Time to gather your winners. The 2016 MPA Better Newspaper Contest commenced on April 22, 2016, with entry materials and guidelines emailed to all MPA members. This year’s contest format will be similar to last year: digital entries for all photography and online categories and tearsheet entries for everything else. Submissions deadline is June 3, 2016. The contest is open to all MPA members in good standing. Winners will be celebrated at the 2016 Annual Conference to be held October 29, 2016, in South Portland.
The Lincoln County News Publisher Chris Roberts has named Deputy Editor J.W. Oliver the next editor of the newspaper.
Oliver will move into the role upon the departure of Editor Sherwood Olin, who announced his resignation in an editorial last week. Olin plans to step down in late February.
Oliver, 31, grew up in South Bristol. He is a ninth-generation resident of Lincoln County. Except for a partial kindergarten year at South Bristol School, he is a product of home schooling from kindergarten through high school.
Oliver holds a Bachelor of Fine Arts degree in creative writing from the University of Maine at Farmington, where he also studied journalism and feature writing and was editor-in-chief of the student newspaper as a senior.
The Lincoln County News hired Oliver in May 2010 to cover the towns of Alna, Dresden, Edgecomb, Westport Island, and Wiscasset. He has since reported from every town in the county, as well as Hibbert’s Gore and Monhegan Plantation.
His byline is most familiar to readers in Bristol, Damariscotta, Newcastle, and South Bristol, where he was assigned from September 2010 until his promotion to deputy editor in May 2014.
As deputy editor, Oliver assists in the management of the news staff, edits staff work and outside submissions, and remains active as a reporter.
Shortly after becoming deputy editor, Oliver spearheaded the newspaper’s ongoing partnership with the Bangor Daily News with the intention of better informing readers about statewide issues.
As a reporter, he oversaw the newspaper’s successful return to competition in the Maine Press Association Better Newspaper Contest after a long absence. The newspaper has collected 33 awards in the last three years of the contest.
“I am grateful to Sherwood for giving me an opportunity as a rookie reporter in 2010, and I am grateful to the Roberts family for entrusting me with the leadership of the newsroom,” Oliver said.
“I have deep roots in Lincoln County and The Lincoln County News has always been part of my life,” Oliver said. “I am dedicated to continuing to serve our readers, preserving the 139-year legacy of this newspaper, and strengthening it as we continue to confront the challenges and embrace the opportunities presented by changes across the industry.”
The Lincoln County News Publisher Chris Roberts said he is pleased to announce the hire.
“We are happy to have as our next editor someone who shares our family’s commitment to serve the community,” Roberts said. “J.W. has a strong sense of fairness, and we believe he has the skills, vision, and work ethic to lead the newsroom forward.”
Oliver represents the newspaper on the Maine Press Association Board of Directors and sits on the association’s contest, legislative, and scholarship committees.
Outside the office, he likes to spend time with family and play basketball. He manages and plays for The Lincoln County News-sponsored team in the men’s league at The First Baptist Church of Waldoboro.
Oliver lives in South Bristol with his wife, Rachael Oliver, and their 4-month-old son, Harrison.
The Boothbay Register is seeking a full-time reporter for the Boothbay region, with a focus on municipal/town/school boards, community organizations/events, spot/breaking news beats.
Applicants with news journalism experience and/or a degree in journalism will be considered first. Experience with word processing, content management systems and social media will be key applicant considerations. Ability to work in a dynamic, distributed team environment with command of a journalistic writing style and positive, objective attitude are a must.
Please send a cover letter, references, writing samples to email@example.com or by mail to Boothbay Register, c/o Human Resources, 97 Townsend Ave., Boothbay Harbor, ME 04538
BIDDEFORD — The Journal Tribune recently appointed veteran journalist Rod Harmon to the position of managing editor. Journal Tribune Publisher Devin Hamilton was thrilled to bring in Harmon, who brings 25 years of experience with him.
“We are excited that a community-minded editor of Rod’s caliber is joining our team,” said Hamilton. “Rod brings a wealth of knowledge and experience to the newsroom, including serving as an editor for several years in Maine.”
Harmon, who has worked for newspapers in Illinois and Florida, was an assistant managing editor at the Portland Press Herald for six years before being promoted to executive editor of the Coastal Journal in Bath in 2013.
Harmon started his own freelance consulting and public relations business in January and has been specializing in helping non-profits and small businesses in Maine and New England.
Harmon is ready to help bring the Journal Tribune to the next level. “I saw an opportunity here. There is a lot of enthusiasm and a lot of potential for growth – especially under new publisher Devin Hamilton,” said Harmon. “I like challenges and I like the opportunity to help a product realize its full potential.”
