Be our guest at the Connecticut Forum’s State of Journalism & the News event

Join CTSPJ as our guest at the Connecticut Forum’s State of Journalism & the News forum discussion on the evening of March 16, 2018 at the Bushnell in Hartford.

Featuring David Fahrenthold, Hugh Hewitt, and Joy Reid and moderated by John Dankosky, this timely Forum will explore some of the most pressing issues regarding journalism and the media, including:

  • Challenges to the freedom of the press
  • The relationship between the press and the presidency
  • The difficulty of sorting information in an age of information overload, 24-hour news cycles, Twitter and fake news
  • Media bias
  • The future of investigative journalism
  • The state of local journalism

Hosted by Hartford Courant Media Group

CTSPJ is offering two free tickets for active members.

Simply send an email with your name, affiliation, and contact information to Liz Glagowski at to be entered into the drawing. Two random active members will be chosen and notified by March 8. You will be accompanied by two CTSPJ board members to this important and timely event.

SPJ Regional 1 Spring Conference details announced

Celebrate your love of journalism and learn new skills for two days in the city where Freedom of the Press got its start during the Society of Professional Journalists Regional 1 Spring Conference.

This year’s conference will take place April 21 and 22 at Temple University in Philadelphia. Visit our website at or use our hashtag #LoveJournalism.

The theme of the conference is “For the Love of Journalism,” reflecting both our passion for our chosen profession and a growing public appreciation of how the role of a free press serves in a democracy.

We are in Philadelphia, the “city of brotherly love” where so many of the founding principles of our free press took root – from Benjamin Franklin’s “Poore Richard’s Almanac” to the Constitution and the First Amendment.

We’ll celebrate that history and help chart our own future by offering useful training in multimedia and social media skills that you can put to immediate use in your newsroom or classroom.

Our focus during the Saturday, April 21, sessions at Annenberg Hall will be on the skills you need to know to be a better journalist – including the latest Google tools, KipCamp’s “Dirty Dozen” useful journalism apps and making the jump from print to digital.

We’ll also help you stay current with important stories such as covering sexual harassment and covering the medical and recreational marijuana business.

A First Amendment lawyer will be available to help with free consultations on any press freedom issue you may be encountering. And we’ll take a close look at legislation aimed at expanding press freedom for high school students.

On Sunday, April 22, our focus will broaden to some of the bigger challenges facing journalism today.

We’ll start the day with our Mark of Excellence awards brunch at the Philadelphia Media Network building, where our keynote speaker will be Bill Marimow, vice president of strategic development for the PMN, which includes The Inquirer, The Philadelphia Daily News and

On Sunday afternoon, we’ll have a panel discussion on the future of journalism in Philadelphia.

We’ll also hear from reporters who’ve covered Bill Cosby’s sex assault trial.

And we’ll hear from Signe Wilkinson on how she draws her Pulitzer Prize-winning editorial cartoons.

The weekend will also include some activities that are just for fun – including a walking tour of historic sites in journalism in downtown Philadelphia and, for those who arrive early, a Friday night ballgame between the Pittsburgh Pirates and the Philadelphia Phillies.

We’ve secured a block of discounted hotel rooms at the Courtyard Marriott in downtown Philadelphia.

But a word to the wise: the number of conference tickets and hotel rooms are limited. You’ll want to register for both the conference and the hotel as soon as possible. Don’t procrastinate. We anticipate this event will be sold out well in advance.


For more information, contact Jane Primerano.

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

SPJ showcases drones and new photo tech

Vern Williams drone demonstration

Vern Williams, assistant professor of Journalism at Southern Connecticut State University, prepares to fly his DJI Mavic Pro drone at Southern Wednesday, April 19, as Richie Rathsack, digital content editor for the Record-Journal in Meriden, looks on. | Jodie Mozdzer Gil photo

Drones are getting smaller, and the cameras more powerful — and journalists continue to explore ways that can translate to better news coverage.

