Maine Monitor reporters Samantha Hogan and Kate Cough have again received national journalism awards for their work, the latest industry recognition for Maine’s nonprofit investigative journalism.
Hogan has received the Silver Gavel Award for multimedia journalism from the American Bar Association for her Eavesdropping in Maine Jails series.
Hogan’s award is one of nine for media and the arts announced Wednesday by the ABA. Other winners across the different categories included Norah O’Donnell of CBS News, Texas Monthly and The Post and Courier in South Carolina.
The Silver Gavel Awards recognize exemplary work that has helped foster the American public’s understanding of law and the legal system. In the Monitor’s award category, the Monitor was a contender alongside AL.com’s project on predatory policing in the small town of Brookside, Alabama that won the Pulitzer Prize for Local Reporting earlier this month.
Hogan’s series revealed that six Maine county jails recorded nearly 1,000 private attorney-client calls in a single year and some of the recordings were shared with police and prosecutors before trial.
Because of the series, lawmakers are weighing recommendations from a study group aimed at preventing Maine jails and prisons from recording attorney-client phone calls and to improve prisoners’ confidential access to lawyers. Individual county jails and the phone contractor have taken steps to curb the practice as well.
The Silver Gavel award is one of several Samantha and the Monitor have received for the project. The Eavesdropping project was edited, in part, by Rose Ciotta of the Investigative Editing Corps, with support from the International Women’s Media Foundation and the Pulitzer Center.
Cough, meanwhile, received third place honors in the enterprise reporting category May 17 during the Report for America awards for her Unstoppable Ocean project.
She and aerial photographer Alex MacLean explored how 10 communities are preparing and adapting to climate change. Along Maine’s stunning coastline, vulnerable communities wrestle with the inevitable rise of the sea caused by the warming ocean.
The Unstoppable Ocean project was funded by the Pulitzer Center, and also has received additional national recognition.
The project finished behind reporting from the Idaho Statesman (on crumbling school facilities in Idaho) and the Boston Globe (Black Bostonians moving to the South).
Report for America, an initiative of The GroundTruth Project, is a national service program that places journalists into local newsrooms to report on under-covered issues and communities.
The Maine Monitor has three corps members that are partially funded by Report for America: Samantha Hogan, Rose Lundy and Kate Cough.