MPA INDIVIDUAL AWARD NOMINATIONS DUE JULY 5

2023 Individual Award Winners

It’s time to nominate your deserving staff and co-workers for the 2024 MPA Individual awards. Please email all nominations to maine@newspapercontest.com by July 5, 2024. Digital entries only, please. The 2024 winners will be announced at the MPA Fall Conference on Oct. 19 in Bar Harbor. Here are the categories:

  • Unsung Hero Award: For any staff member, in any department, whose contributions to his or her newspaper/organization have been essential but often overlooked. Nominations may include examples of the nominee’s work and letters from supervisors and/or co-workers detailing his or her contributions.
  • Advertising Person of the Year: For an advertising employee whose work has been truly distinguished over the course of a year or years. Candidates may have established unique marketing plans or stood out through other measures, such as sales record. Work samples may be included with a nomination letter.
  • Bob Drake Young Writer’s Award: For a full-time employee of a Maine Press Association member with fewer than three years of full-time experience in journalism as of July 5, 2024. A letter from the staffer’s supervisor must contain a review of the nominee’s experience and accomplishments. School or college newspaper experience does not count as full-time experience. Entries will be evaluated on writing quality, enterprise, imagination, thoroughness, balance, and general reporting. As many as six articles may be submitted. 
  • Journalist of the Year: For an exceptional news employee whose work has been truly distinguished over the previous year or a period of years. A reasonable number of news clips, photographs, or other samples of work must be included with a cover letter from the nominee’s editor or publisher. The nominee must be an employee of a member organization.

Note: If the number of entries is insufficient for any individual award, that award may not be given. In that case, any nominations will be held over for the following year.

Nominations sought for 2024 MPA Hall of Fame

Nominations are now being accepted for 2024 inductees to the Maine Press Association Hall of Fame. The deadline to submit nominations is Friday, June 28. Candidates must be Maine newspaper professionals who made lasting career contributions to their craft, in or out of the state. Members can be elected posthumously.

The Hall of Fame was established in 1998. A list of all inductees is on the MPA website. To view, click here.

Each nomination should be accompanied by supporting material that will help committee members as they make their decisions. Nominations and supporting materials must be submitted in an electronic format.

Questions and nominations can be sent to the committee in care of Faith DeAmbrose at fdeambrose@mdislander.com. The 26th annual Hall of Fame induction ceremony will be held October 19 at the MPA Fall Conference in Bar Harbor.

Better Newspaper Contest deadline coming up fast

Don’t forget to get your entries for the 2024 Maine Press Association Better Newspaper Contest in by midnight on Friday, May 31! We are happy to see entries are pouring in, and we’re sure there’s still a healthy amount of submissions that will be added before deadline. This includes online entries AND hard-copy General Excellent Print & General Excellence Advertising entries. Remember to include a completed entry form with your physical, hard-copy entries and note the space on the entry form for judge’s information. 

The Maine Press Association recently awarded $2,000 in scholarships to two Maine journalism students

Amy Blanchard (L) and Ella Candage (R)

Recipients of 2024 scholarships are Amy Blanchard, a junior majoring in communications and pursuing minors in French and anthropology from Saco, Maine; and Ella Candage, a senior studying journalism with a minor in marketing from Manchester, Maine. Both Amy and Ella are students at the University of Maine at Orono.

The Maine Press Association has traditionally awarded scholarships every year to a junior or senior with financial need who plans to pursue a career in journalism. The funds come from the association’s annual scholarship auction.

To inquire about the scholarship, contact Maine Press Association Scholarship Committee Chair Maia Zewert at mzewert@lcnme.com.

Established in 1864, the Maine Press Association works to promote ethical journalism, to advocate for the interests of the journalists and organizations that constitute its membership, and to protect the freedom of the press and the public’s right to know.

Looking for MPA Logowear?

