Reporter’s Notebook

The story behind the story

I have been a reporter for 34 years and this was the hardest story I have ever written. People didn’t want to talk to me. They didn’t want to give me “fodder for woman-blaming.” That was the response I heard, over and over, as I tried to set up interviews for my story about the dramatic rise in the percentage and number of Maine children born to single mothers — and the consequences of that rise.

Mainers for Fair Bear Hunting sues Maine IF&W

Today, September 30, Mainers for Fair Bear Hunting sued the Maine Department of Inland Fisheries and Wildlife for "illegally using taxpayer money to conduct a coordinated political campaign in opposition to Question 1."  Question 1 would outlaw baiting, trapping and...

What to do when officials clam up

What should investigative journalists do when public officials won't talk — when we need to ask them big questions about facts we've uncovered after digging through public records or verifying a tip? What should we do when our phone calls go unanswered? When emails...

“I background my babysitters”

Snapshots from the first formal day of the Investigative Reporters and Editors conference in San Francisco: • This is a place that would make a public official with a guilty conscience pretty nervous. There are 1,500 people here, a record number of attendees. • Best...

How To Make Government More Transparent

You can help us make government more transparent.  Please take a look at this editorial in the Sun Journal which lays out a challenge for Maine for keeping government as open as possible.  We would not be able to do our work as journalists without a strong Freedom of...

The LePage Outtake File

On July 16, Maine Center for Public Interest Reporting publisher and senior editor John Christie interviewed Gov. Paul LePage in the Blaine House dining room. LePage’s wife Ann was present for part of the interview as was press aide Peter Steele. What follows are verbatim outtakes from that 90-minute interview.

How we got the LePage story

How we got the LePage story

In Nov. 16, 2010, Gov.-elect Paul LePage held his first press conference in the State House. Naomi Schalit, the Center’s executive director and senior reporter, and I cornered LePage, and told him we would be checking up on how he was doing. “Give me two years,” he...

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