A beautiful late afternoon at the Railroad Square Cinema in Waterville was the perfect setting for our listening tour! And listen we did, as the attendees offered up a number of really interesting topics and perspectives that the members of the Maine Public News team could take back and share with the larger news team.
The tour stop began with a conversation between Keith Shortall, Maine Public's Senior News Editor, reporter Robbie Feinberg, and Andrew Catalina, Maine Public's Manager of Digital News. While they touched on projects that they are working on, the hot topic was the Deep Dive Series on child care currently on our airwaves and on our website. Attendees asked about the rationale for doing deeper dives into issues, how future topics will be selected, and what resources are put into these projects. Robbie was able to bring to bear his extensive education reporting experience in Maine to answer some questions around the child care series and Andrew detailed how our website is complementing all of our news stories including deep dives. Keith shared that we hope that future deep dive topics may very well be identified through our Tell Me More Tour campaign itself.
Once Keith opened up comments from attendees, a slew of ideas around what to cover in Waterville and central Maine surfaced. And tough issues were raised as well including many that we had seen in our Tell Me More Survey completed this past winter: taxes, the need for business growth, and the damaging effects of opioid abuse. Many attendees wanted more coverage of Waterville's growth that includes the development of new industries and the growing and powerful arts scene. We were told that Waterville is a vibrant community and Maine Public needs to tell the Waterville story.
Thank you Waterville!