AUGUSTA — The Maine Monitor has a new editor and executive director: Eric Conrad, a veteran Maine journalist and communications professional.
The Maine Monitor was founded in 2009, as non-profit, foundation- and donor-supported journalism organizations surfaced throughout the U.S. to counter declines at traditional media outlets. Its mission is to “deliver fearless, independent, citizen-minded, non-partisan journalism that informs Mainers about issues affecting our state and inspires them to take action.”
Conrad succeeds Dan Dinsmore, who served in the same capacities for the past 3½ years, during which time the Monitor took on a new name and brand, added staff and accelerated the non-profit media organization’s outreach to individual donors, national foundations and grant providers.
Also on Dinsmore’s watch, the Maine Monitor (Maine Center for Public Interest Reporting) produced exemplary reporting on Maine’s judicial public defense system, the COVID-19 pandemic and many other topics. Dinsmore left for a leadership position with Spectrum News Maine.
“We are so appreciative of the wonderful work that Dan did for us,” said Augusta attorney Jed Davis, who chairs a five-member board of trustees that oversees the Monitor. “And, we are very excited to have Eric, an experienced reporter and editor, as our new leader.”
Conrad said his charge is to uphold the excellent journalistic values that were instilled in 2009, when the Maine Center for Public Interest Reporting was founded by his former colleagues, and lifelong friends, John Christie and Naomi Schalit.
“It’s a privilege and challenge to take the baton from Dan, who I recruited to Maine back in 2001, when we worked together at the Portland Press Herald/Maine Sunday Telegram,” said Conrad.
Conrad noted that he, Schalit and Christie were editor and publisher colleagues at the Kennebec Journal and Morning Sentinel newspapers in Maine from 2006 to 2009, and that he and Christie worked together in the 1980s and ‘90s at the South Florida Sun-Sentinel website and newspaper. Most recently, Conrad was director of communication and educational services at the Maine Municipal Association.
“Big shoes to fill,” Conrad said. “The most important thing is for our staff to advance the Monitor’s well-earned reputation for fearless investigative and explanatory journalism that Maine readers and donors deserve and expect.”
Davis said the history of the Monitor is what makes it special — and important.
“Naomi and John were motivated by the reduction in the investigative staffs of Maine’s media organizations,” he said. “That reduction has only continued, more than 11 years since the Center was started.”
To learn more about the Monitor, and to support its mission, visit its website: themainemonitor.org.