We’ve got you covered with MPA T-shirts (crewneck & v-neck, $30), Hoodies ($45), and Caps ($20). Colors include ash, heather navy, and light blue. Prices include shipping and all proceeds go directly to the MPA Scholarship Fund. Contact MPA Executive Director Diane Norton for more info or to place your order: mainepressmail@gmail.com

2023 MPA Scholarship Auction Update

Now that the dust has settled and all of the rogue checks, cash, and IOUs have been processed, we’re pleased to report a whopping $5,657 of donations to the MPA Scholarship Fund. Many thanks to the businesses and members that made, solicited, and/or gathered donations; to our Auctioneer Extraordinaire Aimsel Ponti who kept the excitement steady, and to all of you generous MPA members and guests for bidding high, bidding often, and purchasing MPA logowear. We suspect the MPA Scholarship Committee will be tickled at the thought of providing even more financial support in the coming year for aspiring student journalists here in Maine.

2023 MPA CONTEST WINNERS

Independence Day Fireworks by Rosemary Wyman, Castine Patriot

Congrats to the winners of the 2023 MPA Better Newspaper Contest. This year’s competition boasted 1475 entries from 37 newspapers & digital outlets competing in 59 categories and three divisions. Thanks to our 2023 Contest Partners including Lynne Lance, and the Utah Press Association.

We’re making the move from a published awards supplement to an online viewing site this year where you can see the winners, winning entries, and judges’ comments. Click Here to connect to all categories with the exception of General Excellence Advertising, General Excellence Print, Best in Show, and Individual Awards. For those categories, Click Here.

MPA Conference is Saturday, Oct. 14

We’re looking forward to seeing all of you at the 2023 MPA’s Conference Saturday, Oct. 14 at the DoubleTree by Hilton Hotel, 363 Maine Mall Road, Portland.

MPA Conference Schedule

8:30 a.m. to 9:15 a.m. | Annual Business Meeting

The Annual Business Meeting of the Maine Press Association will kick off the MPA’s 2023 Conference. Members will elect new board members and consider amendments to the association’s bylaws.

9:30 a.m. to 10:45 a.m.| Answering your questions on Maine’s Right to Know

This year’s Right to Know panel will feature Sig Schutz, libel and defamation expert from Preti Flaherty law firm; Judy Meyer, Sun Journal executive editor and Maine Right to Know Advisory Committee member; and Lynda Clancy, PenBay Pilot editorial director and Maine Right to Know Advisory Committee member. Questions will likely include:

  • How should I report on a meeting in which audience members are silenced in a public forum for airing their concerns or grievances?
  • How do I deal with a public information officer ignoring my calls and emails?

9:30 a.m. to 10:45 a.m.| Panel: A Sustainable Newspapers in Education Program

The Ellsworth American and Mount Desert Islander have had a sustainable Newspapers in Education program for close to 20 years.  In 2022, they launched an NIE initiative for Knox and Waldo County with the Courier-Gazette and Republican Journal.  Cathy Marshall and Chris Crockett will showcase the structure of the program including launching NIE in new markets, classroom solicitation, engaging with the teachers and covering the cost of the program through sponsorships and advertising.

9:30 a.m. to 10:45 a.m.| Panel: How to get smarter with your I-Phone photos

Tips from Sun Journal photographer Russ Dillingham on how to take better photos with your iPhone or other camera.

11:00 a.m. to 12:00 p.m. | Panel: Navigating AI in Journalism with Dwayne Desaulniers

A dive deep into the evolving landscape of journalism in the age of AI. The media realm is on the brink of a transformative shift with the advent of Large Language Models (LLMs) and AI-assisted bots. These tools are not only revolutionizing the way journalists research and present stories but are also enhancing the digital news consumption experience. Join us for an enlightening session with Dwayne Desaulniers as he delves into:

  • Showcase of AI prompts: Discover the mechanics behind AI-driven journalistic tools.
  • Interactive Workshop: Understand the art and science of creating and refining AI prompts.
  • Discussion Forum: Engage in robust conversations on the potential and challenges of AI in journalism.

Plus, bring and share your unique prompt ideas for real-time testing and feedback. About the Speaker: Dwayne Desaulniers has served as AP’s New England representative from 2015 to 2020. He’s now channeling his expertise into business development at AP’s New York City headquarters. 

