Connecticut Journalism Hall of Fame

Lynne DeLucia named to Connecticut Journalism Hall of Fame

Lynne DeLucia

Lynne DeLucia

Lynne DeLucia, a Pulitzer Prize winning journalist, will be inducted into the Connecticut Journalism Hall of Fame at the CTSPJ annual awards dinner on May 22, 2014.

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.

CT Journalism Hall of Fame: Bart Barnes

Bart Barnes is perhaps best known as the publisher of the Bristol Press, an enterprise he led for thirty years until his family sold the newspaper in 1985.

He started there in 1937 as an advertising sales person and moved up in the ranks. He also was among a small group of editors and publishers who, in the mid-1950s, launched a 20-year campaign for the creation of a state Freedom of Information law. Mr. Barnes served on the FOI commission from 1985 to 1989, where he acquitted himself with characteristic diligence, fairness and impartiality. Mitchell Pearlman, executive director of the commission, said Barnes was “an icon of what a newspaper publisher, a public citizen and a public servant ought to be.”

Yale University graduate, publisher, scion of one of Bristol’s best-known families, E. Bartlett Barnes had pedigree and prominence. Yet Mr. Barnes’ personal qualities — an unassuming style, humor, kindness and passion for community — earned him genuine affection.

In Bristol, Mr. Barnes’ influence was pervasive. He is credited with transforming the New England Carousel Museum into a nonprofit group dedicated to preservation and education. He helped raise hundreds of thousands of dollars in scholarships for local students.

Remarkably youthful and spry well into his later years, Mr. Barnes relished his daily walks. He was perceptive and curious. When people many years his junior were intimidated by the Internet, Mr. Barnes embraced it. He had a vast store of knowledge about Bristol and shared it. People came away from a conversation with Mr. Barnes more knowledgeable, a little wiser and almost always smiling. Mr. Barnes died at the age of 96.

CT Journalism Hall of Fame: John Long

JohnLongJohn Long was a staff photographer for the Hartford Courant for 35 years. He covered everything from political conventions, to golf, to the plight of the homeless and all the local events that defined the Hartford area during the time. He won many awards and was twice named the Connecticut Photographer of the Year. He was awarded the Joseph Sprague Award in 2007, the highest award given by the National Press Photographers Association.

“Photojournalism is a craft and I consider myself to be a journeyman craftsman.” Long said. “Accurate photographs help the members of the public understand the world in which we live, especially on an emotional level.”

Long has been deeply involved in protecting access for Connecticut journalists to news scenes. He was a member of the first and second Connecticut Cameras in the Courts committees that created the rules and monitored the results as Connecticut approved the use of TV and still cameras during court proceedings. He was a founding member of the Media Access Task Force, a group that sought to improve relations with law enforcement in Connecticut. He also served on the media / law committee of the Connecticut Bar Association.

Long’s work has extended beyond Connecticut’s borders. Since 1998, he has been the ethics chairman for the National Press Photographers Association, and he served as its president in 1989-90. He headed the committee that rewrote the NPPA Code of Ethics in the early 2000s.

After retiring from the Courant in 2006, he served as an adjunct professor at the Newhouse School of Public Communications at Syracuse University. Previously, he taught part time at Manchester Community College in Manchester for five years. Long lives in Manchester with his wife, Mary. They have three grown daughters.

Long was inducted into the Connecticut Journalism Hall of Fame in 2013.

CT Journalism Hall of Fame: Sherman London

LondonSherman D. London spent most of his journalism life at the Waterbury Republican-American. He was a political and legislative reporter, assistant managing editor, and for the last 20 years of his career served as the Editorial Director. He retired in 1989. Sherman is a true native son of Waterbury. He was born there in 1922. After graduating from Rider College in 1942 his first job was at the former Waterbury Democrat. He was drafted during World War II and served with a field artillery division in the Pacific.
When he came home he returned to the Democrat. It was sold to the Republican-American in 1947 and he stayed on…for more than 40 years.

