Tell US More! What We Heard in Bangor

News Reporter and Producer Jennifer Mitchell (left) and Deputy News Director Susan Sharon (right) listen intently to one of the attendees discussing what news matters to her from Maine Public.

We were very excited to hold our next Tell ME More Tour stop on Central Street in Bangor as it really is just a stone's throw away from our Bangor Studio. Great to be meeting the community in our own backyard! And on another beautiful sunny spring evening in Maine we had one of our more in-depth sessions on what news is important and matters to attendees.

More news and news coverage! That was the call to action at Bangor's Tell Me More stop.

We are starting off the evening with a brief talk between Deputy News Director Susan Sharon and News Reporter and Producer Jennifer Mitchell on stories they are currently covering. Susan mentioned our recent in-depth news reports such as The Power Struggle in the Maine Woods and shared a sneak preview of an upcoming child care series Maine Public will be airing this June. Jennifer shared some of the stories that she has recently covered and admitted her penchant for stories more on the "quirky" side of things. This admission resulted in excited and knowing nods from the attendees.

Deputy News Director Susan Sharon.

Susan told attendees about what we had heard from Penobscot County in our recent Tell Me More Survey and the chief concerns that rose to the top: homelessness, the opioid crisis, attracting businesses to the region, and food insecurity. Many of the attendees weighed in on these issues and gave Susan and Jennifer some ideas on what angles to cover and whom they might talk to for a better regional perspective. This naturally launched into a discussion around what news is important to the group and what is happening in Penobscot County that Maine Public should be aware of and consider covering. And that opened up the floodgates!

Topics raised ran the gamut from more coverage around what individuals can do relative to climate change to the challenges of attracting medical staff to work in rural hospitals to covering the arts and culture scene in the county to the building of a new correctional facility in the region and how that has been brought forward.

Penobscott County residents at the Tell Me More Tour stop in downtown Bangor.

One recurring theme that we heard from each attendee is that they want MORE coverage of not only what is taking place in and around Bangor, but across the state itself. They challenged us to keep doing the work we are doing and deliver more news content. This group loves the "driveway moments" that result from listening to Maine Public Radio and they look forward to those experiences each day when they tune in. Maine Public's President and CEO Mark Vogelzang applauded the enthusiasm for more news content and assured the group that Maine Public would follow up on many of the ideas brought forward and discussed.