11:00 a.m. to 12:00 p.m. | Panel: Alternative Revenue Sources

How can publishers drive revenue beyond advertising, sponsorships and subscriptions? Newspaper archives, puzzles, events and ticketing can all be a source of revenue. Who should attend? Anyone in charge of delivering revenue would benefit from this discussion. Join Allison McCann, Group Vice President, Business Development at Maine Trust for Local News.

12:15 p.m. to 1:45 p.m. Hall of Fame Induction Luncheon

Honoring the 2023 Inductees: James McCarthy and Ken Waltz.

2:00 p.m. to 3:00 p.m. | Keynote address A new path forward: The Maine Trust for Local News

Ross McDuffie, the Chief Portfolio Officer for the National Trust for Local News, will be our keynote speaker.  With deep leadership experience at Lee Enterprises and McClatchy, Ross now oversees the National Trust’s growing portfolio of properties including the Maine Trust for Local News (the former Masthead Maine).

3:15 to 4:15 p.m. | Editor + Student Meet & Greet 

Looking for the next generation of journalists?  Make connections with students interested in a career in journalism. Join us at our Editor + Student Meet and Greet where editors can share their perspective on journalism in Maine and students can learn more about our member publications in a casual, social exchange.

5:00 to 6:30 p.m. | Annual Scholarship Auction & Reception

Join MPA members and guests for the Annual Scholarship Auction & Reception, featuring Auctioneer Extraordinaire Aimsel Ponti. All proceeds from the auction benefit the MPA Scholarship Fund

6:30 p.m. | Awards Dinner & Banquet

Who will be this year’s Advertising Person of the Year, Journalist of the Year, Bob Drake Young Writer, and Unsung Hero?

Master of (All) Ceremonies Greg Rec is sure to have the bad-joke jar ready, an entertaining array of hats, and possibly a song or two as we celebrate the winners of the 2023 Better Newspaper Contest and individual awards.

MPA Conference is One Week Away

We’re looking forward to seeing all of you at the 2023 MPA’s Conference next Saturday, Oct. 14 at the DoubleTree by Hilton Hotel, 363 Maine Mall Road, Portland.

Registration is required for attendance at the Conference, and while the registration deadline has passed, you can check availability be contacting Diane Norton at mainepressmail@gmail.com.

The hotel room reservation deadline and special MPA Conference rate of $189 has also passed. The hotel will try but cannot guarantee group rate & room availability beyond the deadline (9/29). Call the hotel directly at 1-207-775-6161 to learn more.

MPA Conference Schedule

8:30 a.m. to 9:15 a.m. | Annual Business Meeting

The Annual Business Meeting of the Maine Press Association will kick off the MPA’s 2023 Conference. Members will elect new board members and consider amendments to the association’s bylaws.

9:30 a.m. to 10:45 a.m.| Answering your questions on Maine’s Right to Know

This year’s Right to Know panel will feature Sig Schutz, libel and defamation expert from Preti Flaherty law firm; Judy Meyer, Sun Journal executive editor and Maine Right to Know Advisory Committee member; and Lynda Clancy, PenBay Pilot editorial director and Maine Right to Know Advisory Committee member. Questions will likely include:

  • How should I report on a meeting in which audience members are silenced in a public forum for airing their concerns or grievances?
  • How do I deal with a public information officer ignoring my calls and emails?

9:30 a.m. to 10:45 a.m.| Panel: A Sustainable Newspapers in Education Program

The Ellsworth American and Mount Desert Islander have had a sustainable Newspapers in Education program for close to 20 years.  In 2022, they launched an NIE initiative for Knox and Waldo County with the Courier-Gazette and Republican Journal.  Cathy Marshall and Chris Crockett will showcase the structure of the program including launching NIE in new markets, classroom solicitation, engaging with the teachers and covering the cost of the program through sponsorships and advertising.

9:30 a.m. to 10:45 a.m.| Panel: How to get smarter with your I-Phone photos

Tips from Sun Journal photographer Russ Dillingham on how to take better photos with your iPhone or other camera.