Hamilton believes with Harmon’s leadership the Journal Tribune is positioned to become an even bigger asset to the community – from both the digital side, which includes a new website, and an improved print edition. “We are set for a tremendous 2016. Rod joins our associate editor, Dina Mendros, in leading the way to strengthen our media presence in York County,” said Hamilton.
Harmon lives in Freeport with his wife, Martha, and his daughter, Rachel, who is an eighth-grader at Freeport Middle School. Since moving to Maine in 2007, Harmon says his family has made several trips to York County. “We’ve done the usually touristy things since moving to Maine – Old Orchard Beach, Ogunquit beach, Ogunquit Playhouse. We love the playhouse, we try to go to at least one production there a year. Sometimes we make our way down to the Kennebunks to do some shopping or some sightseeing,” said Harmon.
Harmon is ready to start exploring the rest of the area and getting to know the Journal Tribune community. “I’m excited to be here, and I’m looking forward to meeting new people in the community,” said Harmon.
Here are the winners of the 2015 MPA Better Newspaper Contest’s missing Weekly News Story category, which was received after the Conference:
1st place: Dan Dunkle, The Courier-Gazette: “Memory of horrific fire haunts local friends, family”
2nd place: Susan Morse & Deborah McDermott, The York Weekly: “‘We were very lucky’: Microburst damage leaves residents busy but thankful,” “Town waiting to release funds”
BANGOR – The Portland Press Herald, The Republican Journal of Belfast, the Mount Desert Islander of Bar Harbor and the Maine Sunday Telegram have been honored by the Maine Press Association for General Excellence print newspapers.
The Bangor Daily News, the Camden Herald/Republican Journal and the Mount Desert Islander took top honors for digital General Excellence in the MPA’s Better Newspaper Contest.
The awards were presented Saturday night at the Hilton Garden Inn in Bangor, concluding a day of workshops for journalists, advertising staff and newsroom managers throughout the state.
Earlier in the day, the association inducted three new members to its Hall of Fame: Lou Ureneck, former executive editor of the Portland Press Herald/Maine Sunday Telegram; Bob Kalish, who wrote for national publications and The Times Record in Brunswick; and longtime Press Herald/Telegram columnist Bill Nemitz.
In the General Excellence competition for print newspapers, the Press Herald was judged the best daily in Maine for the third year in a row while the Telegram was the weekend Newspaper of the Year for the fifth time in six years. The contest judge wrote, “They are far and away the best paper(s) in Maine. They are solid professional newspapers of substance, initiative, energy and readability.”
In the Weekly 1 division, for newspapers with less than 4,000 print circulation, The Republican Journal was described as having a “clean design and nice mix of hard news and features.” The Weekly 2 winner, the Mount Desert Islander, was applauded for its “wide-ranging, eclectic and thorough coverage of community.”
The Mount Desert Islander has been named Newspaper of the Year nine times since 2006 – five times in the Weekly 1 division and four straight years in Weekly 2 (4,000 and over circulation).
The digital General Excellence winner among daily/weekend papers, the Bangor Daily News, was lauded for “featuring an attractive, understated presentation. Frequent updating with fresh news. Easily identifiable points for reader interaction, including news tips, polls and quizzes, and judicious use of video.”
The Weekly 1 winners, The Camden Herald & The Republican Journal, were commended by judges for “doing a fine job of placing fresh news in front of readers who don’t want to wait for the print edition.”
Judges praised the Weekly 2 winner, Mount Desert Islander, for providing a “beautiful, news-forward presentation. Easily navigated. Plenty of fresh content for readers.”
The Advertiser-Democrat of Oxford County won the Freedom of Information first-place award in the weekly category, while the Portland Press Herald took top honors in the daily/weekend division.
The Journalist of the Year award went to Scott Dolan of the Portland Press Herald; the Advertising Person of the Year is Barbara Hendsbee of the Press Herald.
Christopher Crosby, formerly of the Sun Journal in Lewiston, won the Bob Drake Young Writer’s Award; and Bridget Campbell of the Kennebec Journal/Morning Sentinel, Melanie Creamer of the Portland Press Herald, and Kathy Lizotte of The Lincoln County News were honored by the MPA as the Unsung Heroes of the Year.
A complete list of 2015 award winners will be posted this week on the MPA’s website: www.mainepressassociation.org
We’re looking forward to seeing MPA members and guests at the MPA Annual Fall Conference on Saturday, October 17, at the Hilton Garden Inn in Bangor.
