Judith Meyer, executive editor of Sun Journal, Kennebec Journal and Morning Sentinel, will be inducted into the Maine Press Association’s Hall of Fame, the group announced Thursday.

Judith Meyer Andree Kehn/Sun Journal

Meyer, who started her journalism career with the Lewiston Sun Journal in the 1990s, was one of three people selected this year by the MPA Hall of Fame Committee.

Meyer began working for the Sun Journal as a freelancer out of the Norway bureau, where she covered local selectmen meetings and breaking news in nearby towns.

In 1996, she was hired full time to run that bureau, and from there she rose swiftly through the ranks of one of the largest daily newspapers in Maine.

In 1998, she was made editorial page editor at the newspaper’s headquarters in Lewiston. Five years later, she was named daytime managing editor. In April 2016, she was named the Sun Journal’s executive editor, replacing Rex Rhoades upon his retirement.

Today, Meyer is responsible for overseeing the Sun Journal, the third-largest daily newspaper in Maine, the Kennebec Journal in Augusta, the Morning Sentinel in Waterville, and half a dozen weekly newspapers spread throughout western Maine.

A fierce advocate for First Amendment rights, Meyer was instrumental in the formation of the Maine Freedom of Information Coalition, a group that’s been the leading advocacy organization for improving open meeting and public record access laws in Maine.

“I have enjoyed decades of working with some of the best journalists in Maine, who are also great people,” Meyer said Thursday, “and am deeply humbled by this unexpected honor. Our mission, and it’s one I think about every day, is to do everything we can to provide our readers with the information they need to make decisions about their lives, about their families and about their futures.

“Our focus is always on the people we write about and how our work touches their lives,” Meyer said. “Not always for the good, of course, but our work — even when we think it’s about policy or practice or process — is always about people. I firmly believe that what we do every day matters to the communities we cover and to our shared future.”

Since launching her career, Meyer has collected accolades for her dedication to freedom of information laws and for the multitude of special projects she has overseen.

In 2003, she was named Maine’s Journalist of the Year

In 2018, Meyer was the recipient of the 18th annual Judith Vance Weld Brown Spirit of Journalism Award, which recognizes the accomplishments of an outstanding woman in journalism each year as selected by the New England Society of News Editors.

A fellow of the National Press Foundation and the Knight Center for Specialized Journalism, Meyer attended George Washington University, lives in Auburn with her husband, Phil, and is an active member of the Bicycle Coalition of Maine.

Meyer will join two others being inducted.

Dorothy “Dot” Roderick, who started her career with the Central Maine Morning Sentinel in Waterville, was one of the first women advertising executives in the newspaper industry. She worked 43 years for Gannett, starting in 1937 with the Sentinel and then transferring to Portland in 1940 to work for The Portland Press Herald. She died in March 2020 at the age of 101.

Dieter Bradbury, who recently retired from the Portland Press Herald, worked in Maine journalism for more than four decades, overseeing some of the Portland Press Herald’s most important projects. Hired as a reporter with the Herald’s afternoon paper, the Evening Express, in 1980, he became a full-time reporter covering various beats before moving on to assignment editor, business editor and then deputy managing editor, in charge of the news desks, directing specialty beats and political reporting, and managing some of the paper’s most meaningful stories and projects.

All three journalists will be inducted into the MPA Hall of Fame during the association’s annual fall conference Oct. 23 in Augusta.


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