Here are the finalists for the 2014 Excellence in Journalism Contest. Winners will be announced at the annual dinner on May 21, 2015.
PROPOSED 2015-2016 CTSPJ BOARD
The Connecticut Pro Chapter and Region 1 of the Society of Professional Journalists are greatly disappointed with and concerned by Judge Stephen Frazzini’s Nov. 24 order barring the Connecticut Law Tribune from publishing a story about a child custody case. The ruling should be overturned.
State law has sought to protect the privacy of children involved in custody disputes, but it also specifies that the First Amendment and the public’s right to know take precedent. Furthermore, the U.S. Supreme Court has repeatedly rejected prior restraint, ruling it constitutional only in matters that pose an extreme threat to public safety and national security.
Paul Singley, CTSPJ President
Rebecca Baker, Region 1 Director
Two awards of $6,000 each.
American journalist Sigrid Schultz covered the rise of Adolph Hitler and the Nazi regime during
World War II, and, as chief central Europe correspondent for The Chicago Tribune, was the first
woman to be named the foreign bureau chief of a major U.S. newspaper. This scholarship was
made possible by a bequest her estate made to Central Connecticut State University.
Two $6,000 four-year scholarships will be awarded in academic year 2015-2016 to two high
school seniors who matriculate at Central Connecticut State University, and pursue undergraduate
degrees in journalism.
The deadline to enter is January 16, 2015.
by Mackenzie Hurlbert
Southern Connecticut State University SPJ chapter president
High school newspapers have commonly been a place of intense censorship and
debate. Like a parent to a child, many high schools use the simple justification of
“Because I said so…” to cut, mold, or manipulate their student newspapers. The
Southern Connecticut State University Chapter of SPJ took an opportunity to ask
high school journalists about their thoughts on censorship in school media.
On Friday, Oct. 24, Southern Connecticut State University hosted their annual High
School Journalism Day and invited schools from across Connecticut to spend the day
attending journalism-oriented discussions, panels and guest speakers. Southern’s
SPJ set up a table with a big banner paper banner and asked high school students to
practice their freedom of speech by commenting on how censorship has affected
their student papers.
Some responses were specific complaints about experiences with censorship while
others were more broad statements about First Amendment freedoms.
Connecticut SPJ is looking for a clerk to handle administrative tasks for its annual journalism contest. Applicant should have the following skills/attributes:
Please send resume, noting experience and education, to Jodie Mozdzer Gil at firstname.lastname@example.org by June 20. Please also note any media affiliations, past and present, in Connecticut.
Job starts in December 2014, and runs through May 2015, with option for renewal the following year.
The Connecticut pro chapter of the Society of Professional Journalists will honor Don DeCesare and James H. Smith with the Helen M. Loy Freedom of Information award at the CTSPJ annual awards dinner May 22.
DeCesare and Smith, as members of the Task Force on Victim Privacy and the Public’s Right to Know, each fought for more access to crime scene photos after the legislature passed a law exempting the records from public release.
DeCesare and Smith disagreed about the best strategy to try to change the law, which was passed — behind closed doors — in response to the killings at Sandy Hook Elementary School.
Yet both men spent dozens of hours of their personal time working to change the law to allow the public to again have access to crime scene photos. For that tireless effort, CTSPJ thanks DeCesare and Smith.
About Don DeCesare
DeCesare is past chairman of the Connecticut Broadcasters Association. DeCesare has worked for more than 40 years in broadcasting, including many years at CBS Broadcasting in New York City where he went from editing radio broadcasts to overseeing television news coverage. He is now president and general manager of WLIS-AM, Old Saybrook and WMRD-AM Middletown.
DeCesare was a founding member and past board member and treasurer of CT-N, as well as a member of the Media Center Advisory Board for Middlesex Community College.
About James H. Smith
Smith, a retired journalist of 42 years, is president of the Connecticut Council on Freedom of Information. Smith has served as president of the New England Society of Newspaper Editors, and is a member of the New England Newspaper Hall of Fame.
He led the Connecticut Post, The Day of New London, The News-Times of Danbury, the Record-Journal of Meriden and the New Britain Herald to their first New England Newspaper of the Year awards.
Smith won the American Society of Newspaper Editors’ Distinguished Writing Award for a selection of his columns on the First Amendment. He is the four-time winner of the First Amendment Award from CTSPJ.
About the Helen M. Loy Freedom of Information Award
The Connecticut pro chapter of SPJ honors people who work to advance open government in Connecticut.
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. She worked in various local and state government positions throughout her career.
Upon her passing, CTSPJ named its annual Freedom of Information award in her honor.
Tenacity, curiosity and quality have been hallmarks of DeLucia’s more than 40 years in Connecticut journalism.
It started at age 16 in Hamden, covering an inchworm invasion and planning and zoning for the Hamden Chronicle. She moved full-time to the New Haven Register, where she was among a group of female journalists who sued for pay equality in the mid 1970s. The suit was eventually settled out of court, but the goal of equal pay was realized: The wages of women essentially doubled in the Register newsroom.
After becoming city editor of the Register in 1983, DeLucia moved to the Hartford Courant in 1993 to run the New Britain bureau. She became state editor in 1995 and led the Courant’s coverage of the 1998 shooting at the Connecticut Lottery headquarters. Those stories won the Pulitzer Prize for breaking news.
She moved up to assistant managing editor, where she urged reporters to explore projects on gender, sex, domestic violence, the impact of the Iraq War on soldiers, and many other topics.
In 2009, DeLucia moved to the digital realm. She co-founded the Connecticut Health I-Team with Lisa Chedekel. The site provides health and safety reporting to 15 media partners in Connecticut. With DeLucia as editor, C-HIT has reached more than one million readers since 2010. Additionally, C-HIT hosts an annual high school journalism camp for students in Connecticut to refine their investigative journalism skills.
“Lynne’s dedication to the craft of journalism — and most importantly to the communities that her work has informed and improved — make her deeply deserving of admission to the Connecticut Journalism Hall of Fame,” said John Ferraro is his nomination letter for DeLucia.
The Connecticut Chapter of the Society of Professional Journalists created the Connecticut Journalism Hall of Fame to honor journalists who have made a significant and enduring contribution to journalism in the state. View a list of past inductees here.
Below is the list of finalists for the 2013 contest. The winners will be announced at the CTSPJ annual dinner on May 22nd. This year we are moving locations to the Seasons at the Tradition in Wallingford. Good luck to all finalists, and see you at the dinner!