Maine Press Association awards $3K in scholarships

From left: Grace Bradley, Hope Carroll, and Andrew Wing are the 2023 recipients of the Maine Press Association’s journalism scholarship.

The Maine Press Association awarded $3,000 in scholarships to three Maine journalism students in January.

Recipients of 2023 scholarships are Grace Bradley, of Orono, a senior at the University of Maine and editor-in-chief of the university’s chapter of Her Campus; Hope Carroll, of Portland, a junior at the University of Maine and opinion contributor to The Maine Campus; and Andrew Wing, of Raymond, a senior at St. Joseph’s College of Maine and 2022 intern at The Windham Eagle.

The Maine Press Association awards 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 2024 scholarship, contact Maine Press Association Scholarship Committee Chair J.W. Oliver at

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.

And a new editor for The Lincoln County News, too! 

As of Thursday, Jan. 12, The Lincoln County News has a new management team consisting of Publisher John Roberts (left), Editor Maia Zewert, and Associate Publisher Allan Roberts. (Elizabeth Walztoni photo)

The Roberts family has named Maia Zewert the next editor of The Lincoln County News.

Zewert, 29, moves into the role after serving as acting editor for eight months. She becomes the 12th editor in LCN’s century-plus history.

“Maia has a connection to people with the ability to interact with the community and reporters that makes her uniquely positioned to take on the role of editor,” said John Roberts. “She has done a great job of transitioning the editorial department over the past several months and is ready to take on the full responsibility.”

Zewert started her professional career at The Lincoln County News in August 2015 as a general assignment reporter covering the towns of Bristol, Damariscotta, Monhegan, Newcastle, and South Bristol. In November 2017, she received the Maine Press Association’s Bob Drake Young Writer’s Award, which recognizes the top young journalist in the state.

In January 2018, she moved into the business side of operations as marketing and engagement coordinator for Lincoln County Publishing Co., which publishes the LCN. She managed the company’s social media and the #LCNme365 photo contest, served as coordinator of Lincoln County Magazine through a successful relaunch of the publication, and developed award-winning youth engagement programs.

Zewert returned to the newsroom in February 2021 when she was named deputy editor. The role included serving as editor of special publications, including the magazine, assisting the editor, and continuing her work with local students. Story continues here

John C. Roberts named publisher of The Lincoln County News

John C. Roberts has been named Publisher of The Lincoln County News, effective Jan. 12. He has served as one of the Associate Publishers since Jan. 11, 2016.

John replaces his father, Christopher A. Roberts, who has held the position since Oct. 15, 1992.

At a meeting of the stockholders of the Lincoln County Publishing Co., owner of The News, John was elected President, Allan R. Roberts was elected Vice President and Treasurer, and Christopher was elected as Secretary.

Allan will continue serving as Associate Publisher concentrating on commercial printing operations. He has worked at the company full time since 2006.

Christopher was accorded the title of Publisher Emeritus and does not have formal plans for retirement. His father, Samuel E. Roberts, held this title from Oct. 15, 1992 until his passing on Nov. 6, 2018.

John becomes the fifth generation of his family to become Publisher of The News. He succeeds his father, his grandfather, his great-grandmother, Dorothy E. Roberts, and his great-great-grandfather Samuel H. Erskine.

John is married to Kristen (Magnussen) and the father of two boys, Matthew and Thomas. He and his family reside in Damariscotta.

Allan is married to Allison (Fleming) and the father of a boy and a girl, James and Michaela. He and his family reside in Damariscotta.

MPA Board backs bill to help local news operations 

The Maine Press Association board has voted to support the “Local Journalism Sustainability Act’’ that is pending in Congress.

The bill is meant to provide newsrooms with a refundable tax credit for five years to help with their finances amid the industry’s dire financial challenges. Steven Waldman, the co-founder of Report For America, is one of the backers. The MPA’s board voted to draft a letter of support that will be sent to Maine’s congressional delegation. You can read more about the legislation here and listen to a podcast featuring Waldman here.

The Bangor Daily News, the Portland Phoenix, and The Camden Herald among MPA winners

Top left to right: Melissa Logan, Advertising Person of the Year; Steve Collins, Journalist of the Year; Sawyer Loftus, Bob Drake Young Writer of the Year; Caroline Spear, Unsung Hero of the Year.

