Posts by Connecticut SPJ

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.

Meet Luther Turmelle

Luther Turmelle is North Bureau Chief for the New Haven Register. a position he has held for the past six years. Before that, he served as Milford Bureau Chief and also as the newspaper’s business editor. Before coming to Connecticut in 1997, Turmelle spent nearly a decade at the Bridgewater (N.J.) Courier-News in a variety of positions, including working as the paper’s business editor.
Turmelle has served on the board of the Connecticut Pro Chapter of Society of Professional Journalist for 10 years and is past past president. For the past three years, he has served as a director on the organization’s national board representing Region 1, which covers New England, New York and New Jersey as well as eastern Pennsylvania.
Turmelle is a graduate of Boston University’s School of Communications.

Meet Elizabeth Glagowski

Elizabeth Glagowski is the Executive Strategy Editor at Peppers & Rogers Group, developing content for the in the form of white papers, blogs, articles, videos, and more. She also writes for Peppers & Rogers Group’s executive journal, Customer Strategist and is a contributing writer to 1to1 Media. She is a board member at Connecticut SPJ.

Elizabeth also teaches multimedia journalism as an adjunct in the journalism department of Southern Connecticut State University and serves on the advisory board for the Three Rivers Community College business department. An avid soccer player, she is a board member and webmaster for the Southern Connecticut Women’s Soccer League and Stamford Co-Ed Soccer League. She is also a music fan and plays bass  with local bands Done Mama Proud and KC & Anne.

She is a graduate of Southern Connecticut State University’s journalism program.

Meet Jodie Mozdzer Gil

Jodie Mozdzer Gil is an assistant professor of journalism at Southern Connecticut State University, where she teaches multimedia journalism.

She was previously a reporter for the Valley Independent Sentinel, an online-only newspaper that covers the lower Naugatuck Valley.  Gil has also worked at the Hartford Courant and the Waterbury Republican American.

She has served on the Connecticut SPJ board since 2008. She served as treasurer for three years, from 2009 to June 2012, and as president from 2012-2014. Mozdzer Gil is now the treasurer of Connecticut SPJ.

Gil has a bachelor’s degree in journalism from Southern Connecticut State University, and a masters in interactive communications from Quinnipiac University.

You can follow her on Twitter @mozactly or e-mail her at

Hall of Fame honoree Robert Estabrook dies


Robert Estabrook, a 2008 Connecticut SPJ Hall of Fame recipient, former publisher and editor of the Lakeville Journal and former Washington Post editorial page editor, died on Nov. 16. Please click here to read his obituary in the Washington Post.

Here is the script from his induction into our hall of fame:

Robert Estabrook has lived several journalism lives.  He is best known in Connecticut as the publisher and editor of the Lakeville Journal.  He owned the newspaper for 16 years.  During that time the Journal covered a number of high profile stories including the 1973 Peter Reilly murder trial.  Because of the newspaper’s in-depth coverage, all charges were dropped against the 18-year old who had been accused of killing his mother.  For those stories and editorials the paper won the national John Peter Zenger Award for Freedom of the Press. He also has been active in Freedom of Information issues.  But his career extended beyond the boundaries of Connecticut.  He was a writer for northern Michigan weeklies and managing editor of the campus newspaper at Northwestern University, from which he graduated summa cum laude in 1939.  He worked as an editorial writer in Cedar Rapids, Iowa.  He served four years in the Army during World War II and started a U.S. forces newspaper in Brazil.  After the war the Washington Post hired him as an editorial writer.  He spent 25 years with that storied organization including nine years as a foreign correspondent traveling to 70 countries.  He has been a Pulitzer Prize judge and with other New England editors, conducted journalism workshops in India.

Mitchell Pearlman, former director of the CT. Freedom of Information Commission said,

“Bob’s autobiography is entitled “Never Dull.”  When it comes to leadership for journalism’s sacred causes, his biography can aptly be called “Always There.”  There are many who say they believe in the virtues of a free press and an open and accountable government, but too precious few who step forward time and again to vigorously preserve, protect and defend freedom of the press and freedom of information, both of which are so essential to democracy.  Bob Estabrook has been, and is, one of them.

