After more than five years on the job, the co-founders of Maine’s only independent investigative news service are planning to reduce their roles and the organization is recruiting a top-notch journalist to take over running the organization.
The Maine Center for Public Interest Reporting, a non-profit, published its first investigative news story in January, 2010 and has since published more than 200 stories on its own website and with its 30 media partners across the state.
Publisher and senior reporter Naomi Schalit, one of the two founders, will become a half-time senior reporter with the Center this fall. Editor-in-chief John Christie, the other founder, will remain in that position until the end of year, when he will become an advisory editor to the new executive editor.
Nick Mills, the president of the Center’s board of directors, said both Schalit’s and Christie’s reduced roles were “strictly voluntary. We wish they would stay on in their current jobs, but we understand that after five-plus years of working days, nights and weekends to make the Center a success, they have earned the right to slow down a bit.”
The new head of the Center will have the title executive editor/senior reporter. The Center is seeking an experienced investigative reporter, preferably with some editing and management experience. He or she will work for the board and supervise the Center’s chief operating officer, Hildie Lipson, and the Center’s freelance staff and interns.
Schalit, 57, and Christie, 67, are married and live in Hallowell.
Schalit said, “I’m looking forward to relinquishing my administrative and fundraising duties and focusing strictly on writing investigative stories for the Center.”
The board has asked Christie to stay on in an advisory capacity indefinitely while he works on his memoir of growing up in a New Hampshire mill town, in a family shadowed by the 1915 Armenian Genocide.
“We have established a firm foundation under the Center,” Christie said. “We will help the next leader build upon that base so the Center can continue proving independent accountability journalism to the people of Maine.”