BAR HARBOR, Maine, October 22, 2022 –The Bangor Daily News, Portland Phoenix, The Camden Herald, and the Maine Sunday Telegram have been honored by the Maine Press Association (MPA) for General Excellence in print newspapers.

The Portland Press Herald, Boothbay Register, and The Camden Herald took top honors for digital General Excellence in the MPA’s Better Newspaper Contest.

The awards were presented Saturday night at the Atlantic Oceanside Hotel & Event Center, in Bar Harbor, concluding a day of programming and networking for reporters, photographers, journalists, advertising staff, and designers throughout the state.

Longtime distinguished journalist Earl Brechlin (The Bar Harbor Times & Mount Desert Islander), and fourth generation The Lincoln County News owner and publisher Chris Roberts and his wife Paula Roberts, the paper’s sports reporter and photographer, were selected by the MPA’s Hall of Fame Committee as the 2022 inductees.

2021 Inductees Dorothy “Dot” Roderick, Dieter Bradbury, and Judy Meyer (Top right w/Steve Collins) were also honored at Saturday’s Induction Luncheon.

In the General Excellence competition for print newspapers, the Bangor Daily News was judged the best daily in Maine while the Maine Sunday Telegram was the weekend Newspaper of the Year for the 12th time in 13 years.

The contest judges, who hailed from The Oregon Newspaper Publishers Association, wrote of the Bangor Daily News: “What impressed us most were the all-local front pages, all-local bylines and stories that not only report the news, but give readers insight, and context…The Daily News series ‘Unguarded’ on Maine Army National Guard and sexual misconduct was well sourced, detailed and compelling.”

“Each Sunday paper was an example of outstanding journalism that serves readers,” said the judges about the Maine Sunday Telegram. “Wonderful photography, layout, column, stories and opinion. Very clear that the goal of everyone from the top editor on down is focused on giving readers an outstanding paper. Great mix of national, regional and local news.”

In the Weekly 1 division, for newspapers with less than 2,000 print circulation, The Camden Herald took the top prize for the second consecutive year. Judges said: “This publication has the most unique and differentiating content of all newspapers reviewed…Great news judgement on the covers, from business development, important ballot information, property transactions — most all of which include imagery or photos.”

The Weekly 2 winner, the Portland Phoenix, was also a second-consecutive year winner. Judges said: “This tabloid newspaper is attractive, well-written and the design is appealing without being overtly flashy. Coverage had a comprehensive mix of government, lifestyle and features, as well as some investigative stories as well.”

Samantha Hogan and The Maine Monitor won the Freedom of Information first-place award in the Weekly division, while the staff of the Sun Journal took top honors in the Daily/Weekend division.

Steve Collins (top right), of the Sun Journal, was named the Journalist of the Year and Melissa Logan (top left), of the Sun Journal and Western Maine Weeklies, was the Advertising Person of the Year.

Sawyer Loftus (Lower left), of the Bangor Daily News, won the Bob Drake Young Writer’s Award, and Caroline Spear (Lower right), of Penobscot Bay Press, was honored by the MPA as the Unsung Hero of the Year.

A complete list of 2022 award winners will be posted later this week on the MPA’s website. (Photos by Greg Rec)

The Maine Press Association (MPA), founded in 1864, is one of the oldest professional news organizations in the nation. Learn more at

MPA Annual Conference is Saturday

We’re looking forward to seeing you Saturday, Oct. 22, for the Annual MPA Conference at the Atlantic Oceanside Hotel & Event Center in Bar Harbor.

A full day of events is planned, including the Annual Business Meeting at 8:45 a.m. and informative programming throughout the day.

A whopping 128 members and guests will honor our 2022 Hall of Fame Inductees (Earl Brechlin and Chris and Paula Roberts) and our 2021 Hall of Fame Inductees (“Dot” Roderick, Dieter Bradbury, and Judy Meyer).

Bring your cash to the Scholarship Auction & Reception at 5:00 p.m. led by Auctioneer Extraordinaire Aimsel Ponti and bid on a super selection of items with all proceeds benefiting the MPA Scholarship Fund.

