The Maine Monitor earns 56 Maine Press Association awards

Nineteen newsroom contributors receive accolades from industry peers.
Maine Press Association award winners Samantha Hogan, Rose Lundy and Roger McCord pose with their awards
Samantha Hogan, Rose Lundy and Roger McCord were among the Monitor's 19 contributors that received accolades from the Maine Press Association. Photo by Kathryn Dahl.

Members of The Maine Monitor newsroom collectively received 56 accolades, a newsroom record, from the Maine Press Association during the association’s annual fall conference Oct. 22 in Bar Harbor. 

Nineteen newsroom contributors received commendations for their work produced between April 2021 and March 2022 from a pool of judges representing the Oregon Newspaper Publishers Association. Judges from the ONPA judged the Maine contest after judges from Maine judged the Oregon contest earlier in the year. 

The Maine Monitor has now earned 151 accolades from the Maine Press Association since the newsroom began participating in the MPA competition in 2015 (including under the identity of Maine Center for Public Interest Reporting and Pine Tree Watch). 

The newsroom competed this year in the Weekly 2 division alongside news outlets such as the Ellsworth American, Mount Desert Islander, Penobscot Bay Pilot, the Forecaster newspapers, Boothbay Register, Courier Gazette and Lincoln County News. 

“These honors demonstrate the importance of The Maine Monitor to the state. Many thanks and congratulations to the entire team, and to my predecessors in leading the newsroom, Dan Dinsmore and Eric Conrad,” said David Dahl, the Monitor’s editor.

Samantha Hogan and Rose Lundy received a combined 11 awards from the Maine Press Association. Photo by Kathryn Dahl.

In total, the Monitor earned 23 first place awards, 19 second place awards and 14 third place awards. 

Roger McCord collected the most awards across the Monitor newsroom with nine, sweeping three categories in the process. Barbara A. Walsh, Samantha Hogan and Kate Cough each earned six. Rose Lundy received five awards. 

A trio of accolades were bestowed, respectively, upon Marina Schauffler, Eric Conrad, Fred J. Field and Andrew Howard. 

George Harvey, Vanessa Paolella, Hal Madsen, Garrick Hoffman, Janine Pineo, Jordan Andrews, Jill Brady, Douglas Rooks, Braeden Waddell and Olivia Martin each received one award. 

The Monitor newsroom also received a second place in the Best Self-Promotion category for its Evening with The Monitor event held in Oct. 2021, and a first place in the Best Circulation Promotion category for using reader-submitted photos in the newsroom’s newsletters, an effort spearheaded by Harvey. 

The newsroom also received a second place award in the General Excellence category for its digital presence. The Boothbay Register received first place.

Samantha Hogan, Rose Lundy and Kate Cough are all corps members with Report for America, a national service program that places journalists into local newsrooms across the country. Among those in attendance at the Maine Press Association ceremony Saturday night was Steve Waldman, the president and co-founder of Report for America.

“We’re grateful to the individual donors and foundations who support our nonprofit newsroom. We hope that readers remember these awards as we head into our year-end fundraising season,” Dahl said. 

First Place Awards

Best Investigative Report: Eavesdropping in Maine Jails

Best News Story: Nominees for Maine’s public defense commission broke rules to work on serious criminal cases  

Best Business/Economics Story: ‘Dark store’ theory: Walmart, large retailers push to cut millions in property taxes statewide

Best Analysis Story: As families struggle to afford 15-minute phone calls from jail, Maine counties rake in millions

Best Environmental Story: Staggering $1.5 billion lithium deposit discovered near Newry; excavating it poses a challenge

Best Feature Story: Lack of data stymies efforts to address firefighter shortage

Best Sports News Story: Numbers lag for women coaches across Maine varsity sports

Best Sports Profile: Pennsylvania community places hope in a tiger turned Barbarian from Maine

Best Education Story: As COVID-19 surged, so did the number of nursing students preparing to enter the fight

