I hope you are enjoying your newspaper today, which is our largest paper of the year and is filled with ads, fliers and offers to begin your holiday shopping. On our front page, we’ve featured 10 Mainers to Be Thankful For, focused on the work they do to help and support their communities. Here — at the Sun Journal — the Mainers we are most thankful for are you, our loyal readers, subscribers and advertisers.

If not for your support through your subscription we wouldn’t be able to deliver the news and stories that inform, challenge and reflect the communities in which we live. Your investment in our journalism is an investment in your community, and funds the work of our reporters and photographers to ensure our community leaders, elected officials and the powerful are held accountable, keeping our shared interests protected.

Jody Jalbert, general manager of Sun Media Group and group vice president sales for Masthead Maine.

Healthy people, healthy businesses, healthy governments — healthy communities — are all best informed and engaged by independent community journalists who examine school budgets, expose scandals, question practices and politics, scrutinize environmental practices, who champion good and who dare to challenge fear and falsehoods.

The work we do in our newsroom enhances community life, it exposes mental and social health care problems and brings solutions forward, it relentlessly exposes overspending in our governments, and highlights the great people who live and work all around us. Communities are healthier, more engaged, more resilient and better able to thrive when informed by truth.

We are thankful for our dedicated and talented reporters, editors and photographers whose exceptional work is displayed on our pages and online every day. Their work can help bring communities together, much like Staff Writer Donna Perry’s coverage of the propane explosion at the LEAP building in Farmington in September, her continued coverage of the generous volunteerism of firefighters and residents alike, and of the thankful homecomings of injured firefighters, and the depth of sorrow over the loss of Farmington Fire Department Capt. Michael Bell.

Some of our most rewarding work is highlighting the good people and good deeds in our communities, including our story about a 12-year-old Lewiston girl named Lilly Thibeault and her decision to save her allowance to help build a ramp for her beloved great-grandmother, Carlene Gray, who lives in Poland. When our readers saw that story, written by Staff Writer Mark LaFlamme, the community — in true Maine fashion — quickly rallied to fund and build that ramp. 

Some of our most difficult work is challenging views, particularly with emotional events like the beating death of Donald Giusti in Lewiston in 2017. His death was tragic and the rising tension in the city in its aftermath was destructive and seemed relentless. Staff Writers Kathryn Skelton and Andrew Rice worked together for weeks to pull crime statistics, talk with police officers, speak with Mr. Giusti’s family members, and with members of the community who were calling for peace, rallying for peace. The result was a two-part report on the rising tension in the downtown, what the community was doing to quell that tension, how police were responding to increased reports of violence, all in context of overall crime in Lewiston — a city with one of the lowest crime rates in Maine. The work helped set fear aside and replaced it with facts and perspective, and it was recently awarded a New England Newspaper & Press Association Publick Occurrences Award for Excellence for its deep study of an issue critically important to Lewiston.

Our work, like all local journalism, requires research, time and resources, and we thank you for your continued support.

We are also thankful for the many businesses that support our efforts through their advertising. They put their trust in our staff to develop and create meaningful marketing to deliver important messages about their products and services to you, our readers, every day. Please be sure to support your local businesses.

After you have scoured the many fliers and offers in today’s paper be sure to check out sunjournal.com to read the most up-to-date stories, read the e-edition, and sign up for many newsletter options — including daily headlines, breaking news, business news and subscriber Perks, to name a few.

There is much to be thankful for today. Our entire organization —from our journalists, press operators, page designers, production and distribution personnel —wish a very Happy Thanksgiving to you and your family.

Jody Jalbert is general manager of Sun Media Group and group vice president sales for Masthead Maine. You can reach her at: [email protected]

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