People throughout the United States, and indeed the world, have benefited by his indefatigable leadership in journalism.  But we in Connecticut have benefited the most, and the most directly, when he and his wife, Mary Lou, decided to move to Connecticut and buy the Lakeville Journal.  They not only made that paper a great weekly newspaper, they became the paradigm for community-based, civic-minded journalism, while ever mindful that their local community is part of a broader statewide, national and international community about which every reader should be well-informed.  I’ve had the honor and privilege of knowing and working with Bob for over 35 years.  Thus I can say that without doubt, no one during this period has done more for good journalism and good government in Connecticut than Bob Estabrook.  He is indeed a hero and much deserving of this recognition.”

Mr. Estabrook is a member of the Council on Foreign Relations.  He has been married to Mary Lou for 65 years and they have four children and four grandchildren.  He sings in a barbershop chorus, plays baritone horn in the Salisbury Band, and still writes his “Perambulating” column for the Lakeville Journal.

Broadcasters and their date with Irene

By Jerry Dunklee
Board member

Prepare ahead. Respect the audience. Use social media to expand your news staff.

These are some of the lessons Connecticut broadcasters say they learned from covering tropical storm Irene.

WVIT-TV, Channel 30, went on the air at 3:00 p.m. on Saturday as the storm was moving in. They stayed on for 26 hours straight. The news staff worked 12 hours shifts. Other station employees came in to help answer phones, help with food, and support the effort.

“We have a little gym with a shower here.” said Mike St. Peter, Ch. 30’s news director. “We brought in a dozen cots. Lauren Petty, who was eight-and-a-half months pregnant, slept on a mat on the gym floor. She just had her baby. We rehearsed. We wanted to be prepared for the worst case.” Our general manager, David Doebler, had been in hurricanes before and wanted us to be ready.”

“Ray Andrewsen and I spent the night at the station,” according to Greg Little, news director of WQUN in Hamden. We stayed on continuously for 15 hours with regular updates from meteorologists Dr. Mel and Gary Lesson. We had Paul Pacelli inside and Martin Waters in the field. We thought it was important. It’s the core of what we do.”

At WTIC Radio in Hartford, Dana Whalen’s staff did storm updates the days before Irene hit and went to full live coverage at 5:00 a.m. on Sunday morning. Several staff members also slept at the station. They shared coverage, at first, with CH 61 from the emergency center set up at the state Armory in Hartford, then got their own reporter there.

“He was able to set up a broadcast quality line and we did interviews with officials there. We were also able to take calls from listeners and do utility updates.” Whalen said. WTIC’s local talk hosts handled much of the air time.

At Ch. 30 the news staff used Facebook and Twitter to communicate with viewers and to get news from viewers in various parts of the state. ”We tweeted and posted. We took e-mail questions and answered them on the air.” St. Peter said. ”We streamed coverage live online.”

Little said WQUN did a number of long interviews with local mayors trying to give listeners updates on what was happening in their towns. “We got a number of letters and e-mails thanking us for our coverage.” he said.

“We wanted to own the coverage.” WVIT’s St. Peter said. “Early on Saturday the Weather Channel had the highest ratings in the state. We dominated the evening of Saturday and Sunday.”

Many radio stations in Connecticut simulcast various TV stations’ coverage. Some stayed with syndicated programming and didn’t cover the storm.

What did St. Peter say he learned from covering Irene? He said, “I would have gone on earlier.”

Meet Cara Rosner

Cara Rosner is a freelance reporter and editor.
Previously, she served as the external affairs director at United Way of Greater New Haven from 2012 to 2014. She was breaking news editor at the New Haven Register from 2011 to 2012. She was also the business editor from 2007-2011 and was a business reporter at the paper for three years prior to that at the daily newspaper.
She writes a blog geared toward young professionals at
In addition to her work with SPJ, she is on the board of directors for the Literacy Coalition of Greater New Haven. Prior to the Register, she was a reporter for the Journal Inquirer in Manchester and the Hartford Business Journal. She is a graduate of Boston University’s journalism program.

Connecticut SPJ is getting a face-lift

By Jamie DeLoma
Vice President of Communications

The Connecticut Professional Chapter of the Society of Professional Journalists has launched this new website to better serve our members and the journalism industry as a whole.

We will utilize this new space to bring you journalism news, insight and information. You may also find find our latest programming notices here.

Please do not hesitate to email me at or call me at 203-540-9399 with any suggestions or ideas.

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