Posts by Connecticut SPJ

Election programming scheduled for Sept. 13

Clockwise from top left, Hearst Connecticut reporter Kaitlyn Krasselt, WVIT-30 NBC reporter Max Reiss, University of Connecticut journalism professor Marie Shanahan, and University of Hartford political science professor Bilal Sekou.

Claims of fake news. A never ending stream of polls. Candidates able to talk directly to an audience that doesn’t trust reporters. How have elections changed since 2016, and how do journalists effectively cover campaigns and reach their audience?

“Decisions in 2018: How to cover elections in the Trump Era” looks at how reporters can overcome all these additional obstacles and do what we’re trained to do — inform the public on who’s running for office.

The panel, sponsored by Connecticut SPJ, will include University of Connecticut journalism professor Marie Shanahan, University of Hartford political science professor Bilal Sekou, State Elections Enforcement Commission Executive Director Michael Brandi, WVIT-30 NBC reporter Max Reiss, and Hearst Connecticut reporter Kaitlyn Krasselt.

The event will be on Sept. 13 beginning at 7 p.m., and will be hosted by our friends at the Central Connecticut State University SPJ chapter at CCSU’s Student Center in New Britain.

Journalism-related job openings in Connecticut & beyond

The following are some job opportunities for journalists in Connecticut and on the East Coast. Please note that some of the positions may have been filled and links may expire. 

Assistant managing editor: The Republican-American in Waterbury, Conn. have an opportunity for you to make a difference for our readers and communities as our assistant managing editor, local news. Job requirements include experience as a bureau chief or assignment editor; knowledge and a track record of working with online journalism, including video editing, website management and social media; the ability to problem solve and multi-task in a challenging deadline environment; and a passion for and belief in quality journalism that engages, educates and informs. Reporting experience preferred.

Breaking news reporter: The Record-Journal has an opening for an evening breaking news reporter. Digital first, multimedia reporter covering a full range of news on deadline including trending topics. The job entails public safety reporting as well as coverage across topics including business, education and politics. Interested candidates should contact editor Bryan Lipiner at (posted 7/27/18)

Correspondents: Media startup 50 States of Blue is looking for correspondents to cover politics in all 50 states, including New York and Massachusetts. State correspondents will operate a microsite/blog dedicated to the pursuit of those stories in each state and will work from home. (posted 7/27/18)

News director: WTNH News 8 and WCTX MyTV 9 is seeking an experienced and creative leader in the position of News Director. The position of News Director will be accountable for budgets, strategic planning, brand building, and talent contracts. The ideal News Director will have experience working with unions, have a broad portfolio of experience in news operations, be instantaneous with decision-making; able to fluidly move between strategic and tactical activities; able to influence and engage multiple internal and external audiences; and be accomplished in building and developing a highly skilled, empowered, passionate news room staff. Incumbents in this role will have strong business and financial acumen, demonstrating the ability to build and manage a budget. 

Online news editor: Hearst CT Media is looking for an online news editor. If you have a nose for news and a keen eye for a good story, we would like you to join our team.  We are an energetic and focused group that delivers breaking and buzzy news on eleven websites in the powerful Fairfield County market.




Connecticut SPJ makes donation in honor of slain Maryland journalists

The Connecticut Pro Chapter of the Society of Professional Journalists today voted to make a $500 donation to the The Capital Gazette Families Fund to help support fellow journalists in Maryland after a targeted attack on their newsroom.

The fund, which is managed by through the Community Foundation of Anne Arundel County, was set up by tronc, parent company of the Capital Gazette in Annapolis.

The funds will go to the families, victims and survivors of last week’s shooting, which killed 5 staff members at the newspaper and injured two others.

A scholarship memorial fund has also been set up to honor the victims.  

The Michael and Jacky Ferro Family Foundation will match up to $1 million in donations made to the fund, according to the Baltimore Sun, also owned by tronc.

The same company, tronc, also owns the Hartford Courant in Connecticut.

A GoFundMe fundraiser to help the victims  and survivors set up by another journalist last week had raised $185,000 as of Sunday and the organizer said all the money raised will be given directly to the The Capital Gazette Families Fund.

Excellence in Journalism 2018 travel grants available

We are pleased to announce that, for the fourth year in a row, we’re offering a travel grant for one member and one student to attend the 2018 national conference. This year’s Excellence in Journalism Conference will be held in Baltimore from Sept. 27-29. Last year’s winners were Jill Konopka of WVIT-30 NBC and Analisa Novak, recent graduate from CCSU.

Connecticut SPJ is offering a grant of up to $1,000 to cover the cost for one member to attend, as well as another $500 to help a student attend. If you’re interested in applying for the grant, please send a a short essay, along with your SPJ member number, to Cindy Simoneau, a past president of the CTSPJ board, at Simoneau will prepare all entries for a blind review by the CTSPJ board.

Applications are due by July 6 at noon. The winners must be members in good standing of CTSPJ. New members are welcome to apply.

SPJ June Newsletter: A message from the president

A message from the president

June 2018

Congratulations to all the winners

Thank you to everyone who attended the 2017 Excellence in Journalism awards ceremony on May 24. It was a great night celebrating all of the great work from journalists around the state. We honored the late Lucy Crosbie, long time publisher of the Chronicle in Willimantic and a trailblazer for women in Connecticut Journalism, by inducting her into our Hall of Fame. We also recognized the efforts of former Connecticut Public Affairs Network President Paul Giguere in improving transparency of government at the state level with the Connecticut Network. We hope to see you all again next year at our annual May dinner.

EIJ 2018 travel

We are pleased to announce that, for the fourth year in a row, we’re offering a travel grant for one member and one student to attend the 2018 national conference. This year’s Excellence in Journalism Conference will be held in Baltimore from Sept. 27-29. Last year’s winners were Jill Kopnoka of WVIT-30 NBC and Analisa Novak, recent graduate from CCSU.

Connecticut SPJ is offering a grant of up to $1,000 to cover the cost for one member to attend, as well as another $500 to help a student attend. If you’re interested in applying for the grant, please send a a short essay, along with your SPJ member number, to Cindy Simoneau, a past president of the CTSPJ board, at Simoneau will prepare all entries for a blind review by the CTSPJ board.

Applications are due by June 29 at noon. The winners must be members in good standing of CTSPJ. New members are welcome to apply.

Have you listened to our Podcast yet?

In case you missed it — and where have you been —, Connecticut SPJ has launched its own podcast, with episodes airing twice per month. June’s episodes include conversations with Society of Professional Journalists about the Facebook Journalism Project and Whistleblower Project, and an interview with retiring Day publisher Gary Farrugia. While you’re on our Soundcloud page, be sure to check out past programming including our first episode with Connecticut SPJ President Mike Savino and Board Member Pete Paguaga, and the audio from our Women in Journalism event in March.

Come celebrate FOI

Our friends at the Connecticut Council for Freedom of Information are holding their annual meeting luncheon on June 26 beginning at 11:30 a.m. At the luncheon, CCFOI will honor the work of some journalists and FOI advocates, including Hartford Courant reporter Matt Kauffman and former First Amendment Lawyer and CCFOI president Dan Klau, who recently became a state of Connecticut judge. The CCFOI Board of Directors also plans to nominate Mike Savino, outgoing CT SPJ president, as its new president.  

The event is at the Pond House at Elizabeth Park in Hartford, and tickets at $55 at the door.

Reporting on suicides

After the CDC said earlier this month that suicide rates have jumped around the country, a report that was released in between celebrity suicides, Poynter posted several articles looking at how journalists generally cover suicides. Poynter reposted a 2014 story looking at suicide contagions and the media’s role in copycats, the organization also published suggested best practices. Covering suicides is clearly a difficult task for journalism, including decisions on when and how to report on them. While journalists are certainly free to agree or disagree with Poynter, we suggest they review the SPJ Code of Ethics whenever they are tasked with covering suicide. This is useful when it comes to a specific incident or the topic as a whole.

Another loss for CT journalism

Peter M. Casolino, longtime photographer for the New Haven Register and Hartford Courant, died on June 15 after a brief illness. He was a photographer and editor for the Register from 1991 through 2014, and more recently worked as a contract photographer for the Courant. He also graduated from Southern Connecticut State University.

Peter was only 51 and leaves behind a young son. A Go Fund Me page has been set up to help Peter’s son, Ryan, get through the loss and to pay for his future education.

New CT SPJ President

At the annual dinner in May, Connecticut SPJ elected Bruno Matarazzo, of the Republican American, as its new president beginning July 1. Bruno joined the board in 2014 and currently serves as treasurer. He replaces Mike Savino, who reached his term limit. Savino will now serve as immediate past president. Congratulations to Bruno!

Job Openings

See who’s hiring

Looking for work, or know someone who is? Perhaps you know a student looking for an internship opportunity. Check out the jobs bank we’ve just added to our website. We’ll keep adding job postings as we learn of them, so please share with us any openings. Keep in mind that some of these postings may have expired or been filled.

See all the opportunities here

Thanks for your continued support.

Your president,

Mike Savino


Lucy Crosbie inducted into Connecticut Journalism Hall of Fame

The Connecticut Professional Chapter of the Society of Professional Journalists has inducted Lucy Crosbie, former president of the Chronicle Printing Co., into Connecticut Journalism Hall of Fame.

Crosbie was a pioneer for women in journalism while helping run her family’s newspaper, The Chronicle in Willimantic, for nearly 60 years. She served as president from 1954 until her death on Jan. 1, 2012, and also served as publisher of the paper until 1992 before handing over the role to her son, Kevin.

She was a prolific writer during her time running the paper, producing thousands of editorials reflecting on events in and around Windham. She was also the first woman to serve as president of a number of boards, including he New England Daily Newspaper Association, The Connecticut Daily Newspaper Association, The Connecticut Editorial Association, and The United Press Newspapers of Connecticut.

Crosbie was also active in the local community, holding positions such as chairman of the Eastern Connecticut State University Foundation, president and a founding member of the Windham Historical Society, and a corporator of Windham Hospital.

Crosbie is our only Hall of Fame induction for 2018.

The CT SPJ created the Connecticut Journalism Hall of Fame to honor journalists who have made a significant and enduring contribution to journalism in the state. The entire Connecticut Journalism Hall of Fame may be viewed here. Nominations are accepted throughout the year through an online form on the Connecticut SPJ website. Once nominated, a journalist’s name remains on the list for reconsideration for five more years.


Paul Giguere wins SPJ’s Helen M. Loy FOI award

The late Helen M. Loy was a former chairwoman of the Freedom of Information Commission, and one of the trio of original members appointed by then-Gov. Ella T. Grasso. Loy served as a commissioner from 1975-1985 when she died.

Upon her passing, the Connecticut Professional Chapter of the Society of Professional Journalists named its annual Freedom of Information award in her honor.

The award honors any member of the public or officials who use the state’s Freedom of Information laws to advance open government.

This year, on May 24, 2018, the honor is given to Paul Giguere.

Giguere is the current president of National Civic Trust, an organization committed to increasing governmental transparency through the creation of state civic networks. He has been committed to the cause for two decades, playing a role in the creation of the Connecticut Public Affairs Network.

CPAN launched the Connecticut Network, or CT-N, in 1999, broadcasting state government to homes around Connecticut.

During his time as president and CEO, CT-N’s coverage expanded to include more state government functions, as well as events organized by civic groups. Prior to his time with CPAN, he was a studio manager with West Hartford’s public access channel.

Excellence in Journalism Winners Announced

Winners of the 2017 Connecticut Society of Professional Journalists Excellence in Journalism Awards were announced May 24 during the organization’s annual meeting and awards dinner at Grassy Hill Country Club in Orange. 

The awards recognized outstanding reporting by news professionals throughout Connecticut. 

“It’s always good to recognize great work, but it’s even more important during a time when many public figures seek to discredit the journalists tasked with holding them accountable,” said Mike Savino, president of CTSPJ. “One way to combat all of the negativity toward and distrust of the news media is to highlight all of the ways the great work journalists continue to do. Thursday’s ceremony is just another example of how journalists at outlets throughout Connecticut, big or small, serve the communities around them.” 

Notable awards:

Stephen A. Collins Public Service Award
Hartford schools: More separate, still unequal 

Hartford Courant; Vanessa de la Torre, Matthew Kauffman, Kathleen Megan

Judges’ comments: This reporting incorporates a broad range of interviews and data to tell an important story about seemingly failed efforts to desegregate schools. The reporters employ graphics and multimedia to tell the story. This package emerged from a very tight and competitive field. This was an extremely deep category with a number of entries delving into a range of important public service stories. All the entrants should be proud of producing strong public service journalism.

Theodore A. Driscoll Investigative Award: 
Capital Prep lottery investigation
Hartford Courant; Vanessa de la Torre, Matthew Kauffman

Matthew Kauffman of the Hartford Courant accepting its awards.

Judges comments: The reporters went to extraordinary lengths to interview sources and gave the accused an opportunity to respond to their reporting, and did a great job explaining the issues to an outsider who may be unfamiliar with Connecticut schools and the role of sports in those schools and beyond. The reporting captured multiple perspectives on the controversy surrounding recruitment.

First Amendment Award:
Surveillance video, records offer new perspective on UConn student’s 2016 death
Hartford Courant; Vinny Vella, Matthew Kauffman

Judges comments: Now more than ever, enhancing the public view of the press is an act worth recognizing. The Courant piece demonstrates the power of the press to shed light in ways that citizens alone rarely can. For Jeffny Pally, for her family and friends, for the UConn community, and for the citizens of Hartford, the Courant used its power to hold public officials accountable for actions that might have otherwise, and easily, been under-examined. I can hardly put it better than John Ferraro did in his submission: “We had an obligation to provide the public with a full understanding of how our government employees conduct themselves.”

But this piece also shows the responsibility of the press, not just its power. The Courant had raw footage of a young woman’s death. It would have been easy to publish the video in its entirety and draw web traffic in droves to view something so grotesque. The Courant quite purposefully did not. They showed only the footage that was necessary for understanding.

Finalists announced for 2017 Excellence in Journalism Contest

Here is the finalist list for the Excellence in Journalism Contest for 2017. (Click link to download or print). 

Excellence in Journalism Contest 2017-18

Awards will be announced at the annual awards dinner on Thursday, May 24. 

Excellence in Journalism college contest now open for entries

The Connecticut SPJ college contest is now open for entries. The contest deadline is April 15, 2018.

The entry fees are:

  • $5 for SPJ student members (membership ID number required)
  • $10 for non-members and news organizations paying for entries

The contest is open for items published or broadcast in the 2017-18 academic year. Because of a technical issue, please use 2017 as the year for all entries. 

Entries are limited to three per person per category. Each story, editorial, photo, etc. is a separate entry. Each item can be entered no more than two times in the contest.

Print entries can be submitted as PDFs or JPGs of a page. Entrants may also submit alink to the article as it appeared on a news organization’s website. 

For broadcast entries, you may submit your content in the form of a link to your video or broadcast. 

Content online must remain live and accessible until May in order to be considered for the contest. 

Click here to enter the contest

Awards will be presented at the annual Excellence in Journalism dinner on Thursday, May 24, at 6 p.m. at Grassy Hill Country Club in Orange, Conn.

Copyright 2010-2017. Connecticut Society of Professional Journalists, P.O. Box 5071, Woodbridge CT 06525