OUR HISTORY

In recent years, most newspaper and broadcast news outlets in Maine have reduced newsroom staffs through layoffs, early retirements and attrition. One of the first victims is in-depth journalism — stories which often take one or more reporters “off the street” for weeks or even months. As such, non-profit, foundation- and donor-supported journalism, most times with an investigative slant, has become popular around the country.

Our newsroom mission is: To deliver fearless, independent, citizen-supported, nonpartisan journalism that informs Mainers about the issues impacting our state and inspires them to take action. Through investigative and in-depth stories, we engage readers to participate and connect to create a better Maine.

Naomi Schalit and John Christie

Naomi Schalit and John Christie founded the Maine Center for Public Interest Reporting in 2009.

Naomi Schalit and John Christie, veteran journalists, founded the Maine Center for Public Interest Reporting in 2009 because of their concern about the decline of, and need for, investigative reporting in Maine.

The Maine Center for Public Interest Reporting received technical assistance, inspiration and much encouragement from The New England Center for Investigative Reporting at Boston University, the first non-profit, university-based investigative reporting center in the country dedicated to local and regional issues.

Today, the Center’s investigative news service, The Maine Monitor (formerly known as Pine Tree Watch), fills the gap between the diminished in-depth reporting from the existing Maine media and the need of people to be fully informed about what is happening in Maine in different walks of life: government, diversity, education, environmental, and healthcare — just to name a few areas of interest.

Our stories are distributed to and by our more than 140 media partners, including the Associated Press, at no cost to those news organizations.

The work of our newsroom has been recognized 95 times by the Maine Press Association since 2015, and the New England Newspaper & Press Association has bestowed our newsroom with its prestigious Publick Occurrences Award five times. We’ve also been recognized by the Institute for Nonprofit News.

The Maine Public Health Association heralded our newsroom for our coverage of COVID-19 in 2020 and singled out reporter Rose Lundy for her “significant contribution” reporting on Maine public health in 2022. The Maine Press Association recognized reporter Samantha Hogan as the state’s Journalist of the Year in 2021.

The Maine Center for Public Interest Reporting, which operates The Maine Monitor, is a registered 501(c)(3) nonprofit. To support our work by a tax-deductible donation, click here.

The Maine Monitor is a member of the Institute for Nonprofit News, the Maine Press Association, the Maine Association of Nonprofits and Investigative Reporters & Editors.

Our newsroom is heavily supported by Report for America and was a 2020 member of the ProPublica Local Reporting Network. Recently, The Maine Monitor has collaborated with the First Amendment Museum, the Goldfarb Center for Public Affairs at Colby College, the Investigative Reporting Workshop, and the Investigative Editing Corps.