Grant Means More In-depth News from Nonprofit
The Maine Center for Public Interest Reporting is about to become a bigger factor in the state’s journalism community. On August 15, the center announced it had secured a grant for $100,000 from the Ethics and Excellence in Journalism Foundation. That money plus an earlier $25,000 grant from the Nicholas B. Ottaway Foundation will cover most of the organization’s annual budget of about $150,000, according to founder and senior editor John Christie.
“It puts us in a very solid position,” Christie said. “It allows us to bring somebody on to do development, Web page improvements, produce more content for the Web – things we’d like to do, but don’t have the time to do.”
He said the group will also have more money to hire freelancers and will be able to make its first foray into social media.
Christie, the former publisher of the Kennebec Journal and Morning Sentinel, started the MCPIR in 2009. He was joined by senior reporter Naomi Schalit in 2010. That team has since produced numerous in-depth investigative pieces, including a six-part series on the state’s pension system, a detailed examination of how bail is set in Maine, and an exposé on the questionable spending and unusual political connections of the Maine Green Energy Alliance. Christie said to expect more of the same in the future, but on a more regular basis.
“We have lots of good ideas,” he said. “There are lots of things in this state that could use a good investigative look.”
The center’s stories are offered free of charge to media outlets. They now run in the Bangor Daily News, Lewiston Sun Journal, Times Record, Ellsworth American, Forecaster, Village Soup newspapers, and the Current Publishing papers.
Al Diamon can be emailed at email@example.com.