Sherman has been a long-time advocate of freedom of information in Connecticut. He has served as an FOI commissioner since 1996, retiring in 2013. He has won many journalism awards, including the CTSPJ Helen M. Loy award for efforts in Freedom of Information, and a United Press International honor for the best editorial on education in 1977. He served a term as president of the Connecticut Chapter of the Society of Professional Journalists and was a member of the Ethics Committee of the National Conference of Editorial Writers.

Sherman has been a reservist with the Federal Emergency Management Agency handling public affairs during disaster recovery efforts. Sherman serves as co-chair of Vision Waterbury, in on the Board of Directors of the Greater Waterbury Arts Council, is a member of the Chamber of Commerce and several other community boards.

Sherman D. London was inducted into the Connecticut Journalism Hall of Fame in 2007.

Retired Hartford Courant photographer to be inducted into Connecticut Journalism Hall of Fame

JohnLongThe Connecticut chapter of the Society of Professional Journalists will induct John Long into its Connecticut Journalism Hall of Fame on May 23 at its annual dinner.

Long was a staff photographer for The Hartford Courant for 35-years.

He covered everything from political conventions, to golf tournaments (especially The Masters), to the plight of the homeless and all the local events that defined the Hartford area during the time. Every storm, every heat wave, every performance of the Hartford Ballet. He was on a first name basis with everyone from governors to the drug addict on Park Street.

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Now Accepting Hall of Fame Nominations

The Connecticut Chapter of the Society of Professional Journalists established the Hall of Fame in 1997. Inductees are listed with brief bios here.

To nominate someone write a 1-page letter indicating why you think this individual should be considered. All nominations must include the form (download nomination form here).

A committee appointed from the CT SPJ Board of Directors judges the nominees and chooses those to be honored.


  • Those chosen to the Hall of Fame must have made a “significant, enduring contribution to journalism in Connecticut.”
  • They may be active, retired or dead. Please nominate individuals you think deserve this honor. No self-nominations are permitted.

The deadline for nominations is April 1, 2014.

Please direct questions and nominations to Jerry Dunklee 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.

CT Journalism Hall of Fame: Kenn Venit

Kenn Venit is a media consultant, teaches journalism at Quinnipiac University and Southern Connecticut State University, and is a past president of the Connecticut Chapter of the Society of Professional Journalists (SPJ). He has been involved with various media for over 45 years, Kenn is perhaps best known for his years as an award-winning Channel 8 “Action News” reporter and anchor, also serving as an Accu-Weather forecaster, and “High School Bowl” quizmaster. Kenn was featured in the 2010 CPTV documentary, “The Blizzard of ’78,” recounting how he and others covered that historic storm. He joined Sigma Delta Chi as a student At Temple University in 1964.

Kenn has worked at Channels 3, 8, and 30, has done some projects with FOX61. He anchors election night coverage and League of Women Voters candidates forums for North Haven’s cable station, NHTV18, and co-hosted a Rotary Club telethon on NHTV to raise funds for victims of the multiple disasters in Japan. He has been honored with lifetime achievement awards by the Boston-New England Chapter of the National Academy of Television Arts & Science, and the Emerson College Chapter of the Radio-TV News Directors Association. Kenn received a Quinnipiac University Excellence in Teaching Award in 2006, and the Quinnipiac University Student Government Outstanding Faculty Award for 2009-2010.

CT Journalism Hall of Fame: Chuck Dixon

Chuck Dixon never met an awkward phrase he didn’t hate.

Dixon ran the state news desk at the Waterbury Republican-American, where he taught a generation of reporters how to write crisply and succinctly.

Dixon demanded sharp thinking and tight writing. He could be a fearsomely tough critic. But the loyalty that he inspired in his staff lives on long after his retirement and years after his death.

Dixon’s specialty was always crime news. After serving in the Navy during the Korean War, he joined the Arizona Republic in 1954 as a cub reporter.

Son, he was assigned to the police and courts beats.

In his first year on the job, he was dispatched to the Arizona State Prison to witness – and cover – the execution of a confessed murderer.

He left journalism in 1958 for public relations in the insurance industry. But he returned to newspapers in 1970, joining the Waterbury Republican as an assistant state editor.

