Media News

Maine Journalism Foundation forms to buy papers, save local journalism

May 1, 2023

Posted by Mariam Ahmed

The following excerpt was sent out

A newly formed nonprofit group headed by a longtime Maine journalist wants to buy most of the newspapers in the state.

Members of the group, Maine Journalism Foundation, said Monday they hope to buy Masthead Maine, which owns the Portland Press Herald, the state’s largest daily newspaper, and 29 other daily and weekly papers. Masthead Maine’s owner told staff in March that he’s considering selling the media holdings.

The potential buy comes as some newspapers around the country have explored not-for-profit models to try to achieve sustainability. The Chicago Sun-Times became a nonprofit newspaper last year, and the Salt Lake Tribune made the move in 2019.

Maine Journalism Foundation’s president is Bill Nemitz, a fixture in Maine news who worked for the Press Herald for nearly four decades before retiring from a job as a columnist last year. He said the not-for-profit model would keep Maine’s newspaper industry locally-owned and committed to news and not the financial bottom line.

“We’re from Maine, we’re of Maine, and our only interest is to support and grow the journalism,” Nemitz said. “Not to pull money out of these operations. We know these newspapers, and more importantly these newspapers know their communities.”

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