Best Courts Story: Judge orders evidentiary hearing in Bates case, opening ‘actual innocence gateway’ in Maine

Best Arts/Lifestyle Story: From child refugee to “proud” Mainer

Best Religion/Spirituality Story: Keeping a culture alive, one drumbeat at a time

Best Outdoors Story: Bicycling alone, no more: Maine moves toward active transportation

Freedom of Information Award: Eavesdropping in Maine Jails

Best Continuing Story: Unsafe Homes

Best Local Columnist: Marina Schauffler (example one; example two)

Best Feature Story Headline: Child homicides are the tip of Maine’s ‘iceberg of abuse’

Best Graphic: Taxes and fees on gasoline by state

Best People Photo: Marie Paul 

Best Sports Video: The Ball Game

Best News Video: The Oasis

Best Features/Lifestyle Video: The Rodeo Clown


Second Place Awards

Best Courts Story: Attorney general sues Maine lawyer for ‘negligent misrepresentation’ of billing

Best Analysis Story: How ‘green’ is Maine? Recycling data is so incomplete, state experts don’t have clear picture

Best Environmental Story: Maine’s prime farmland is being lost to solar. Is ‘dual use’ the answer?

Best Feature Story: Tiny Coopers Mills reeling in the aftermath of nursing home closure

Best Health Story: Nursing homes face ongoing staff shortages – a problem that predates the pandemic

Best Education Story: Education officials, advocates celebrate 55% state funding achievement. But can it endure? 

Best Politics Story: Make your case, await the verdict as Legislative Council sets agenda for session 

Best Business Story: Headwinds at 20: As Downeaster nears a milestone birthday, questions arise about its future

Best Sports News Story: Pennsylvania community places hope in a tiger turned Barbarian from Maine

Best Picture Story: Deaths of Despair

Best Feature Photo: Thorndike Fire Department 

Best Continuing Story: Deaths of Despair

Best Opinion Columnist: Marina Schauffler (example one; example two)

Best News Photo: Downeaster train 

Best Features/Lifestyle Video: The Indomitable Spirit

Best Sports Video: The Gold Ball

Best News Video: Cultural Ambassador


Third Place Awards

Best Investigative Report: Maine’s effort to address lead poisoning was gaining momentum before COVID-19    

Best Analysis Story: Defense lawyers say system crumbling under huge backlog, inadequate funding for indigent defendants

Best Environmental Story: There are more devices in Mainers’ lives than ever. No one knows where they end up.

Best Politics Story: Lawmaker pushes to restore parole to Maine’s justice system 

Best Business/Economics Story: Help needed! Maine tourism faces too much business and too little staff    

Best Courts Story: COVID-19 forces York County Jail to turn would-be inmates away 

Best Arts/Lifestyle Feature Story: Keeping a culture alive, one drumbeat at a time

Best Food Story: What will it take to grow Maine’s local food economy?

Best News Story Headline: Maine’s pollen problem is nothing to sneeze at

Best Picture Story: Keeping a culture alive, one drumbeat at a time 

Best News Video: The Antique Car Show

Best Features/Lifestyle Video: The Place of Peace

Best Sports Video: The Epic Comeback

Best Illustration: The Maine Monitor audio logo


Editor’s Note (Oct. 31): In the days that followed the awards ceremony, corrections to the list of earned awards distributed prior to the ceremony were made by contest organizers. Changes include the addition of a first place accolade for Best Outdoors Story; the addition of a second place award for Best Health Story; the Downeaster train photo receiving second place rather than third; the Deaths of Despair series receiving second place rather than third in the Continuing Story category; Rose Lundy receiving five awards instead of three; the addition of Braeden Waddell co-winning one award; and the total number of contributors receiving recognition increasing from 18 to 19.  


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The Maine Monitor is a nonprofit, nonpartisan news service of the Maine Center for Public Interest Reporting. Our team of investigative journalists use data- and document-based reporting to produce stories that have an impact.
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