Dixon worked there for more than 20 years as an editor, yet never completely stopped being a reporter.  In 1972, he covered the murder of a Torrington High School girl, winning awards from state and regional news organizations. He spent a week in New London in 1988 covering the conclusion of the spectacular “Woodchipper” murder trial. When the judge abruptly declared a mistrial late on a Friday night, Dixon filed a rich, insightful story in time for Page 1 ….  dictating much of it on deadline when his old TRS-80  gave out.

After retiring in 1991 as assistant managing editor, Dixon wrote a Sunday column that was anything but ordinary.

He did ride-alongs with a driving instructor and a trash collector … subbed as a bookstore security guard … tried hitch-hiking along Route 254 to see who would offer him a ride …. and even posed as a deadbeat — but hungry — customer at Torrington restaurants to find out whether he’d get stuck washing dishes.

Dixon died four years ago at 76. His memorial service brought together dozens of former colleagues who traveled from around the country to attend.

Mike Balchunas,  one of Dixon’s deputy editors in the 1980s, describes him this way:

“I think Chuck was the best journalism ‘teacher’ I’ve ever seen, even though that wasn’t in his job description. He was a consummate storyteller with the highest ethical standards … a strong sense of fairness … and a tremendous knack for knowing what elements belonged in a story and what to leave out.”



CT Journalism Hall of Fame: Jerry Dunklee

Jerry Dunklee has been a broadcaster and professor for 45 years.  32 of those years have been in Connecticut.

Jerry worked at WELI Radio in New Haven as a talk show host for more than 7 years.  During that time his number-one rated evening show delved into topics as wide-ranging as nuclear power to Broadway musicals.  He interviewed over 6-thousand people at WELI.  He has also filled in as a talk host at WPOP in Hartford and WICC in Bridgeport.  Jerry also worked in New York and Boston during his news and talk career.

He started teaching full time in 1985 at Southern Connecticut State University.  He has taught thousands of students, many of whom have become career journalists.  His students were involved in two major studies of compliance with FOI law at the state and local level.  Both studies resulted in national news coverage and more focus on how agencies actually deal with FOI. He, under the mentoring of the late Robin Glassman, led the Journalism Department for nine years.

Jerry has been president, vice president and ethics chair of Connecticut SPJ.  Over the years he created dozens of workshops and panels in the state dealing with FOI, Free Press/Fair Trial, Ethics and Investigative Journalism.

He has fought for student First Amendment rights at both the college and high school level.

Jerry has been a member of the National Ethics Committee of SPJ since 1994 and helped write the current Code of Ethics.

He has two grown children, Brady and Caitlin.  Brady started a charity to help poor children in Nicaragua and Caitlin works in prison reform in New York.

He served in the Army from 1966 to 1968 as a member of the Bomb Squad.

He just completed his 25th year at Southern.

Dunklee was inducted in 2010. Below is his acceptance speech:

When the late Robin Marshall-Glassman and I started talking about creating a Connecticut Journalism Hall of Fame many years ago the last thing I ever considered was being a member of this extraordinary group.  As most of you know, Robin was one of our first inductees for her remarkable writing and her dedication to the craft of journalism.  Her selfless toil for several generations of journalists was inspiring.  She was my mentor and friend.  And any light shone on me, and many others in the room tonight, is reflected from her brilliant, still-beaming beacon.  Thank you Robin.

Journalism is essential to our way of life.  Democracy cannot thrive without your daily efforts to reveal our world and educate readers, listeners and viewers.  Ethical, informed journalism is the food and drink of effective self-government.  Absent this menu of news and views we will become anorexic and susceptible to fear and the deleterious effects of ignorance.   We have been enduring hard times.  Some say quality journalism cannot survive.  I don’t believe that.  I believe your hard work matters.  And I hope you fight on.

When Cindy Simoneau told me I, and the others honored here tonight, had been selected to enter the Hall of Fame I was, to say the least, surprised.

She said, ”We wanted to honor you guys while you’re still alive to enjoy it.”

As you all know, journalists are only as good as their last story.

While I’m still kickin’ I hope there are still a few stories in me…and some ways of communicating to the general public the value of what you do in their lives.

I am deeply honored to be considered worthy of this distinction.




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