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MPA 2021 Conference & Better Newspaper Contest Update

2021 Virtual Awards Presentation | Let’s Celebrate!

While we won’t be meeting in-person for the 2021 MPA Fall Conference, let’s celebrate each other and all 69 categories of Better Newspaper Award winners!

We hope you’ll join us November 13 at 5:00 p.m. for the Virtual Awards Presentation, hosted by Greg Rec, to celebrate all of the winners of this year’s Better Newspaper Contest and unveil the winners of this year’s coveted General Excellence and individual awards including Journalist of the Year, Advertising Person of the Year, Bob Drake Young Writer, and Unsung Hero.

Like last year, your registration fee includes the Awards Presentation PLUS subsequent programming throughout the year, and we have four presentations lined up and ready to go.

Please join us: Saturday, November 13

5:00 – 6:30 p.m. | $25 per person

To Register, Click Here.

Award plaques and certificates and the 2021 Awards Supplement, complete with all contest winners and judges’ comments, will be provided to members in PDF form after the Virtual Awards Presentation.

We will also produce a ½-page ad to celebrate this year’s award winners, including our Hall of Fame inductees, and promote the Scholarship Auction. The ad will be made available to every MPA member for publication, if they so choose.

MPA Annual Business Meeting will be held Oct. 23 at 9:30 via Zoom. All MPA members are welcome to attend. Click Here to join the meeting. Meeting ID: 893 9663 7684 | Passcode: 898435

The 2021 Hall of Fame Induction Ceremony will be postponed until next year in Bar Harbor, with the formal induction of the 2021 and the 2022 slate. Save the date: 10/22/22.

2021 MPA Conference Programming: The MPA Program Committee will schedule programs planned for the in-person conference into a series of webinars. We will be circulating information about that schedule soon.

 Online Silent Scholarship Auction | Time to Clean out the Gift Drawer

That’s right, we’re searching high and low for items to feature in the 2021 Silent Scholarship Auction. Gift certificates and coupons to places, products and events (sailing excursions, weekends at your camp) make for great donations as do foods and specialty items.

Who would have guessed a dozen Labadie whoopie pies, donated by the generous Mark Mogensen of the Sun Journal, would have encouraged a bidding war last year right up until the last minute? Being the kindred spirits that they are MPA Executive Director Diane Norton and MPA President Lynda Clancy shared the bounty.

Any and all item donations appreciated. Please email Diane Norton,, for a submission form, or send a photo, description of the item and value by Oct. 25.

Then, get ready to bid early and often when the Auction goes live on Oct. 30 (and ends Nov. 14).

All proceeds from the auction fund the MPA Scholarship Fund, which is integral to our mission of encouraging more young journalists to join the profession. Your generous participation in last year’s scholarship auction resulted in the distribution of $4,000 of scholarships to Maine students earlier this year.

 In Memoriam
Each year, MPA honors our colleagues who have died during the previous year. We invite your in memoriam suggestions so that we can honor them at the conference. Please Email Diane at by Monday, Oct 28.

Maine Press Association to induct three into Hall of Fame

Three new members will enter the Maine Press Association Hall of Fame on October 23. Dorothy “Dot” Roderick, Dieter Bradbury and Judy Meyer have been selected by the MPA’s Hall of Fame Committee and will be inducted during the association’s annual Fall Conference.

Dot Roderick was one of the first women advertising executives in the newspaper industry.

Roderick worked 43 years for Gannett, starting in 1937 with the Central Maine Morning Sentinel and then transferring to Portland in 1940 to work for The Portland Press Herald, Evening Express and Sunday Telegram.

She became national ad manager in 1956, working with advertisers and advertising agencies throughout the United States and with the newspapers’ national advertising representative, Landon Associates.

Roderick frequently spoke fondly about her days in a heavily male-dominated industry, jet-setting across the country to meet with execs and clients as well as entertaining the same, along with her husband Arthur, when clients came to Maine.