Read more →

CTSPJ programming: Reporting On Elections

Connecticut SPJ held a panel, “Reporting On Elections,” on Friday, Sept. 9, at the Hartford Courant. The discussion covered what all reporters should know heading into the November state and presidential elections, including which disclosures are publicly available.
Hartford Courant Capitol Bureau Chief Christopher Keating moderated. Panelists included:
  • NBC Connecticut political reporter Max Reiss
  • CT News Junkie Editor Christine Stuart
  • Representatives from the Connecticut State Election Enforcement Commission and the Office of State Ethics
Thanks to the folks at CT-N for covering it live, and for providing it on-demand.
Watch the event below.

Journalism on Target program taught journalists about guns

SPJ President Mike Savino gets instruction from Chad Nye, Keene State journalism professor, during the Connecticut SPJ sponsored event, "Journalism on Target" held at the Greyson Guns firing range in Orange, Conn. Aug. 22, 2016. | Vern Williams photo

SPJ President Mike Savino gets instruction from Chad Nye, Keene State journalism professor, during the Connecticut SPJ sponsored event, “Journalism on Target” held at the Greyson Guns firing range in Orange, Conn. Aug. 22, 2016. | Vern Williams photo

Journalists from around the state received hands-on training Monday about how to more accurately report on firearms.

Keene State College Professors Mark Timney and Chad Nye traveled from New Hampshire to share their knowledge of both firearms and journalism, educating roughly a dozen reporters on the different types of firearms and how those variations can affect their work. The event was held at Greyson Guns in Orange, Conn.

Timney and Nye also cleared up a number of misconceptions among the general public, including the fact that the type of bullet only makes a marginally difference when fired from handguns, but can affect the performance of those from long guns. They also explained the difference between semi-automatic and automatic weapons, and how Connecticut’s gun laws actually affect the functionality of firearms available on the market today.

Reporters also had the chance to fire a handgun, shotgun, and semi-automatic rifle to feel the difference among each type. Reporters from the Record-Journal, New Haven Register, Journal Inquirer, Republican American, and the Day were present.

The event was organized by CTSPJ president Michael Savino and CTSPJ treasurer Jodie Mozdzer Gil, with help from Vern Williams, an assistant professor of Journalism at Southern Connecticut State University, and Peter Hvizdak, a New Haven Register photographer.

Chad Nye, an associate professor of journalism at Keene State, demonstrates a long rifle during the CTSPJ-sponsored event "Journalism on Target" held at Greyson Guns in Orange, Conn. Aug. 22. | Vern Williams photo

Chad Nye, an associate professor of journalism at Keene State, demonstrates a long rifle during the CTSPJ-sponsored event “Journalism on Target” held at Greyson Guns in Orange, Conn. Aug. 22. | Vern Williams photo

CTSPJ to host half-day training on covering guns and gun issues

CTSPJtarget_fJoin Keene State College journalism professors Mark Timney and Chad Nye, as well as gun safety and training experts from Greyson Guns in Orange, Conn. for a half-day training session on reporting about gun issues.

Journalists who attend will learn how to avoid mistakes that are regularly made when it comes to coverage of assault-style weapons, high capacity magazines and gun show/online loopholes.  They will also have the opportunity to see and handle different style firearms during the workshop. Trainers from Greyson Guns will give details about Connecticut specific gun sale and permit laws.

Connecticut SPJ is hosting this event to help provide information to editors and reporters who may need to report on issues involving guns on a deadline.

There are 12 seats available for the training, which will include free lunch. Reservations are limited to one per news outlet. If seats remain available on Aug. 15, tickets will become available to a second representative from news outlets, on a first-come basis.

Registration is available here.

The workshop will run from 9 a.m. to 2 p.m. on Monday Aug. 22 at Greyson Guns in Orange, Conn.

For more information, contact CTSPJ President Michael Savino or Vern Williams, assistant professor of journalism at Southern Connecticut State University.

A full agenda will be available in early August.

About the trainers:

Mark Timney is an associate professor of journalism at Keene State College. He has worked in broadcast and magazine journalism and as a public relations professional.

Chad Nye is an association professor of journalism at Keene State College, who has years of experience in television news reporting.

Both Timney and Nye are intimately familiar with firearms and their operation, and regularly conduct apolitical workshops for journalists on firearms.

Adam Anderson is the director of training for Greyson Guns in Orange, Conn.

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