Fresh off winning the top journalism award in New England, Pine Tree Watch reporters have been honored with several awards from the Maine Press Association.
Executive Editor Joshua F. Moore won a first-place political reporting award for his story breaking the news about Gov. Paul LePage’s involvement in a Political Action Committee. “Sharp reporting that made sure Mainers knew their governor is pulling some powerful electoral levers behind the scenes,” the judges said.
Judges honored former senior reporter and Pine Tree Watch co-founder Naomi Schalit with a first-place award in the investigative report category for her five-part series, “Single Parents in Poverty: The Crisis No One Will Name.” Judges said: “The series is accessible, clearly written, tackling both the policy impacts and personal stories — and concluding with an article discussing some attempts at solutions.”
Finally, former staff reporter Dave Sherwood received a third-place award for his series about the lack of transparency and accountability in the state-sponsored Maine PowerOptions electricity program. Calling the series “a page-turner,” judges praised Sherwood’s storytelling skills and frequent use of Maine’s Freedom of Access Act to obtain documents. “Sherwood artfully takes what could be a stultifying dry subject and writes about it with clarity and simplicity,” they said.
The MPA awards, which were presented at an event in Bar Harbor on Oct. 21, come on the heels of Pine Tree Watch’s winning of a Publick Occurrences award from the New England Newspaper & Press Association for Schalit’s series about single parents in Maine.
“It is gratifying to have judges in Maine and New England recognize the quality and importance of our data- and document-based reporting,” said Jed Davis, president of the board of the directors of Pine Tree Watch and the Maine Center for Public Interest Reporting. “Thanks to the generous support of our readers and donors, we look forward to continuing to produce in-depth investigative journalism for Maine.”