Maine Public Connecting Communities
For nearly 60 years, Maine Public has built its reputation on connecting Maine and telling Maine stories. That is why we are so excited about this next chapter. In 2021, we have launched two new initiatives that will connect Maine communities – both existing and new -- in innovative and powerful ways.
The first is Maine Public News Connect – delivering news from our own news desks in French, Spanish, Somali, and Portuguese. This way more people here in Maine have access to the important information and stories that shape our lives.
This news initiative was designed with the Maine Immigrants' Rights Coalition particularly with the help of PresentMaine, Congolese, and Angolan communities of Maine, and through a partnership with Amjambo Africa. An additional thank you to these organizations who have helped raise awareness and provided input on this project: Catholic Charities of Maine, the Greater Portland Immigrant Welcome Center, Portland Adult Education, and the Portland City Office of Economic Opportunity. Maine Public News Connect has been made possible by individual supporters, businesses, and foundations from across Maine and by cPort Credit Union, Avesta Housing, Hannaford Supermarkets, and MaineHousing, four organizations dedicated to making a difference in Maine.
The second is a partnership with Report for America, a partnership that has allowed us to engage a full-time reporter, Ari Snider, to cover Maine’s immigrant communities more fully than we have ever been able to do before. Through this project, Ari will share the stories of Maine’s immigrant communities so that we can all have our voices heard and hear our stories told.
New Mainers across Maine have different levels of access to reliable information about what is taking place in the immediate world around them, whether they be pressing public health issues, school closures, or any variety of important news. This has never been more apparent than during the COVID-19 crisis. This is why Maine Public launched Maine Public News Connect – Maine Public news translated each week into Spanish, French, Portuguese, and Somali.
Report for America is a national service program that places journalists into local newsrooms to report on under-covered issues and communities.
An initiative of the nonprofit media organization, The GroundTruth Project, it is structured to harness the skills and idealism of an emerging group of journalists plus the creative spirit of local news organizations.
Maine Public applied and was accepted in the program indicating in the application process that one of the gaps in our news coverage was the stories from immigrant communities/new Mainers across Maine. Stories created by the Ari are shared over Maine Public Radio and online and many are included in the Maine Public News Connect weekly news pods.
Ari Snider reports on refugee, immigrant, and asylum-seeking communities in Maine. He grew up in Midcoast Maine and has reported for public radio stations in Southeast Alaska and Far West Texas, covering everything from salmon fishing to the restoration of a historic adobe church on the US-Mexico border. He got his start in audio storytelling as an undergrad at Brown University and through internships at radio stations in Vermont and Rhode Island. His work has won three Alaska Press Club awards and one Regional Murrow Award, and has aired on radio stations throughout Alaska, Texas, and New England. When looking to get out of town for a weekend, Ari has a special fondness for the islands of Penobscot Bay and the lakes and mountains of the North Woods.