week as a political columnist for online news organization VTDigger.org.
The outlet announced Walters' hiring Thursday evening. In an interview with Seven Days, Walters said he'll work "slightly less than full time" covering the Vermont legislature and state politics. He'll also contribute to Digger's Final Reading email newsletter.
"There is a need, in some way or another, to hold politicians and political leaders to account," Walters said. "I think there’s a need for commentary with something of an edge to it, and apparently, Digger feels the same way."
In the announcement, VTDigger.org editor and founder Anne Galloway called Walters a "great addition to our reporting team."
An East Montpelier native, Walters has covered Vermont politics since 2012 when he wrote for the online Green Mountain Daily blog; he started his own site, the Vermont Political Observer, in 2014.
Walters became the Seven Days Fair Game political columnist in January 2017 and held the post until this past August, when he said he was forced to resign.
“I had trouble achieving the paper’s exacting standards for accuracy,” Walters wrote in an August 20 post on his blog. “I also had trouble distilling all the information and producing a strong point of view on deadline.”
In covering Walters' departure, VTDigger.org calculated his error rate, noting that the columnist had notched 51 corrections in the 396 pieces he penned during his tenure.
"Now they want me to work for them," Walters said with a laugh. "Apparently they weren't as turned off by their calculation of my accuracy."
Seven Days news editor Matthew Roy declined to comment on Walters' departure but wished him well in his new gig. "We look forward to the competition," Roy said.
Walters said Thursday that he'd already gotten a positive response about the news.
"If anyone is displeased about it, they are keeping quiet," he said.