We're excited to announce the 2012 Margaret Chase Smith Journalism Award competition.
The $100 award, named after an American who spoke uncomfortable truths to powerful people, will go to a Maine journalist with the fortitude to press elected officials to answer difficult, important questions.
For the 2012 round, the award will be given to the first Maine-based reporter who asks Sen. Snowe or Sen. Collins how she would balance the federal budget and then provides readers/viewers/listeners with the context necessary to assess the plausibility of the answer and see how it squares with the pol's legislative record.
--No, this is not a joke.
--Want to make a commitment of $5 toward the $100 prize to help defray our costs? E-mail us at the address at right.
--The contest period begins today. The deadline for eligible reporting is October 13, 2012.
--Maine-based print, radio and TV journalists are eligible for the prize. Reports must run on Maine TV, radio or in the print edition of Maine newspaper to be eligible. (Sorry, no blog posts.)
--Judgments as to eligibility will be made by Collins Watch at our sole discretion.
--Judgements as to whether a particular piece of reporting meets the award criteria will be made by Collins Watch at our sole discretion.
--No application necessary. $100 prize will be sent automatically to the author of the first piece of reporting that meets the award criteria.
--Collins Watch reserves the right to grant no award if no Maine-based reporting is found to qualify during the award period.
--Collins Watch reserves the right to amend the rules governing the award at any time, as necessary.