The day’s events kick off at 8:45 am with the Annual Business Meeting. Morning sessions will run from 9:15 am to 12:15 pm followed by The Hall of Fame Luncheon at 12:30 pm, and our last session of the day slated at 2:15 pm. Bring your bidding paddle to the ever-popular Scholarship Auction & Reception at 5:30 pm followed by the 2015 Better Newspaper Contest Awards Dinner and Banquet.
The MPA has a special group rate of $149 a night, good for the nights of October 16 and 17 at The Hilton Garden Inn in Bangor. Although the room reservation deadline has passed, you can check with the hotel at 207-262-0099 to see if they still have availability.
The Times Record, a five-day-a-week newspaper serving
the Bath-Brunswick area of beautiful Midcoast Maine, has
an immediate opening for a full-time Sportswriter. The
two-person sports team serves seven area high schools,
along with Bowdoin College and Hyde School in Bath.
The right candidate will:
• Have a love of high school and college sports;
• Be well-versed in sports writing, copy editing
and photography, and be willing to learn on the
job in a fast-paced environment;
• Be knowledgeable in social media, as the sports
department provides live coverage by using
Twitter and Facebook.
The Sports Reporter will be expected to lay out
pages. Experience is a plus, but we are willing to train
the right candidate.
Those interested should submit a resume, cover letter
and three writing samples to Sports Editor Bob Conn
BANGOR — The Maine Press Association will induct three new members into its Hall of Fame at its annual meeting and conference, set for Saturday, Oct. 17, at the Hilton Garden Inn.
Inductees include Press Herald and Maine Sunday Telegram writer and columnist Bill Nemitz, Bob Kalish, formerly of The Times Record in Brunswick, and Lou Ureneck, who’s career included stints with the Press Herald, and the Evening Express in Portland and with the Maine Sunday Telegram.
Both Nemitz and Ureneck have previously been honored by MPA as Maine’s Journalist of the Year.
Kalish’s career included covering Hollywood for Daily Variety, serving as a war correspondent in Thailand during Vietnam, and working in television and radio in Chicago. At the Record, he drove hard-hitting coverage of the Maine Yankee Atomic Power Plant and the Brunswick Naval Air Station. Along the way he mentored multiple generations of young journalists including several that went to earn key journalism fellowships or be honored as Journalist of the Year.
In retirement, he continues to write for newspapers including essays published in The Boston Globe.
Bill Nemitz began his career in Maine journalism in 1977 as a reporter for the Morning Sentinel in Waterville. He moved to Portland in 1983, working as a reporter for the Evening Express before moving up to positions as city editor and sports editor for the Press Herald and Maine Sunday Telegram. A past president of MPA, Nemitz began writing a column that made him one of Maine’s best-known journalists in 1995.
He reported from Northern Ireland at the end of the Troubles, from Manhattan in the aftermath of 9/11, from the Gulf Coast after Hurricane Katrina, from Haiti after its destructive earthquake and from Boston in the hours after the marathon bombing.
Four times, Nemitz went to the Middle East and embedded with members of the Maine Army National Guard.
A native of New Jersey and a graduate of the University of New Hampshire, Lou Ureneck got his feet wet during a brief stint at the Providence Journal before coming to Maine in 1974 to begin his career at the Gannett Papers in Portland, including the Press Herald, the Evening Express and the Maine Sunday Telegram.
After leaving Maine in the mid-90s, Ureneck became editor-in-residence at the Nieman Foundation at Harvard and served as page-one editor of the Philadelphia Inquirer before becoming a professor at the Boston University’s School of Journalism.
Ureneck has written three books, including a memoir about building a cabin in the Maine wilderness. His latest book, “The Great Fire,” is an account of the post-World War I destruction of the Turkish city of Smyrna and the systematic killing of 3 million Christians.
The official Hall of Fame induction ceremony will be held at a luncheon during the conference on Oct. 17 at 12:30 p.m. Tickets are available by contacting MPA Executive Director Diane Norton at firstname.lastname@example.org or call 207-691-0131.
The MPA is seeking new members to serve on its board of directors. The board meets every six weeks and actively works to support the interests of member newspapers while keeping a pulse on legislative issues that affect the organization, planning the annual Fall Conference, and choosing Hall of Fame inductees. Mark Mogensen of Sun Journal is the incoming 2015-2016 president while Lisa DeSisto of MaineToday Media will be first vice president. The board welcomes potential members from all newspaper departments, including news, advertising, circulation and business. We’re also seeking one associate member. For more information, contact MPA Executive Director Diane Norton at 691-0131 or email@example.com.