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Head of the Maine Association of Broadcasters dies

Suzanne Goucher, the president of the Maine Association of Broadcasters, has died.

In her nearly 30 years in that post, Goucher helped develop the emergency alert system that provides vital information to Mainers, and often defended the public's right to know before legislators and the courts, as she did in a legislative committee appearance in 2013.

"Every step our government takes toward confidentiality is a step away from freedom," she said.

A former radio news director in Augusta, Goucher had led the broadcasters group since 1994. Retired Maine Public journalist Mal Leary worked with her at the Maine Freedom of Information Coalition and the state's right-to-know advisory committee.

"She was very cautious in her approach, very thorough in her approach," he said. "It was a delight to work with her on these issues, both at the coalition and at the advisory committee."

Goucher was known nationally as an expert on the nation's Emergency Alert System and served on a federal advisory panel charged with recommending steps to keep the nation's broadcasters secure and reliable. She was also an advocate for independent journalists.

Goucher died Tuesday after being briefly hospitalized with an infection.