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Through My Eyes
Through My Eyes
50 years of Maine Community Journalism
By Nat Barrows
Through My Eyes gathers 50 years of Nat Barrows’ personal reflections on newspaper publishing, life in small towns, the natural world, family and more. As owner, publisher and editor of Penobscot Bay Press, beginning in 1968, fostering strong communities has been his main focus in his three weekly community newspapers. He says, “The message is this—find the common ground, talk and work together so the wounds can heal while divisions fade, so a sense of community purpose and individual joy can be illuminated.”
Nat was honored as the 2007 Journalist of the Year by the Maine Press Association and named to MPA’s Hall of Fame in 2018.
He is a man of great character and moral conviction and believes in holding all people to those same standards. For the last five decades he has not only brought those qualities to his reporting, but has insisted that they guide all decision making at Penobscot Bay Press.
About the Author:
Nat was born in 1945 to Nathaniel A. and Dorothea (Whittier) Barrows in Glen Ridge, New Jersey. His early work and activities included serving as an acolyte at the Church of the Holy Advent in Clinton, Connecticut. He graduated from Pomfret School in Pomfret, Connecticut, in 1964 where he was sports editor and reporter for the student newspaper; and the University of Denver in 1968 with a BA in American History and a minor in English. At UD, he was a reporter for the Clarion, the university’s student newspaper, and was an assistant cook for the Phi Kappa Sigma fraternity. He was president of his fraternity. In 1967, he enjoyed working as a copy boy at the Rocky Mountain News, Denver, where he gained his first newspaper experience. He began his career as a newspaper owner, publisher and editor in 1968 with the purchase of Penobscot Bay Press and Island Ad-Vantages in Stonington, Maine. In 1981 he purchased The Weekly Packet, based in Blue Hill, Maine, and added Castine Patriot, based in Castine, Maine, in 1990. His three newspapers cover ten area towns on the Blue Hill peninsula and the islands of Deer Isle and Isle au Haut.
During his career, Nat has received numerous professional awards for his news stories, photography and editorials and has seen the volume of awards grow for his three newspapers in recent years. In 2007, he was honored as Maine Journalist of the Year for his fearless coverage of and community support during the discovery, arrest and conviction of a serial pedophile who had elevated standing in the community. (See the entry for October 16, 2008, for the keynote address he gave on the subject at the Maine Press Association Fall Conference luncheon the following year.) In October 2018, he was inducted into the MPA’s Hall of Fame at the fall conference.
What Nat likes most at Penobscot Bay Press is the opportunity, through work, to get to know and connect with a variety of people, including the staff and community members. His passion is to have Penobscot Bay Press act as a steward of the public trust to help towns, institutions and organizations function better by giving community members a mixture of news and information products that will inform, stimulate and enlighten them.
Strongly oriented to the strength of the communities his papers serve, Nat has also been active in civic service and activities. He is the founding president of the board of the Island Community Center in Stonington; has served as president of the Deer Isle-Stonington Chamber of Commerce and a board member of the Blue Hill Peninsula Chamber of Commerce; and was elected and served a term as selectman and assessor for the Town of Stonington. He has been a Boy Scout Den leader; Little League coach, was co-founder of the Stonington 6 10K and Fun Run; founder and organizer of the Island Youth Soccer League; founding member of the Stonington Planning Board; founding trustee of Island Heritage Trust; and founding member and vice-chairman of the Stonington Harbor Improvement Committee. He was a founding organizer of the Deer Isle Food Co-op.
In 1999, he received the Willard Kane Award silver bowl from the Maine Retired Skippers Race Committee in recognition of his coverage and support of the race over the years. He was named Cooperator of the Year by the Hancock County Soil and Water Conservation District. Nat served two terms as president of the Maine Press Association and was a director of the New England Press Association. He was the co-founder of Maine Commercial Fisheries monthly newspaper, and co-founder of the annual A Visitor’s Guide to Acadia National Park and Hancock County, Maine.
He is the father of four children and has five grandchildren. He is an avid gardener, studies spiritual practices, and enjoys outdoor activities and reading.
Publisher: Penobscot Books, a Division of Penobscot Bay Press, Inc.
Printer: 360 Digital Books, a division of Whitlock Business Systems, Inc., Madison Heights, Mich.
Publish Date: 2018
Features: Contemporary photos and illustrations
Dimensions: 7” x 10”
Genre: Non-Fiction, Journalism