The late Christopher Cousins, a political reporter who worked for nearly two decades for the Bangor Daily News and other Maine newspapers, will be one of three people inducted into the Maine Press Association Hall of Fame later this year, the trade group announced Tuesday.
Cousins, who grew up in Oxford County, began his career at the Advertiser Democrat in Norway in 1999 and worked at The Times Record in Brunswick and Bath before being hired by the BDN in 2009. He was named the State House bureau chief in 2013. He died of a heart attack in August 2018 and is survived by his wife, Jen, and their sons, Caleb and Lucas.
“We miss Chris every day at the BDN,” said Dan MacLeod, the newspaper’s managing editor. “He was a tremendous journalist. He was an even better person.”
Robert Long, Cousins’ longtime editor at The Times Record and the BDN, wrote in a nomination letter that he “told some of the state’s most important stories with crisp, empathetic writing that helped readers grasp how his subject matter affected their lives.”
“No story was too big or too small, and his signature response to even the most impossible assignment was: I am not afraid,” Long wrote.
Last year, the Maine Center for Public Interest Reporting listed Cousins as one of the 10 most respected journalists in Maine. His death led to tributes from Maine’s senators on the U.S. Senate floor and in the Legislature, where then-Senate President Mike Thibodeau, R-Winterport, called Cousins “one of the best that this building has ever seen.”
Cousins will join the Maine Press Association’s Hall of Fame at an October ceremony in South Portland. The 2019 class also includes longtime Ellsworth American editor Stephen Fay and Marian McCue, the former publisher of The Forecaster in Cumberland County.
He will join a group of more than 70 journalists to be inducted into the Hall of Fame since its inception in 1998 and the 11th staffer from the Bangor Daily News, a member of the association. The newspaper’s last inductee was former executive editor Mark Woodward in 2017.