John Christie

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Center reporters awarded top New England journalism award — twice

New England’s leading media association has awarded two of its top journalism awards
to The Maine Center for Public Interest Reporting. The New England Newspaper and Press Association on Thursday recognized the Center with two Publick Occurrences Awards for its expose called, “Rx for Theft,” and its profile of governor Paul LePage. The press association presented 12 Publick Occurrences Awards this year for “the very best work that New England newspapers produce … whether it’s individual or team stories, series, spot news coverage, columns or photojournalism …”

Newspapers of all sizes, from large dailies to weeklies to small online media such as the Center, competed for the awards. The Center was the only news organization to win two of the awards this year. In awarding the prize to Center senior reporters Naomi Schalit and John Christie for their series on pharmacists who steal drugs, the judges said, “The report showed that the Maine pharmacy board was too lax in reissuing licenses. Continue Reading →

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Tables turned: Rob Caldwell interviews Center reporters on “207”

John Christie and Naomi Schalit, the Center’s co-founders and senior reporters, were interviewed recently by Rob Caldwell for his popular news program, “207.” Asked what impact the Center hoped to have, Schalit responded, “We don’t have a dog in the fight — we just want to tell a story so that citizens in Maine can understand what is happening with their government and act knowledgeably as citizens to hold their leaders accountable.” Thanks to Rob Caldwell for turning the tables on the interviewers and asking great questions! Continue Reading →

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From the barnyard to the statehouse, all in a day’s work for a reporter

In the fall of 1967, I dropped into my college newspaper’s office and asked for a tryout to be a reporter. The staff seemed older, busier and worldlier than the 18-year-old sophomore who stood before them. The assignment they gave me was probably the one no one else wanted — coverage of the annual livestock competition at the aggie school. You’d think that a New Hampshire kid like me would know something about farming, but I came from a mill town, not one of those tiny New England farming villages. I could change the head on a ’54 Chevy and hit a set shot from 30 feet out, but my knowledge of farm animals began and ended with telling a bull from a cow. Continue Reading →

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