Donate to: The Maine Center for Public Interest Reporting





Any new donations, or donations from lapsed donors, count toward a $20,000 match from the Maine Center’s largest funder, the Ethics & Excellence in Journalism Foundation.

Donate now to support this campaign. Every penny build capacity and sustainability for accountability journalism in the Pine Tree State.

Newsfunders summary for the prospective donor

We at Newsfunders had the chance to visit the Maine Center for Public Interest Reporting a few years ago in their small office in the basement of the Maine statehouse in Augusta. Naomi Schalit, one of the Maine Center’s founders, conducted the tour, and recalled a time when there were 20 full-time reporters in the statehouse press wing, representing a wide variety of newspapers and news agencies.

Today there are just five full-time reporters left, and the Maine Center has become a critical bastion for statewide accountability reporting. Investigative journalism is hard, but the Pine Tree Watchdog is the real thing, working out of a tiny office with a minimal staff, and piles of talent and commitment.

See below for details on their reporting achievements, their media partners, and their guiding philosophy.

Coverage examples:

Media Partners:

Your support of the Maine Center for Public Interest Reporting doesn’t just benefit one single nonprofit news agency. Their reporting is shared with more than two dozen media partners statewide, including:

  • Sun Journal
  • Bangor Daily News
  • Times Record
  • Journal Tribune
  • Portsmouth Herald
  • The Ellsworth American
  • Mt. Desert Islander
  • The Forecaster
  • American Journal
  • Lakes Region Weekly
  • Sun Chronicle
  • The Reporter
  • Lincoln County News
  • York Weekly
  • York County Coast Star
  • St. John Valley Times
  • Boothbay Register
  • Fiddlehead Focus
  • Courier-Gazette
  • Camden Herald
  • The Republican Journal
  • Portland Press Herald
  • Morning Sentinel
  • Kennebec Journal
  • PenBay Pilot

Links to Donate and About pages:

Follow or subscribe to the Pine Tree Watchdog, publication of the Maine Center for Investigative Reporting:

Nonprofit & financial status:

      • 501c3 organization, Tax ID 27-2623867
      • 2014 Budget: $194,265


Vision: The Maine Center for Public Interest Reporting will fulfill the responsibility of a free press in the American democracy by looking beneath the surface of Maine government and writing clearly and without fear or favor about what it discovers.

Mission: The Maine Center for Public Interest Reporting will keep citizens informed about their government and their public servants through high-quality, independent investigative reporting that is published by media outlets across the state.

In recent years, most newspaper and broadcast news outlets in Maine have reduced newsroom staffs through layoffs, early retirements and attrition. One of the first victims is in-depth journalism — stories which often take one or more reporters “off the street” for weeks or even months.

Serious coverage of the electoral and legislative process has also suffered. In Maine, statehouse coverage has declined from about 20 year-round reporters in 1989 to 10 in 1999 to the current five.



Newsfunders is NOT for journalists

While the goal of Newsfunders is to empower journalists to serve communities, it is the communities who must lead this conversation, and the needs of communities that must define the efforts of news producers.

For this reason, Newsfunders is NOT for journalists. It’s for the publics that journalists would presume to serve.

It’s critical to recruit non-journalists as leaders and primary participants in the process of identifying need and funding practice.

Reform has to come from OUTSIDE of the Fourth Estate. Otherwise it’s just another journalism-insider operation talking in circles inside the industry.

That’s too easy, and the public is too easily left out of that conversation.

Ultimately, in the journalism world, money talks, and communities are the ones that no one is listening to.