Dot retired in 1980 from Gannett’s Portland newspapers and died on March 1, 2020, at the age of 101.

Jack Milton/Staff Photographer: Press Herald/Maine Sunday Telegram reporter Dieter Bradbury Friday, August 24, 2007.

Dieter Bradbury has been a force in Maine journalism for more than four decades.

Upon graduating from the University of Southern Maine in 1980, Bradbury was hired part-time for the Portland Press Herald’s afternoon paper, the Evening Express. Two years later, he became a full-time reporter for the Press Herald, covering the night cops beat and later was the environment reporter.

Bradbury then went to the assignment desk, later served a short time as the Press Herald’s business editor and then in 2012 he was promoted to deputy managing editor, overseeing the news desks, directing specialty beats and political reporting, and managing some of the paper’s most important work.

For the past 10 years, Bradbury has directed the State House, political and election coverage and he has shepherded some of the Herald’s top projects during his time as deputy managing editor. Among them: the 2012 series “Deadly Force,” which investigated police shootings; the 2014 series “The Challenge of Our Age,” which examined the issues facing our aging population; and the 2017 series “Lost,” which chronicled the tolls that the opioid epidemic was taking on our state and our people.

Bradbury retired from the Portland Press Herald in September.

Judy Meyer began working for the Sun Journal as a freelancer out of the Norway (Maine) bureau, where she covered local selectmen’s meetings and breaking news in nearby towns.

In 1996, she was hired full-time to run that bureau, and from there she rose swiftly through the ranks of one of the largest daily newspapers in Maine. In 1998, she was made editorial page editor at the newspaper’s headquarters in Lewiston. Five years later, she was named daytime managing editor. In April 2016, she was named the Sun Journal’s executive editor, replacing Rex Rhoades upon his retirement.

Today, Meyer is responsible for overseeing the Sun Journal, the third-largest daily newspaper in Maine, as well as at a half-dozen weekly newspapers spread throughout Sun Media’s western Maine coverage area. She also serves as executive editor of the central Maine dailies: Morning Sentinel and Kennebec Journal.

A fierce advocate for first amendment rights, Meyer was instrumental in the formation of the Maine Freedom of Information Coalition (MFOIC), a group that’s been the leading advocacy organization for improving open meeting and public record laws in Maine.

The MPA Hall of Fame, established in 1998, honors newspaper people with Maine connections who have made outstanding contributions to the profession. Its members are on the MPA website, at

Tickets to the Hall of Fame induction ceremony are available by contacting MPA Executive Director Diane Norton at or 691-0131.

Carolyn Jane Flanagan

We are saddened to report that our former colleague, Carolyn Flanagan, has died. A number of us in the Midcoast were fortunate to have worked with Carolyn over the years, and remember her fondly for her sharp sense of humor, dedication to journalism, and strong work ethic. Thank you, Carolyn!

BARRINGTON, NH – Carolyn Jane Flanagan, 81, native of Rockland, recently of Barrington, NH, passed away peacefully at home on August 20, 2021, after an extended illness.

Born in Rockland, July 31, 1940, she was the fifth of nine children to James and Eileen Spinney Flanagan. She graduated from Rockland High School in 1958. Carolyn was married to Charles Allen, Jr on October 5, 1963; they were married for 27 years.

Carolyn was a well-known community member of Rockland. She worked as a receptionist and then in advertising sales for the Courier Gazette and Camden Herald for many years. She relished her relationships with co-workers and clients throughout her career. Carolyn was passionate about golf and could be found almost every summer day at the Rockland Golf Course getting in her 18 holes with her family and friends. She often stated that playing golf as the sun was setting was as close to heaven as she could get while here on Earth. Carolyn was proud to be a promoter of the next generation of golfers and was actively involved in the junior program at Rockland Golf Course in the 1970’s and 80’s. She coached high school cheerleading in the 1980s as well. Above all, Carolyn was a devoted mother, grandmother, and sister and took great pride in caring for and supporting all her loved ones.

