About us

The Free Press has been the official student newspaper of the University of Southern Maine since 1972. Our mission is to be the definitive source of news and commentary for the USM community. We are funded by advertising sales and through a student activity fee.

The Free Press reaches an estimated 8,000 students of USM, their friends and families on the Portland, Gorham and Lewiston-Auburn campuses as well as in the greater Portland and Lewiston-Auburn communities.

The Free Press publishes on Mondays throughout the Fall and Spring semesters — approximately 20 issues per year. We publish 2,000 copies of every issue, which are dropped off at various locations on the Portland and Gorham campuses and also at several off-campus locations around Portland and Gorham.

Free Press Mission Statement:

The University of Southern Maine Free Press is a community newspaper written and produced for an audience of students, staff and faculty, created by a team of USM students. We provide the news about our university and it’s community to our audience in a weekly print newspaper. We will justify our name by providing a public forum for free exchange of information and ideas within a university community of diverse viewpoints, goals and directions.

History of the student newspaper

Gorham Academy opened as a male preparatory school in 1803. The academy was the first established secondary education institution connected to the University of Maine system. The first noted periodical the academy is an edition of The Oracle, released on January 26, 1931, provided by USM’s Archives, Special Collections. The issue describes the early stages of USM’s formation by highlighting the beginnings of the merger between the Gorham Normal School and the University of Maine Portland. The main headline reads, “Gorham Normal School Attends Teachers Convention in Portland.”

The newspaper’s name has changed over the years: The Oracle (1930), The Stein (1967-1968), The Viking (1969-1970), and The Observer. There have been variations of them all leading up to 1972 when University Free Press was first introduced.

Since 1972, the paper’s name has stayed relatively the same.

For complete information on advertising guidelines and pricing, please visit our advertising page.

To contact the Free Press staff, check the contact tab.

For information about The Free Press or any of the articles on this site, call (207) 780-4084 or email the editor-in-chief at [email protected].