Justin currently writes for the Nieman Journalism Lab at Harvard University. A project of the Nieman Foundation for Journalism, the Nieman Lab covers innovation within the journalism industry by looking at how traditional media, online news media, and new start-ups are adapting to changes in the industry.
Justin has reported for the Portland Press Herald/Maine Sunday Telegram, The Kennebec Journal, Portland Magazine, Portland-based TV station WMTW, and worked for organizations including Investigative Reporters and Editors.
Previously he was a columnist/blogger, staff writer, and multimedia producer for the Portland Press Herald, Maine’s largest daily newspaper. There he covered politics, business, local government, education, technology, and culture. In that time only once did he manage to invoke the wrath of the state’s tourism industry by suggesting the state slogan be changed to “Maine – The way life should be, but sometimes isn’t — but that’s OK too.”
During his time at the Press Herald he covered stories including the inauguration of President Barack Obama, Maine’s vote on gay marriage, cultural assimilation among young people from immigrant families, and the growth of online business of outdoors retailer L.L. Bean. He also interviewed the creator of The Slanket – the original blanket with sleeves.
Originally from the Midwest, Justin was born on the snow-swept plains of Minneapolis, where he developed a taste for foods on a stick and the color purple (the color, not the novel). Justin graduated from the School of Journalism at the University of Missouri, Columbia.
Awards and Fellowships
Knight Digital Media Center Fellow; Multimedia Reporting Workshop, 2008
Annual Conference Fellow; American Association of Sunday and Feature Editors, 2008
Casey Journalism Center Fellow; Reporting on Diverse Communities Workshop, 2006
Bob Drake Young Writer of the Year; Maine Press Association, 2004
Annual Conference Minority Fellow; Investigative Reporters and Editors, 2003