Finally, 150 of us will celebrate the 2022 Better Newspaper Contest winners and Individual Award Winners including Journalist of the Year, Advertising Person of the Year, Bob Drake Young Writer, and Unsung Hero at this year’s Awards Dinner & Banquet at 6:30 p.m.

Masks are Welcome: With the recent surge in COVID cases, we’re encouraging those who would like to mask at the conference to do so. Everyone’s health is of the utmost importance to us and we respect members’ decisions to do whatever makes them most comfortable.

Members to vote on bylaws amendments, dues structure

Maine Press Association members will vote on amendments to the organization’s bylaws and a new dues structure during the business meeting (8:45 a.m.) at the 2022 conference.

The bylaws amendments would require “Regular Members” to follow the Society of Professional Journalists Code of Ethics; add “advocacy newspapers/websites” to the list of organizations that can become “Associate Members”; and fold the “Affiliate” category of membership, for vendors that work with members, into the “Associate” category.

Another change involves a seat on the board set aside for an appointee of the University of Maine Department of Communication and Journalism. The amendment would open the seat to a journalism faculty member at any postsecondary institution in Maine. The membership would elect this individual, as they elect all other board members.

The new dues structure would replace an approximately 10-year-old structure based on a newspaper’s open rate and standard column width. The growth of digital-only members and newspapers that publish less than once a week led the board to research alternatives and recommend a structure based on each member’s number of employees.

Each change addresses issues that have come before the board in recent years. After the 2021 annual meeting, Maine Press Association President Chris Crockett established and chaired an ad hoc committee to review membership categories and criteria. The committee met several times during the 2021-22 year and proposed most of these amendments, which the board of directors approved in August.

The amendment regarding the University of Maine seat follows the departure of the board’s last university representative in the spring. The university has not appointed a replacement and the board agreed to open the seat to all colleges and universities in the state, in order to draw from a deeper pool of candidates.

Bylaws amendments and dues changes are subject to a vote of the “Regular Members” — the 45 newspapers and websites that comprise the Maine Press Association’s core membership. Each Regular Member has one vote and should designate one person to cast its vote. Read the bylaws amendments and see the new dues structure below.

MPA 2022 Fall Conference Programming Schedule

Note: This is the initial plan; please watch the MPA Newsletter for updates.

8:45 a.m. to 9:30 a.m. | Annual Business Meeting

9:45 a.m. to 10:30 a.m.

Changing Coverage of Courts and Cops Roundtable: A shift in philosophy in how news organizations cover crime, cops and courts has become even more pronounced during the pandemic.  As part of the Maine Press Association conference programming we will examine the changing role of journalism in crime, cops and court reporting. This round table discussion will be led by Dan Dinsmore of the Bangor Daily News.  Participants are encouraged to share their own company policies and how they have changed over the last several years.

Launching your Sponsored Content Initiative: Advertorial. Branded Content. Sponsored Content. Content Marketing. What’s the difference? Maybe not so much – it’s all using storytelling to create a positive association with a brand. But “how can we make it happen in a successful way?” is often the question. In recent years, Masthead Maine has been using learnings from the national Branded Content Project and leveraging their platforms to help advertisers achieve success. We’ll explore what branded content is and how powerful it can be, see various examples of campaigns and how they evolved over time. We’ll also share some nuts and bolts about selling, executing, pricing, and fulfilling campaigns.

10:45 a.m. to 11:30 a.m.

Reporter Roundtable- Please join the Maine Press Association for a roundtable discussion on the news industry in Maine and how reporting has changed during the pandemic. Join other reporters and editors from around the state as we share ideas and best practices, compare notes on working remotely, and enjoy a general discussion about our craft and profession.

12:00 p.m. to 2:00 p.m. | Hall of Fame Induction Luncheon

Honoring the 2022 inductees, Earl Brechlin and Chris & Paula Roberts; and 2021 inductees Dorothy “Dot” Roderick, Dieter Bradbury and Judy Meyer.

2:15 p.m. to 3:00 p.m.

