Naomi Schalit honored with top New England journalism award

New England’s leading journalism organization presented Pine Tree Watch co-founder and former senior reporter Naomi Schalit with its top journalism award.
Naomi Schalit and John Christie accept an award
Maine Center for Public Interest Reporting co-founder Naomi Schalit, center, and co-founder John Christie, at right, accept the 2017 Publick Occurrences Award on October 12.

New England’s leading journalism organization has presented Pine Tree Watch co-founder and former senior reporter Naomi Schalit its top award for her 2016 series on single parents in Maine.

Award judges from the New England Newspaper & Press Association said Schalit’s five-part series, “Single Parents in Poverty: The Crisis No One Will Name,” “did everything right,” citing the depth of her research, including 70 interviews. The series was developed over the course of nine months and was first published on the Pine Tree Watch website, as well as in the pages of many of the state’s leading daily and weekly newspapers.

This is the fourth time in her career that Schalit has received a Publick Occurrences award for outstanding journalism. Established in 1990 to mark the 300th anniversary of the founding of Publick Occurrences — the first newspaper published in America — the award recognizes individual and team merit in New England journalism.

“I’m grateful to have won this award and to have been among a great group of New England journalists who were also honored this year,” said Schalit. “Even though this is a tough time in journalism, there’s no lack of ambitious and hardworking reporters who want to serve the public interest.”

The award by the New England Newspaper and Press Association was presented at a luncheon on October 12 in Natick, Mass.

Eighteen New England news organizations were also honored, including Pine Tree Watch media partner the Sun Journal of Lewiston. Two other media partners, The Ellsworth American and the Mt. Desert Islander, were recognized as top newspapers in their circulation classes.

Pine Tree Watch is the independent and nonprofit investigative news service of the Maine Center for Public Interest Reporting, based in Augusta, Maine.

“We’re delighted that Naomi’s series has received the recognition it so clearly deserves. We’re extremely proud to be recognized by our colleagues throughout New England,” said board president Jed Davis. “It shows that a publicly funded, nonprofit newsroom can consistently produce the highest-quality journalism for the citizens of Maine.”

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