Meet Our Founders

Composite photo of headshots for Naomi Schalit and John Christie
Naomi Schalit and John Christie


Naomi Schalit is co-founder of the Maine Center for Public Interest Reporting, which operates The Maine Monitor, and former publisher and senior reporter.

A graduate of Princeton University, Schalit attended the Graduate School of Journalism at University of California, Berkeley and began her career at The Mercury News in San Jose.

She has written for magazines and newspapers around the country, worked as a columnist for the Maine Times and for five years was a reporter and producer at Maine Public.

Schalit won many awards for her radio reporting, including one from Public Radio News Directors for her exposé of a historic state conservation deal gone bad.

She currently is senior editor for politics and democracy at The Conversation.

In between all the reporting, writing and producing, she took temporary leaves from journalism to run her own floorcloth manufacturing studio and to serve for three years as executive director of a statewide non-profit conservation group.

In April 2005, she joined the Kennebec Journal and Morning Sentinel as its opinion page editor.

In 2007, she won first place in the New England AP News Editors’ competition for editorial writing, was a recipient of a Publick Occurrences Award from the New England Newspaper Association, received honorable mention accolades for the Anna Quindlen Award, was runner-up for Casey Journalism Awards and won first place for editorial writing in the National Sigma Delta Chi Awards, all for her multi-part editorial series on hunger in Maine, “For I Was Hungry.” That series also earned her the first “Force for Good” award given by the Portland nonprofit Preble Street.

Schalit’s stories for the Center won the Publick Occurrences award, given “for the very best work that New England newspapers produce each year,” four times.


John Christie is co-founder of the Maine Center for Public Interest Reporting, which operates The Maine Monitor, and previously served as its editor.

A University of New Hampshire graduate, Christie began his career in Maine as the summer intern in 1968 at the Sanford Tribune.

Christie is a media executive whose 40-year career included work in four states as a writer, editor, general manager and publisher for newspapers owned by Tribune Co., Dow Jones and Co. and the Seattle Times Co. In June 2009, he retired after nine years as the president and publisher of Central Maine Newspapers, which publishes two daily papers, the Kennebec Journal and the Morning Sentinel.

He won numerous awards as a reporter and editor, including twice for best public service reporting in New England from the Associated Press, and was the primary editor at the South Florida Sun-Sentinel of two Pulitzer Prize finalists.

In 2008, a series he edited, “For I Was Hungry,” about hunger in Maine, won a number of regional and national awards, including best editorial series from the Society of Professional Journalists.

In 2014, he was given the Yankee Quill Award for lifetime achievement by the New England Academy of Journalists, which honors achievement and distinction in New England journalism. The New England Newspaper and Press Association four times awarded him the Publick Occurrences award, given “for the very best work that New England newspapers produce each year.”

Christie was one of the first journalists to serve as a full-time training editor for a newspaper, a position that included coaching writers and editors on their craft and creating and running a news writing program for high school and college minority students.

He is the editor of four books, including a bestselling book on Hurricane Andrew, which devastated South Florida in 1992. He has spoken on newspaper management and writing in the U.S., Europe and South America.

The Maine Monitor has five newsletters to keep you informed about Maine.