Great Falls Forum to cover recording history through journalism

The 2021-22 season of the Great Falls Forum, scheduled to conclude Thursday, May 19, features moderator Judith Meyer, executive editor for the Sun Journal, Kennebec Journal and Morning Sentinel, alongside David Chittim of the Androscoggin Historical Society, and Steve Collins, State House reporter for the Sun Journal.

The trio’s talk, “175 Years of Recorded History — Through Journalism,” is a free, public program scheduled from noon to 1 pm virtually via Zoom and streamed to the Lewiston Public Library Facebook page.

The Sun Journal, which has published under a number of different names since its first edition hit the streets on May 21, 1847, is celebrating its 175th anniversary. While the newspaper is one of the oldest businesses in Lewiston, it is so much more than that, according to a news release from the library.

Every single significant event that has ever happened in the lives of Mainers has been reported by generations of local journalists who first brought news of the world to local homes long before radio. They have remained steady on the job to shine a light on people’s shared lives, and their struggles, successes and personal stories.

In its Great Falls Forum talk, Collins and Chittim will look at some of the more notable events in Androscoggin County and the journalism that brought those events to light.

Sun Journal headshots Andree Kehn/Sun Journal

A journalist since 1990 and former editorial page editor for the Sun Journal, Meyer was named Maine’s Journalist of the Year in 2003 and was inducted into the Maine Press Association Hall of Fame in October 2021. She serves as vice president of the Maine Freedom of Information Coalition and is a member of the Right to Know Advisory Committee to the Legislature.

She also serves on the New England Newspaper & Press Association Board of Directors and the board of the New England First Amendment Coalition, and was the 2018 recipient of the Judith Vance Weld Brown Spirit of Journalism Award in New England.

David Chittim Submitted photo

Chittim is a professional land surveyor and engineer who undertook a retirement project researching his 200-year-old home. He consulted Doug Hodgkin, Lewiston’s de facto historian, who re-introduced him to the Androscoggin Historical Society.

Chittim was elected treasurer of the society in 2013. An admitted “enlightened Luddite,” he draws more comfort from the 19th century than the 21st.

Steve Collins Submitted photo

A daily journalist since 1987, Collins has served as the State House reporter for the Sun Journal since 2016. Among his honors are the Society of Professional Journalists’ 2016 Ethics in Journalism Award and 2015’s IF Stone Whistle-Blower Award.

Collins is co-founder and board president of Youth Journalism International, an Auburn-based charity that teaches students around the globe about news writing, media literacy and issues of the day.

The Great Falls Forum speaker series is co-sponsored by Bates College, Lewiston Public Library and the Sun Journal.

Admission is free to all forum events. The Zoom link will be posted to lploline.org and the library’s Facebook prior to the event.

For more information, contact the library at 207-513-3135 or [email protected]

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