Jennifer Rooks

Public Affairs Host & Producer

As public affairs host at MPBN, Jennifer's been involved in numerous projects on both television and radio. She currently co-hosts and helps produce Maine Calling, MPBN's statewide daily (M-TH) radio call-in program. Previously, Jennifer was host and executive producer of Maine Watch with Jennifer Rooks. She has moderated more than twenty broadcast debates between candidates for statewide office. And, at MPBN, she has produced three television documentaries. Broken Trust: Elder Abuse in Maine, Winds of Change - both Maine Watch Special Reports - and A Matter of Duty: The Continuing War Against PTSD. Co-produced with Charlie Stuart, A Matter of Duty was shown on PBS television stations throughout the U.S. and in multiple screenings, including at the National Sheriff's Association national conference.

Jennifer joined MPBN in June of 2007 after spending more than 13 years at WCSH-TV in Portland, where she worked as a general assignment reporter and weekend news anchor. Since 1994, Jennifer has covered a broad number of Maine issues in every corner of the state. She has twice won an Edward R. Murrow award: in 1998, for coverage of Maine National Guard and Reserve soldiers deployed in Bosnia and Hungary, and in 2003, for the documentary Citizen King, about then-Governor (and former Maine Watch host) Angus King.

Jennifer grew up outside Atlanta, Georgia. She earned her B.A. from the University of Virginia (where she started her broadcast career in college radio) and her Master’s in Journalism from the University of California at Berkeley. She worked at television stations in San Francisco and Monterey, California, before coming to Maine. She and her husband Mike have two children.

Ways to Connect

Fire Safety

Feb 4, 2016

Despite years of fire prevention and education efforts, Maine people (from every socioeconomic group) still die in house fires every winter.  There have already been two fatal fires in Maine this year.  We'll discuss fire safety and prevention.

Guests:  Joseph Thomas, Maine State Fire Marshall

February is National Teen Dating Violence Awareness Month. Nationally, one in three girls in the U.S. have experienced physical, emotional, or verbal abuse from a dating partner - far exceeding all other youth violence.  And yet only 19% of parents believe teen dating violence is an issue. Although 82% of parents feel confident they could recognize the signs if their child was experiencing dating abuse, only 42% could correctly identify the signs of abuse.

A look at Maine’s Fiber Arts industry, which has been growing in size and reputation over the past 15 years.  Thousands of people come from all over the country for Maine’s fiber arts tour and a chance to meet Maine artists.  Fiber arts – from knitting to spinning and weaving – are also increasingly popular hobbies.

Guests:  Linda Cortright, owner and editor of Wild Fibers Magazine.

Mim Bird , Owner of Over the Rainbow Yarn Shop and self-proclaimed knitting genius extraordinaire.

Brain Plasticity

Feb 1, 2016

A new book – written by a Stanford neurosurgeon – examines the impact of mindfulness on the heart and the brain.   He uses his personal story to illustrate how the brain can re-wire itself and the effect of meditation.  He and a local doctor discuss emerging research on the subject. Guests:  James Doty, MD, author of ‘Into the Magic Shop: A Neurosurgeon's Quest to Discover the Mysteries of the Brain and the Secrets of the Heart.’ (via ISDN)  Dr.

All week MPBN reporter Patty Wight has been reporting on the connection between poverty and childhood obesity.  We'll discuss her special series and hear from others helping to address this troubling connection.

Guests:  Dr. Tory Rogers, MD - Director of Let’s Go!

Courtney Kennedy - Good Shepherd Food Bank's Nutrition & Education Manager

MPBN Reporter Patty Wight