For the full obituary and service information, contact:

Burpee, Carpenter & Hutchins Funeral Home

110 Limerock Street Rockland, ME 04841



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2021 MPA Programming | Police Report Coverage and Writing

The Maine Press Association is excited to be able to offer another webinar in our 2021 series, Police Report Coverage and Writing.

Earl Brechlin, former managing editor of the Mount Desert Islander and Bar Harbor Times will present best practices for entry-level police report coverage and writing.   The dos, don’ts and finding the story that is sometimes hidden in plain sight within the police report.  Also, how to sift through a mountain of inconsequential information, and write fair, accurate, clear, and concise police reports free of jargon.

Date: Thursday, August 26 at 3 p.m.
Cost: $10
Platform:  Zoom

Please use the link below to register:

Be sure to watch your email or follow us on Facebook for additional webinar announcements.

John E. Hammer

John E. Hammer, former News Editor of The Courier-Gazette, died June 1, 2021  at his home in Fruitland Park, FL with his wife Cheryl by his side after a lengthy battle with multiple myeloma cancer. The Camden native was 70 years old and had moved to Lake County Florida in 2006, retiring from Gannett, Inc. in 2017.

Hammer, who started working as a reporter/photographer at The Courier-Gazette as a high-school senior in 1969, became news editor of the tri-weekly in 1972, a position he held until leaving Maine in 1981 to take over as Managing Editor of The Maryland Independent, a suburban Washington, DC newspaper.

The 1969 Camden-Rockport High School graduate and University of Maine/Augusta attendee went on to a career that spanned nearly a half-century in the newspaper, publishing, and media field in multiple states.

John Elliot Hammer was born to Nelson John “Jack” Hammer and Helena D. (Gray) Hammer on Dec. 29, 1950 at the original Camden Hospital on Mountain Street. He is survived by his wife of 25 years, Cheryl (Berg) Hammer; daughter Tracey Thibault, husband Marc and granddaughter Briannah of West Gardiner, Maine; stepdaughter Stacey Beneck and husband John of Elizabeth City, NC; stepdaughter Lesley Raley, husband Chris, and granddaughters Anna and Mia Raley of North Yarmouth, Maine; and mother-in-law Beverly Berg of Fruitland Park, FL.

Hammer had an interesting and varied journey in his newspaper/publishing career travels.

After Whitney Communications merged newspaper divisions in Maryland, Hammer moved to North Central Minnesota where he was Managing Editor and then Publisher of the daily/ Sunday Pioneer Newspapers and printing operations in Bemidji, MN until the sale of the property from Scripps-Pioneer Newspapers to Park Newspapers in the late 1980s. Hammer loved the Scandinavian influence of northern Minnesota and the people he met there through the ’80s but eventually moved back to Maine and NH as Vice-President of James Newspapers, where he worked in Portland. ME and North Conway, NH to be closer to his widowed mother in Camden.

Hammer was an owner or publisher-partner in several weekly or monthly ventures:  The Northern-Guide of Bemidji, MN; Senior News& Views – Minnesota; Parent & Family Monthly of Southern Maine; and The New Hampshire Times (formerly Seacoast Sunday) in Coastal NH and York County, ME with several partners, including longtime friend and former Courier-Gazette business manager, Wayne Nelson.

Upon moving to Florida, he worked for Gannett, Inc (later TEGNA and other publishing entities thereof) primarily in the Orlando and Lake County/The Villages region until retirement in 2017.

Hammer was involved with other business ventures over the years, including ownership of ITEX Maine (International Trade Exchange) a business-to-business bartering and alternative revenue system with more than 100 Maine and NH business members.  He was a business broker/appraiser with V-R Business Brokers of Portland in the early ’90s. Eventually, he specialized in media property consulting, turnaround, merger & acquisitions projects while his wife was also working as a traveling nurse, which allowed them to spend time together in various other parts of the country.

