We look out for Maine. We find the truth.
We help our readers understand their communities, their state and their world.
As a wholly owned subsidiary of the National Trust for Local News, we strive for fair and thorough reporting methods, accurate reporting, and transparency. Our publications share a proud history of independence and integrity that they have fostered for decades.
OUR GUIDING PRINCIPLES
Local editorial independence and accountability to the public are guiding principles of the Maine Trust for Local News.
Our local newsrooms’ staff are the only people who decide what stories to pursue, the timing of those stories, and their content. Our publications adhere to the Society of Professional Journalists’ Code of Ethics and are guided by donor transparency standards established by the Institute for Nonprofit News.
The National Trust and Maine Trust for Local News do not accept gifts from any donor that seeks or expects control over our work. Donors are never given access to our titles’ reporting prior to publication.
All members of the public are welcome to share their feedback about reporting.
IMPACT • INVESTIGATE • INSPIRE • INFORM
Our newsrooms prioritize reporting that holds the powerful to account and watches out for the well-being of Maine’s citizens. Our journalism has led to increased protections for everything from Mainers’ safety to their tax dollars.
Our investigation of CMP’s billing problems revealed mismanagement and corporate indifference, and resulted in new, intense scrutiny of Maine’s electric utilities. In 2022, the legislature passed a law requiring much more accountability of power suppliers. Read the story.
Hidden Charges, Denied Claims
We spent three months investigating the byzantine system of medical billing and insurance coverage amid a public dispute between Maine’s largest hospital and its biggest health insurer. We revealed a crisis in which the consumer has little power to challenge or even understand inflated charges, hidden fees and denied coverage. Read the story.
After the Press Herald was denied access to 911 recordings and transcripts related to a fatal shooting where police response was called into question, the newspaper sued the state. Maine’s Supreme Judicial Court ruled unanimously in favor of the Press Herald, ruling that the public has a right to the transcripts. The ruling overturned a longstanding practice by police in Maine of withholding 911 transcripts from the public. Read about it.
Bad Blood Among Police
An investigation by the Press Herald found a history of tensions between two neighboring police departments that threatened public safety in both towns. The Press Herald’s reporting led to the suspension and eventually the termination of the police chief at the center of the dispute.
The Portland Press Herald has let the state with comprehensive, probing coverage of the worst public health crisis in a century. Our reporting has continually held public officials accountable and led to changes in what was being revealed to Maine’s citizens. Our reporting also shed light on, among other things, problems with how nursing homes were handling the pandemic, lapses in how the state was tracking cases, and how some businesses and organizations were flouting public health precautions, as well as explanatory pieces that helped readers understand how their state was weathering the pandemic. In early 2022, Maine CDC had been reporting similar daily COVID-19 case counts for weeks at a time when the coronavirus was surging across the country. It didn’t make sense. We investigated and discovered that the state was seriously underreporting cases because it couldn’t keep up. The backlog dramatically and falsely shrunk Maine’s transmission rate. Then we learned that the artificially low rate was causing federal officials to ship less lifesaving treatments to Maine. After our stories were published, the governor called the U.S. CDC and ordered more lifesaving medication.
Good reporting does more than inform – it helps readers understand the world around them. Our journalism has helped Maine’s people comprehend the most vital issues affecting their state.
Our comprehensive examination of Maine’s opioid crisis reported aspects of the epidemic not seen before and demonstrated that addiction is a disease more than a behavior. Our stories resulted in renewed, deepened attention to the problem and led to more funding, treatment and compassion for people with substance use issues . Read the series.
A 30-part serial about 50 years of abuse of the Passamaquoddy people shed new light on the struggles and challenges facing the tribe and changed attitudes toward Maine’s indigenous people. Eight years later, there is overwhelming support to rewrite the 1980 Land Claims Settlement Act and give Maine’s tribes sovereignty. Read the series.
Our six-part series examination of the profound and dramatic ecological impacts of global warming on the Gulf of Maine, the fastest-warming body of water, helped Mainers understand climate change as a local problem. The project was named a finalist for the Pulitzer Prize for explanatory journalism. Read the series.
The Lobster Trap
A yearlong collaboration with The Boston Globe, this two-day series revealed how climate change and concerns for an endangered species were threatening Maine’s signature fishery and a way of life in Maine. The lead writer was the Press Herald’s fisheries reporter, but the project involved more than a dozen journalists at both papers. The story won the 2021 Society for Professional Journalism’s Sigma Delta Chi Award for environment/climate reporting from the Society of Professional Journalists.
Nobody Would Choose This
Maine’s housing crisis – especially its scarcity of affordable apartments – has affected the lives of countless people. One particular tale resonated with us our readers: the struggle of a couple living in a van on a highway rest stop.
Our state is notorious for its lack of broadband and slow-moving internet. The Sun Journal examined this problem that is affecting the lives of local residents and the livelihoods of its businesses.
Encompassing most of Maine’s daily newspapers and more than half of its weeklies, The Maine Trust for Local News covers the state’s communities like no one else, connecting with our readers on a personal level.
On-the-ground local reporting
Our smaller dailies and our weekly newspapers keep local residents informed about their town councils and select boards, their school systems and their community happenings. Up and down the coast, and inland to western and central Maine, our community newspaper reporters are at town halls, courthouses and schools to bring readers their only source of news from their towns.
Maine’s largest team of sportswriters covers high school athletics across the state – not just covering games and profiling players but going deeper with season previews, trend pieces, investigations and year-end highlights that culminate with our popular Varsity Maine Awards. See the stories.
Fairs and Festivals
Our reporters and photographers fan out across the state for wall-to-wall coverage of the state’s signature events, from its lobster, clam and blueberry festivals to its live music events – and one of the state’s marquee attractions: the Great Falls Balloon Festival in Lewiston-Auburn.
Local personalities – like CentralMaine.com’s columnist Amy Calder and podcaster J.P. Devine – add perspective and personal touches to the issues facing their communities. Readers connect with the voices and faces of contributors at all our daily and weekly newspapers.
Grads to Watch
For this annual feature, we seek out Maine high school seniors as they make one of life’s great transitions at graduations across the state. The 10 outstanding students who are chosen, because of heart, talent or toughness, are likely to make a difference in the world, or already are.
Mainers to Be Thankful For
Each year we see the best of humanity come out through kindness, bravery, innovation, and determination. We recognize people who’ve stepped up to help their fellow Mainers by finding them on our own and by asking readers to shine a light on their deserving neighbors. These are the folks who are making a difference in Maine communities.
Photos of the Year
At the end of the year, our award-winning photographers reflect on their work and choose their favorites to showcase online and in special sections. Our partnership with the Portland Public Library puts the Press Herald’s work on display for the community to enjoy.