September 19, 2023

For Immediate Release


Sean Manning

- [email protected]

States Newsroom Launches Maine Morning Star

Lauren McCauley to Lead States Newsroom’s Maine Outlet

For Immediate Release
August 29, 2023

Contact: [email protected]

PORTLAND, Maine – States Newsroom, the nation’s leading network of state-based nonprofit news outlets, today launched the Maine Morning Star to provide free, high-quality, nonpartisan reporting on the important issues affecting the Pine Tree State such as housing, the challenges of the criminal legal system, and the impacts of the changing climate. With the launch of the Morning Star, States Newsroom’s network now includes 37 outlets.

The Maine Morning Star newsroom will be led by Editor-in-Chief Lauren McCauley. McCauley has been covering politics and policy in Maine for more than ten years. She is the former editor of Maine Beacon. Lauren also produced the documentary film Mississippi Messiah about civil rights icon James Meredith and worked on several others including the award-winning Soundtrack for a Revolution. Her writing has been featured on Newsweek,, TruthDig, Truthout, In These Times, and Extra! the newsletter of Fairness and Accuracy in Reporting. She lives in Kennebunk with her family.

Additional members of the newsroom include:

  • Evan Popp, Reporter: Evan Popp studied journalism at Ithaca College. He joins States Newsroom following three years at Maine Beacon writing about statewide politics. Before that, he worked for the Santa Fe New Mexican newspaper and interned at the Progressive magazine, ThinkProgress and the Reporters Committee for Freedom of the Press. Evan’s particular reporting interests include writing about the criminal legal system and the environment along with producing long-form, narrative journalism.
  • Emma Davis, Reporter: Emma Davis is a reporter based in Portland, Maine, where she focuses on government accountability. Davis comes to States Newsroom after working as a researcher for Type Investigations in New York City, a reporter via Report for America in Ohio, and a fellow with the Pulitzer Center on Crisis Reporting in Denmark. Her work has also appeared in The Hechinger Report, PBS NewsHour, EdSurge, Fortune Magazine and the Virginia Center for Investigative Journalism, among others. She grew up in New York and received a bachelor’s degree in journalism and leadership studies from the University of Richmond.
  • AnnMarie Hilton, Reporter: AnnMarie Hilton grew up in a suburb of Chicago and studied journalism at Northwestern University. Before coming to Maine, she covered education for newspapers in Wisconsin and Indiana.

“We’re thrilled about the launch of Morning Star to ensure no important story goes unreported in the Pine Tree State,” said Chris Fitzsimon, Director and Publisher of States Newsroom. “Our goal is to add more reporters who can dedicate themselves full-time to covering the stories that affect the everyday lives of Mainers. Lauren and her team of experienced journalists are ready to keep Mainers informed on how decisions are made in their state through trusted, nonpartisan reporting without a paywall.”

With this launch, States Newsroom is nearing the organization’s goal of having newsrooms in 40 states by mid-2024. As part of its continued growth, States Newsroom announced in March that it was selected by The Pew Charitable Trusts to be the new home of Stateline – merging the two state policy-focused organizations to expand their incisive reporting on state government around the country. States Newsroom also launched content-sharing partnerships with eight independent nonprofit outlets, including The Texas Tribune, to host reporting on News from the States, its comprehensive statehouse news site.

Last year, in a national study on statehouse reporting, Pew Research Center cited States Newsroom and other nonprofit newsrooms as key to filling the void in coverage left by staffing cuts at legacy media outlets. According to Pew, the overall percentage of reporters working for nonprofit newsrooms in the statehouse press corps has more than tripled since 2014 and now makes up the largest portion of statehouse reporters in 10 states and the second largest in 17 states.

States Newsroom is a 501(c)(3) nonprofit funded by the generous contributions of readers and philanthropists. States Newsroom is committed to supporting fact-based, non-partisan news to the public at no cost and ad-free.

Other States Newsroom affiliates are:

Alabama Reflector –

Alaska Beacon –

Arkansas Advocate –

Arizona Mirror –

Colorado Newsline –

Florida Phoenix –

Georgia Recorder –

Idaho Capital Sun –

Indiana Capital Chronicle –

Iowa Capital Dispatch –

Kansas Reflector –

Kentucky Lantern –

Louisiana Illuminator –

Maryland Matters –

Michigan Advance –

Minnesota Reformer –

Missouri Independent –

Daily Montanan –

Nebraska Examiner –

Nevada Current –

New Hampshire Bulletin –

New Jersey Monitor –

Source New Mexico –

NC Newsline –

Ohio Capital Journal –

Oklahoma Voice –

Oregon Capital Chronicle –

Pennsylvania Capital-Star –

Rhode Island Current –

South Dakota Searchlight –

Stateline –

Tennessee Lookout –

Virginia Mercury –

Washington State Standard –

West Virginia Watch –

Wisconsin Examiner –

In addition to its network of state-based newsrooms, States Newsroom has content-sharing agreements with eight leading nonprofit newsrooms: CommonWealth (Massachusetts), Connecticut Mirror, Honolulu Civil Beat (Hawaii), Mississippi Today, New York Focus, The Texas Tribune, VTDigger, and WyoFile (Wyoming).