2016 Contest Winners announced

The Connecticut Pro Chapter of the Society of Professional Journalists handed out more than 350 awards to journalists from around the state at its annual Excellence in Journalism dinner on Thursday, May 25.

A PDF of the full winners list can be downloaded here. *

The Hartford Courant, Norwich Bulletin and Connecticut Post took home the top three all-media awards.

First Amendment Award

Andrew Julien, the editor/publisher for the Hartford Courant, left, accepts the First Amendment Award from CTSPJ President Michael Savino, right, on behalf of winner Jon Lender. | Viktoria Sundqvist photo

The Courant’s Jon Lender won the First Amendment Award for his article “Malloy’s office demands daily memos from agencies on press calls.”

Judges said: “Love the lede. In an age where people routinely equate bad publicity with ‘fake news,’ this grabs your attention and makes it clear that this is a piece that speaks truth to power. The use of FOIA requests is effective to help paint a fuller picture of what’s going on.”






Stephen A. Collins Public Service Award

CTSPJ President Michael Savino congratulates Ryan Blessing of the Norwich Bulletin on winning the Stephen A. Collins Public Service Award. | Viktoria Sundqvist photo

Ryan Blessing of the Norwich Bulletin won the Stephen A. Collins Public Service Award for his reporting on “Derbygate:” public officials taking all-expenses-paid trips to the Kentucky Derby, funded by the Connecticut Municipal Electric Energy Cooperative.

Judges said: “This series of stories exposes a shocking level of ethical abuses.  Nice packaging and stellar reporting.  Ryan Blessing uncovered a wealth of public records and documents and supplemented his reporting with solid interviews.  Ryan’s investigation led to an FBI investigation and other changes to ethics policies.  The story uncovered a problem and generated results, all in the public interest.  This was an excellent piece of public interest journalism.”



Theodore Driscoll Award for Investigative Reporting

Barbara Roessner, the executive editor for Hearst Media Group, accepts the Theodore Driscoll Award for Investigative Reporting on behalf of Ken Dixon, Angela Carella and Neil Vigdor. | Viktoria Sundqvist photo

Ken Dixon, Angela Carella and Neil Vigdor from the Connecticut Post won the Theodore Driscoll Award for Investigative Reporting for their reporting on “Inside the money game,” which tracked the path of political donations toward Gov. Dannel P. Malloy’s 2014 re-election campaign.

Judges said: “A meticulously reported story on how politics is for sale in Connecticut and how big-money contributors find ways to give to campaigns indirectly by getting around campaign-finance laws. This is a story that should alarm every voter in the state.”







*The College Contest General Reporting winners did not appear on the final winners list. The winners were:

(1) Cracks in the system: How a sex offender was able to go undetected; The Recorder; Analisa Novak
(2) Too little too late: How a CCSU’s student death could have been prevented; The Recorder; Analisa Novak
(3) Quinnipiac unveils new brand identity; Quinnipiac Chronicle; Thamar Bailey

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