Two reporters for The Maine Monitor collected awards Friday, June 10 at the 2021-2022 Report for America Local News Awards in Chicago.
Samantha Hogan won a first place accolade in the investigative reporting category for her January 2022 story “Jailed defendants expected private attorney calls. They didn’t always get them.”
The story, the first in her ongoing Eavesdropping in Maine Jails series, revealed how defendants in Maine jails feared they couldn’t get a fair trial after state police acknowledged listening to portions of phone calls with their attorneys.
After filing more than 100 public records requests, Hogan uncovered that four jails recorded nearly 1,000 attorney-client calls in a single year and shared recordings with police and prosecutors before trial.
Rose Lundy, meanwhile, received third place honors in the feature writing category for her December 2021 story “Tiny Coopers Mills reeling in the aftermath of nursing home closure” that profiled how a small Lincoln County community has struggled with the closure of its 35-bed nursing home.
Neighbors told Lundy that they worried about the loss of jobs, emergency services and community engagement.
For some community members, the loss of the nursing home was personal. Frank Slason used to visit his wife, Diane, at Country Manor every day. It took him 15 minutes to drive there from the home they built together in nearby Somerville. With the closure of Country Manor, Diane was moved to a facility in Winthrop, a move that was a nerve-wracking drive for Frank and, at the time, costing him $60 a week in gas for his three trips per week.
Lundy recently reported that the Winthrop home was placed on a federal “special focus” list because of violations.
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: Hogan, Lundy and Kate Cough.
To support the work of our Report for America journalists, readers should consider making a donation to the Monitor’s newsroom to help us continue to produce award-winning journalism.