11:00 a.m. to 12:00 p.m. | Panel: Navigating AI in Journalism with Dwayne Desaulniers

A dive deep into the evolving landscape of journalism in the age of AI. The media realm is on the brink of a transformative shift with the advent of Large Language Models (LLMs) and AI-assisted bots. These tools are not only revolutionizing the way journalists research and present stories but are also enhancing the digital news consumption experience. Join us for an enlightening session with Dwayne Desaulniers as he delves into:

  • Showcase of AI prompts: Discover the mechanics behind AI-driven journalistic tools.
  • Interactive Workshop: Understand the art and science of creating and refining AI prompts.
  • Discussion Forum: Engage in robust conversations on the potential and challenges of AI in journalism.

Plus, bring and share your unique prompt ideas for real-time testing and feedback. About the Speaker: Dwayne Desaulniers has served as AP’s New England representative from 2015 to 2020. He’s now channeling his expertise into business development at AP’s New York City headquarters. 

11:00 a.m. to 12:00 p.m. | Panel: Alternative Revenue Sources

How can publishers drive revenue beyond advertising, sponsorships and subscriptions? Newspaper archives, puzzles, events and ticketing can all be a source of revenue. Who should attend? Anyone in charge of delivering revenue would benefit from this discussion. Join Allison McCann, Group Vice President, Business Development at Maine Trust for Local News.

12:15 p.m. to 1:45 p.m. Hall of Fame Induction Luncheon

Honoring the 2023 Inductees: James McCarthy and Ken Waltz.

2:00 p.m. to 3:00 p.m. | Keynote address A new path forward: The Maine Trust for Local News

Ross McDuffie, the Chief Portfolio Officer for the National Trust for Local News, will be our keynote speaker.  With deep leadership experience at Lee Enterprises and McClatchy, Ross now oversees the National Trust’s growing portfolio of properties including the Maine Trust for Local News (the former Masthead Maine).

3:15 to 4:15 p.m. | Editor + Student Meet & Greet 

Looking for the next generation of journalists?  Make connections with students interested in a career in journalism. Join us at our Editor + Student Meet and Greet where editors can share their perspective on journalism in Maine and students can learn more about our member publications in a casual, social exchange.

5:00 to 6:30 p.m. | Annual Scholarship Auction & Reception

Join MPA members and guests for the Annual Scholarship Auction & Reception, featuring Auctioneer Extraordinaire Aimsel Ponti. All proceeds from the auction benefit the MPA Scholarship Fund

6:30 p.m. | Awards Dinner & Banquet

Who will be this year’s Advertising Person of the Year, Journalist of the Year, Bob Drake Young Writer, and Unsung Hero?

Master of (All) Ceremonies Greg Rec is sure to have the bad-joke jar ready, an entertaining array of hats, and possibly a song or two as we celebrate the winners of the 2023 Better Newspaper Contest and individual awards.

Conference Hotel Room Deadline is Sept. 29!

The MPA’s annual conference will be held Saturday, Oct. 14 at the DoubleTree by Hilton Hotel, 363 Maine Mall Road, Portland. We have a hotel room block reserved at the special MPA Conference rate of $189. Hotel Room Reservations for Oct. 13-14 must be made directly with the hotel. Click here to book online or call 1-207-775-6161. The Hotel Reservation Deadline is today, Sept. 29. The hotel will try but cannot guarantee group rate & room availability beyond this date. 

Registration is required for attendance at the Conference, regardless of whether you plan to attend programming the Hall of Fame Induction Luncheon, and/or the Awards Dinner & Banquet.The conference registration deadline was last Friday, Sept. 22. If you’ve not yet registered, please contact Diane Norton today at mainepressmail@gmail.com. Check the MPA website for the registration form and more information.

MPA Conference Schedule

8:30 a.m. to 9:15 a.m. | Annual Business Meeting

The Annual Business Meeting of the Maine Press Association will kick off the MPA’s 2023 Conference. Members will elect new board members and consider amendments to the association’s bylaws.

