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October 11, 2006
Contact: Doug Dunbar

Secretary of State Matthew Dunlap Recognizes
Don Carrigan of News Center for Civic Journalism

National Association's Award to be Presented

AUGUSTA, MAINE -- Secretary of State Matthew Dunlap announced on Wednesday that he has received approval from the National Association of Secretaries of State (NASS) to honor Don Carrigan of WCSH 6 and WLBZ 2 for his decades of news reporting on politics, government and public policy. Secretary Dunlap will present the NASS Award for Exceptional Civic Journalism to Mr. Carrigan later this month.

The NASS Award Program recognizes individuals who demonstrate outstanding service and dedication to furthering the mission of the National Association of Secretaries of State. This particular award honors recipients who have an established record of journalism that focuses attention on the electoral and governing processes. 

Carrigan has been involved in civic journalism for part of three decades in Maine and New Hampshire. A long-time political reporter for Maine Public Broadcasting and WCSH/WLBZ, Mr. Carrigan has covered virtually every major—and minor—event in Maine politics and policy-making. But beyond giving coverage to routine events, such as ribbon-cutting ceremonies or speeches by office-holders and candidates, he has made a point of taking issues and policy questions back to their roots--in order for the public to fully understand the underpinnings of their emergence on the political scene.

For example, Carrigan closely followed events over a thirty-plus year period during the life and eventual decommissioning of the Maine Yankee nuclear power plant. Mainers could never say they weren’t informed from watching Carrigan’s reports. This was one ongoing news event that connected numerous times to his informative election coverage--as there were numerous statewide referendum votes on various aspects of utility regulation, including one that would have mandated closure of the plant.

Additionally, Carrigan covers the workings of the Legislature with expertise, from the initial filings of candidate papers to election night returns to the swearing-in ceremonies to the final adjournment of the session. His coverage is marked by a concise delivery of knowledge and an empathy with the citizen who is facing the complexities of public policy.

“Don Carrigan’s work in commercial and public broadcasting has enabled him to communicate news about elections, governing and civic life through both short summary stories and in longer, more detailed broadcasts. He has consistently demonstrated an ability to communicate the complexities of policy matters or the particulars of election laws in ways that are effective and meaningful for the public. I’m pleased to recognize his work with the National Association of Secretaries of State Award for Exceptional Civic Journalism,” Dunlap commented.