Naomi Schalit is the co-founder and senior reporter for the Center. A graduate of Princeton University with a degree in religion and Near Eastern studies, Schalit attended the Graduate School of Journalism at University of California, Berkeley and began her career at the San Jose Mercury News. In the last two decades, she has written for magazines and newspapers around the country, worked as a columnist for the Maine Times and for five years was a reporter and producer at Maine Public Radio. While at MPR, her reports were also featured on National Public Radio, Public Radio International and the CBC. Schalit won many awards for her radio reporting, including one from Public Radio News Directors, Inc., or PRNDI, for her expose of an historic state conservation deal gone bad.
In between all the reporting, writing and producing, she also took temporary leaves from journalism in 1993 to run her own floorcloth manufacturing studio and almost a decade later, to serve for three years as executive director of a statewide non-profit conservation group.
In April 2005, she joined the Kennebec Journal and Morning Sentinel as Opinion page editor. In 2007, she won first place in the New England AP News Editors’ competition for editorial writing during 2006. She was the recipient of a 2007 Publick Occurrences Award from the New England Newspaper Association, Honorable Mention in the Anna Quindlen Award for 2007, Runner-up in the 2007 Casey Journalism Awards and First Place for editorial writing in the 2007 National Sigma Delta Chi Awards, all for her multi-part editorial series on hunger in Maine, “For I Was Hungry.” That series also earned her the first “Force for Good” award given by Portland non-profit Preble Street.
Schalit’s stories for the Center have twice won the “Publick Occurrences” award, which is given “for the very best work that New England newspapers produce each year,” and in October, 2015, her story, “LD 1750: A study in how special interests get their way in the Maine Legislature,” won first place for investigative reporting in the Maine Press Association’s annual competition.Inline image 1
While Schalit has contributed to almost every story published by the Center, she has developed a specialty in energy and legislative and executive branch ethics.
Schalit has two grown children and lives in Hallowell, Maine, with her husband, John Christie.