Hammer was president of the Maine Press Association while at The Courier-Gazette and involved in numerous other press/media organizations over the years. In 1981-1982 he served as a member of the (Maine) Governor’s Council of Tourism.
In Minnesota, he was active in local and regional civic organizations. He was named “Employer of the Year” by the Bemidji Area Chamber of Commerce. He was an adjunct professor of journalism at Bemidji State University, in the University of Minnesota system, and hosted and produced “North Country Edition”, a weekly current affairs program for KAWE-TV public broadcasting.

In 1986 he received citations from both the Bemidji Police Dept. and later from the Minnesota Police Chief’s Association for his actions in saving two children from a boating accident, in a runaway boat situation in which their father was ejected and drowned, near his lakefront home.

For the last 12 or so years, Hammer was the organizer and co-host of a reunion gathering for “the old Rockland press corps and friends” during “Lobster Festival Weekend”, which was at Cobb Manor, the Camden home of the late Bangor Daily News bureau reporter, Emmet Meara. “Chef Johnny Boy” provided the lobster rolls and other seafood/ribs/etc to an appreciative crowd of former reporters, media veterans, and Friends of The Emmet.  In lieu of any wake or Celebration of Life observance, Mr. Hammer simply expressed his hopes “that the Hammer-feast and Reunion” event could continue again in 2021and perhaps thereafter.

Interment will be in a private family ceremony at Evergreen Cemetery on Cape Rosier, Brooksville, Maine.

Memorial donations can be made to the John E. and Helena D. Hammer Memorial Fund at PAWS, as the former Camden-Rockport Animal Rescue League is now known:  PAWS, P.O. Box 107, Rockport, ME 04856. Or follow directions at,  “If you really want to make a heartfelt donation, just go and adopt or sponsor a homeless pet there now,” Hammer quipped.

Nominations Sought for 2021 MPA Hall of Fame

Nominations are being taken for 2021 inductees to the Maine Press Association Hall of Fame. The deadline for nominations is Friday, July 2.

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 at:

The MPA’s Hall of Fame Committee asks that nominations be submitted as soon as possible so they can be circulated among the committee members who will select the inductees.

Each nomination should be accompanied by supporting material that will help committee members as they make their decisions. Please be prepared to submit all nominations and supporting materials in an electronic format so the committee can access them remotely.

Nominations can be sent to the committee in care of Faith DeAmbrose at the Mount Desert Islander. Questions can be directed to her at or to
Maine Press Association Executive Director Diane Norton at

The 23rd annual Hall of Fame induction ceremony will be held October 23 at the MPA Fall Conference in Augusta.

MPA Better Newspaper Contest Entries Due June 4

Entries are flowing in for the 2021 MPA Better Newspaper Contest.

The annual contest is our one collective chance to recognize, honor and award Maine’s press reporters, photographers, editors, sales, circulation and production crews. What better way to boost the morale of winners and nominees!

Clip your best work, and get those entries in by next Friday, June 4.

2021 MPA Programming: Cannabis Advertising, Legalities and Strategies

The Maine Press Association is excited to be able to offer another webinar in our 2021 series, Cannabis Advertising, Legalities and Strategies.

Marketing cannabis-related products can be challenging.  Mark Dion will discuss the complex rules and laws that surround advertising retail marijuana. Mark Dion is a lawyer and graduate of the University of Maine School of Law.  He currently sits on the Portland City Council.  He has served as Sheriff of Cumberland County and was the Chair of the Criminal Justice and Public Safety Committee in the Maine State Legislature.

Our colleagues from the Portland Press Herald will share some of their successes capturing cannabis advertising and marketing revenue and what they are planning for the future.

Date: Thursday, April 29 at 3 p.m.
Cost: $10
Platform:  Zoom

Please use the link below to register: