Posts by Connecticut SPJ

Meet Vinti Singh

Vinti Singh is a member of our board.

You may reach her at

Meet Tommy Valuckas

Tommy Valuckas is a member of our board.

You may reach him at

Meet Don Stacom

Don Stacom is a reporter at the Hartford Courant.

You may reach him at

Proposed 2012-13 board slate announced

The Nominations Committee of CTSPJ has proposed the following slate of officers and members of the Board of Directors for 2012-13. The current CTSPJ board has accepted the slate and will present it to the membership for approval at the chapter’s annual meeting and awards dinner on Thursday, May 24 at Fantasia, North Haven.

2012-13 Officers and Board of Directors

Officers (One-year terms for all officers)
President — Jodie Mozdzer, Valley Independent Sentinel
Vice President– Don Stacom, Hartford Courant
Vice President/Communications– Jamie DeLoma, Quinnipiac University/ Hearst Connecticut Newspapers
Treasurer– Cara Baruzzi, United Way of New Haven
Secretary– Ricky Campbell, Torrington Register

Immediate Past President– Cindy Simoneau, Southern CT State University/ Hearst Connecticut Newspapers (serves until another past president rotates to the position)

Board of Directors (varying terms)
To be elected:
Liz Glagowski — 1to1Media (Two-year term ends 2014)
Daniela Forte — Litchfield County Times (Two-year term ends 2014)
Zach Janowski — Yankee Institute for Public Policy (Two-year term ends 2014)
Paul Gough — retired CT. Agricultural Experiment Station (One-year term ends 2013)

No election required:
Lila Carney — Quinnipiac University (Serving second of two-year term, ends 2013)
Khrystyne Keane — American Radio Relay League (One-year term ends 2013)

Be active in your (digital) community

By Jamie DeLoma
Vice President for Communications

As a member of SPJ’s national digital media committee, I have the pleasure of writing columns each year for Quill magazine. I thought my most recent column was worth sharing in this evolving media landscape:

In today’s journalism industry, it is imperative that journalists are active in their digital community.

For decades, some journalists have been criticized for being distant, out of touch and elitist — and in many ways, we were. The high cost of content creation and distribution made it possible for members of the press to keep their distance from the community and interact with the public on their terms. All of that changed with the development of the Internet and social media.

Now almost anyone can tell a compelling story, complete with multimedia elements, and disseminate it to an audience that rivals the audience of any newspaper or television station.

In addition to communicating with the public during breaking news, being active on social media enables journalists to build the trust and cooperation with a diverse public. An effective and compelling social media presence will enable a journalist to have a legion of correspondents with various perspectives and contacts available and eager to help make a report more dynamic and complete.

There are a few sites where every journalist should consider building a presence. Community-building takes time. Waiting until the big story breaks to join is too late. It’s not just about building a large number of followers; it’s about determining which members of the community are the most trustworthy and dependable.

Every journalist should be active on Facebook and Twitter. Journalists active on Facebook must offer something to the community, rather than always taking. A common mistake is a constant feed of stories from a particular reporter or news agency. Nothing turns off an audience more than being lectured. Instead, inform and encourage conversation and collaboration with a variety of content.

Instead of telling your audience the news, tell them why what you are telling them is important, and ask them for their perspective and insight. It will likely enhance your story, as well as expand your audience. As more people talk back to your brand, more of their followers will be informed of your existence and relevancy to the greater community.

On Facebook in particular, it is a good idea for journalists to link a professional page to their personal account. In addition to allowing for unlimited followers (personal accounts are limited to 5,000 friends), journalists could continue to have a personal presence.

Journalists should also maintain an active presence on Google Plus. The circles feature allows users to segregate content based on who is disseminating it, as well as allowing journalists to easily disseminate content to the audience of one’s choosing.

In doing so, it relieves journalists of the need to create a separate, more professional presence, as they could disseminate more personal aspects of their life to one circle and more professional elements to another. However, perhaps most powerfully, the platform permits journalists to host “hangouts,” to connect and collaborate with members of the community via live video chat. Google Plus also allows for easy collaboration between Gmail, Google Docs and other popular Google products.

Another beneficial platform is Foursquare. This network, which encourages users to check in to their current location, is available to anyone with a smartphone and is an effective way of not only spotting potential stories and trends, but also seeing them, as users are able to post photos from their current location. Journalists should consider maintaining the “worldview” feature and enabling phone notification when friends check in to ensure easy monitoring. It’s a great way to reach out to individuals at the scene of a story, determine potential sources for feature and profile stories and catch up with elusive sources and story subjects.

Journalists with iPhones and iPads should consider building a presence on Instagram, a dynamic photo-sharing platform. Although not yet available for other devices, this fantastic platform allows users to share moments from their daily lives — and for journalists to discover potential stories. However, like on the other platforms highlighted, it is imperative for journalists to share content, as well. A reporter covering a meeting could snap a photo and share it, teasing a coming report and asking for feedback, for example. A sports reporter covering a game and a business reporter profiling a business or economic trend could do the same.

During the building process, listen. Interesting and compelling stories will surely follow. As on any other platform, however, journalists need to be able to spot and develop them.

Overall, the journalist with the most diverse community will have a considerable advantage over the competition. It’s no longer about whether journalists should be part of the digital community; it’s now about what digital community is best for their particular beat.

Connecticut SPJ accepting Hall of Fame nominations

Nominations are now open for this year’s CT. Journalism Hall of Fame selections. Journalists considered for the Hall must have made “a significant and enduring contribution to journalism in Connecticut.”

Please complete this form and email it to Jerry Dunklee at by April 14, 2012.

Connecticut SPJ opens the door for collaboration

By Lila Carney
Board member

Being a journalism educator, my goal is to prepare my students for the professional world. It’s tough to do.

Journalism is a field that is constantly changing. There are always updates in technology, operations, expectations, job descriptions — this list could truly be endless.

To prepare, universities offer opportunities to students on campus that are awesome: Write for your campus newspaper. Have a radio show. Contribute to your university’s television station. Rounding out the opportunities is collaboration with professionals around our state.

That is where the Connecticut Pro Chapter of the Society of Professional Journalists comes in.

Connecticut SPJ offers programs that educate both professionals and students. Besides that, it allows students to network with professionals and professionals to network with some of the most up-and-coming, self-motivated media students.

We are planning another opportunity for this to happen in April. Stay tuned for more information on an educational program about weather reporting. We are working on a partnership with WTNH where professionals and students will be able to learn more about effective weather reporting – something almost every journalist will likely have to do some day.

Besides this program, keep your eyes open for all the opportunities Connecticut SPJ is offering. You never know what you’ll learn or who you’ll meet – maybe it will be your next boss or star reporter!

Honoring Dr. Mel

By Jerry Dunklee
Board member

Much was written about Dr. Mel Goldstein in the days following his death at 66. He garnered the attention in Connecticut he deserved. He was special and his brave fight against cancer and other ailments for more than 15 years is testament to his courage.

But there is another reason to celebrate Dr. Mel’s career. He broke many of TV’s cherished “rules” and was extraordinarily popular and indeed, loved.

TV news has become a more and more cosmetic business. If you aren’t beautiful, it is tough to work these days in local TV news. Consultants, and some viewers, pay more attention to appearance than they do to smarts and journalism chops. They prefer a young, pretty model-like kid, to an experienced reporter who can tell you the facts clearly.

Dr. Mel proved this attitude is silly. He wasn’t pretty. In his later years, as he fought his cancer, he was stooped and balding. His teeth were not straight. But he knew weather, he loved talking about it and explaining it to people on the air in clear terms. He held a PhD., which many broadcast managers believe implies pedantic and “over-the-head” of viewers. Bull. Though he was very smart, he could explain and teach us what weather was coming and why while never talking down. He cared very much about his craft and about telling it straight. He was what he was.

And we loved him for it, because it was honest and authentic. When you watched Dr. Mel, you knew he respected viewers because he assumed they were intelligent. What a breath of fresh air.

Many journalists have heard the question asked of editors: “Would you rather have a great reporter or a great writer?” The answer from the best editors is always, “Both, but if I have to choose, I’d rather have a great reporter. The great writer tends to use writing skill to gloss over a lack of depth that makes stories weak.”

That’s like TV folk who get by on their looks, not their journalism chops.

News managers take note: Real communicators need not be model beautiful. They need to know their stuff, be good reporters and care about the audience getting clear information. Dr. Mel proved that over more than 25-years. He will be deeply missed.

Meet Lila Carney

Lila Carney works with aspiring journalists as the assistant director of student media at Quinnipiac University. She is also an adjunct professor of journalism in the School of Communications.

Lila advises students involved with Quinnipiac’s multiple media groups, including the university newspaper, “The Chronicle;” the university television station, Q30; the university radio station, WQAQ 98.1-FM; The Summit yearbook; Montage, the university literary and art magazine; and the Quinnipiac Bobcats Sports Network.

Carney holds a master’s degree in broadcast journalism from Syracuse University in Syracuse, N.Y., and a bachelor’s degree in communication sciences from the University of Connecticut.

Before coming to Quinnipiac, Carney worked for several years as a Multimedia Journalist in central and western New York. Most recently, she worked for the NBC and CBS affiliates in Syracuse, N.Y.

Meet Jamie DeLoma

A recovering journalist with 13 years of professional experience, Jamie DeLoma loves technology as much as he does story-telling.

Jamie, a past president of Connecticut SPJ and current board member, has been unnaturally curious for as long as he can remember. He founded a chapter of SPJ on Quinnipiac University’s campus in 2003, and is on the international organization’s digital media committee.

Currently the assistant director of public relations and social media at Quinnipiac University in Hamden,Conn., and a part-time A1 page designer and copy editor for the Hearst Connecticut Media Group, Jamie is loving life.

At Quinnipiac, he oversees the university’s social media endeavors (where he has helped lead the way to dramatic increases in both interactions and connections on Facebook, Twitter, WordPress and Foursquare,) helps coordinate media relations, coordinates a weekly faculty/staff newsletter and teaches undergraduate and graduate writing and social media courses.

At Hearst Connecticut, Jamie crafts front and inside pages for four daily newspapers (The Connecticut Post, Stamford Advocate, Danbury News-Times and Greenwich Time,) and occasionally the group’s six weekly newspapers. Combined, nearly a quarter of a million readers get their news from our products on any given weekday, and substantially more on Sundays.

Jamie has been affiliated with the Connecticut post since 1998, when he began as intern. Since then, he has contributed to the news, features, business and sports sections. He has written regularly printed columns and advised a high school writing section. He also blogs about technology issues for the newspaper group, which has been quoted in national media outlets, including AOL News.

Jamie has also worked full-time at The Stamford Advocate (before it was affiliated with the Connecticut Post,) WNBC-TV and the FOX News Channel. He has a strong understanding of print, broadcast and digital platforms.

Jamie has also mentored young journalists at the Milford (Conn.) Boys and Girls Club and has contributed columns to the Radio Television Digital News Association.

You may connect with him on Twitter at @jdeloma.

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