Protecting Reporters in the Field: Violence against journalists is on the rise around the world, and we’re not immune in New England. In April and May, two New Hampshire Public Radio journalists and their families were threatened and harassed. In both cases, bricks were thrown at their homes, breaking windows and causing other damage. The attacks are believed to be retaliation for stories they had been reporting. In July, a Sun Journal reporter was attacked on the street while conducting interviews several blocks from the newspaper’s office. Five teens threw punches and tossed a loaded trash can at the reporter because they didn’t want him talking to neighbors. This rising violence against journalists has been studied by a number of agencies in recent years, and last year the United Nations made a number of recommendations to protect global media freedom and the safety of journalists, including digital safety. Even if you haven’t personally been the target of aggression, it’s very real in the work that we do and seems to be on the rise in our communities. Learn some basic safety measures you can take to protect yourself and become more aware of your surroundings in the field.

Circulation Round Table: Circulation is key to the success of our print and digital publications.  Join fellow circulation professionals as they discuss their successes and failures.  Topics will include current industry paywall trends, starting and managing a Newspapers in Education program, and more.

Advertising Manager Meet-and-Greet: Join the discussion with your fellow advertising managers as we discuss buying trends, what has and has NOT worked in our home markets, and how we make our publications stand out in a very competitive advertising market.

3:15 p.m. to 4:00 p.m.

Keynote Speaker: In this year’s keynote address, we will hear from Steve Waldman, the President and Co-Founder of Report for America, on the work that’s been done by this relatively new service-based nonprofit to invest in local journalism across the country, especially in rural areas like Maine. Join us as Steve discusses the strategy behind Report for America, the importance of protecting independent local reporting, the organization’s efforts to address news deserts and the different funding models that have been created to support journalism across the country. Steve will also speak of his work as Founder and Chair of the Rebuild Local News Coalition, an organization that focuses on public policies that will strengthen communities by creating a more robust, more inclusive local news system.

5:00 p.m. 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, 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 $2,500 of scholarships to Maine students earlier this year.

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

Master of (All) Ceremonies Greg Rec is sure to have the bad-joke jar ready to go as we meet in person, for the first time since 2019, to celebrate the winners in the 2022 Better Newspaper Contest and individual awards.

Post-Awards to 11:00 p.m. | Nightcap

Bar Harbor may be closed up for the night, but you can continue the celebration with your MPA comrades and friends without leaving the hotel. Cash Bar.

To register:

Hotel Rooms Going Fast! 2022 MPA Conference

The Maine Press Association’s 2022 Fall Conference will be held October 22 at Atlantic Oceanside Hotel & Event Center in Bar Harbor. A full day of events is planned, including informative sessions, The Hall of Fame Induction Luncheon with 2022 inductees, Earl Brechlin and Chris & Paula Roberts and 2021 inductees Dorothy “Dot” Roderick, Dieter Bradbury and Judy Meyer; the annual Scholarship Auction & Reception with Auctioneer Extraordinaire Aimsel Ponti, and the 2019 Better Newspaper Awards Dinner & Banquet with Master of (All) Ceremonies Greg Rec.  

Hotel Reservations—Rooms going fast!

We’ve sold out of the original block of contracted rooms and have added more. Although the RSVP deadline was extended to 9/28, this is the end of the inventory which means once theses rooms are gone, they’re gone. Please don’t miss out—book your room today!

Conference Hotel Room Information & Reservations ($165) for Oct. 21-22 must be made directly with the hotel. Please call the Atlantic Oceanside reservations office at 800-336-2463 to reserve your room and identify yourself as part of the MPA, Group # 65279. Reservations may also be made online: . Please Note: The hotel collects a deposit equal to one night’s stay when a reservation is made.

  •   Click the BOOK NOW button, click on Add Code.
  •   On the drop-down menu click on Discount Code, then select Group Attendee.
  •   Enter Group ID # 65279 and then click ADD.
  •    Details of your group block will appear. Click on SELECT & GO TO THE NEXT STEP. The guest room selection will appear after you enter your arrival and departure dates.  

Conference Registration

  • No registration fee for Hall of Fame inductees or guests.
  • Registration fee covers all workshops/sessions, Scholarship Auction, and Awards Dinner & Banquet.
  • Registration fee required for MPA members even if only attending the Awards Dinner & Banquet.