9:30 a.m. to 10:45 a.m.| Answering your questions on Maine’s Right to Know

This year’s Right to Know panel will feature Sig Schutz, libel and defamation expert from Preti Flaherty law firm; Judy Meyer, Sun Journal executive editor and Maine Right to Know Advisory Committee member; and Lynda Clancy, PenBay Pilot editorial director and Maine Right to Know Advisory Committee member. Questions will likely include:

  • How should I report on a meeting in which audience members are silenced in a public forum for airing their concerns or grievances?
  • How do I deal with a public information officer ignoring my calls and emails?

9:30 a.m. to 10:45 a.m.| Panel: A Sustainable Newspapers in Education Program

The Ellsworth American and Mount Desert Islander have had a sustainable Newspapers in Education program for close to 20 years.  In 2022, they launched an NIE initiative for Knox and Waldo County with the Courier-Gazette and Republican Journal.  Cathy Marshall and Chris Crockett will showcase the structure of the program including launching NIE in new markets, classroom solicitation, engaging with the teachers and covering the cost of the program through sponsorships and advertising.

9:30 a.m. to 10:45 a.m.| Panel: How to get smarter with your I-Phone photos

Tips from Sun Journal photographer Russ Dillingham on how to take better photos with your iPhone or other camera.

11:00 a.m. to 12:00 p.m. | Panel: Navigating AI in Journalism with Dwayne Desaulniers

A dive deep into the evolving landscape of journalism in the age of AI. The media realm is on the brink of a transformative shift with the advent of Large Language Models (LLMs) and AI-assisted bots. These tools are not only revolutionizing the way journalists research and present stories but are also enhancing the digital news consumption experience. Join us for an enlightening session with Dwayne Desaulniers as he delves into:

  • Showcase of AI prompts: Discover the mechanics behind AI-driven journalistic tools.
  • Interactive Workshop: Understand the art and science of creating and refining AI prompts.
  • Discussion Forum: Engage in robust conversations on the potential and challenges of AI in journalism.

Plus, bring and share your unique prompt ideas for real-time testing and feedback. About the Speaker: Dwayne Desaulniers has served as AP’s New England representative from 2015 to 2020. He’s now channeling his expertise into business development at AP’s New York City headquarters. 

11:00 a.m. to 12:00 p.m. | Panel: Alternative Revenue Sources

How can publishers drive revenue beyond advertising, sponsorships and subscriptions? Newspaper archives, puzzles, events and ticketing can all be a source of revenue. Who should attend? Anyone in charge of delivering revenue would benefit from this discussion. Join Allison McCann, Group Vice President, Business Development at Maine Trust for Local News.

12:15 p.m. to 1:45 p.m. Hall of Fame Induction Luncheon

Honoring the 2023 Inductees: James McCarthy and Ken Waltz.

2:00 p.m. to 3:00 p.m. | Keynote address A new path forward: The Maine Trust for Local News

Ross McDuffie, the Chief Portfolio Officer for the National Trust for Local News, will be our keynote speaker.  With deep leadership experience at Lee Enterprises and McClatchy, Ross now oversees the National Trust’s growing portfolio of properties including the Maine Trust for Local News (the former Masthead Maine).

3:15 to 4:15 p.m. | Editor + Student Meet & Greet 

Looking for the next generation of journalists?  Make connections with students interested in a career in journalism. Join us at our Editor + Student Meet and Greet where editors can share their perspective on journalism in Maine and students can learn more about our member publications in a casual, social exchange.

5:00 to 6:30 p.m. | Annual Scholarship Auction & Reception

Join MPA members and guests for the Annual Scholarship Auction & Reception, featuring Auctioneer Extraordinaire Aimsel Ponti. All proceeds from the auction benefit the MPA Scholarship Fund

6:30 p.m. | Awards Dinner & Banquet

Who will be this year’s Advertising Person of the Year, Journalist of the Year, Bob Drake Young Writer, and Unsung Hero?

Master of (All) Ceremonies Greg Rec is sure to have the bad-joke jar ready, an entertaining array of hats, and possibly a song or two as we celebrate the winners of the 2023 Better Newspaper Contest and individual awards.