The Connecticut Society of Professional Journalists board of directors will induct the 13 charter members of the chapter into the Connecticut Journalism Hall of Fame at its annual dinner May 26.
The 13 men — Bob Eddy, Herbert Brucker, William J. Clew, D. Barry Connelly, Dorman E. Cardell, Russell G. D’Oench, Norman Fenichel, Frank Hepler, Carl E. Lindstrom, Robert M. Lucas, Arland R. Meade, Laurence A. Silver and Sidney P. Steward — formed the Connecticut Professional Chapter of the Society of Professional Journalists – Sigma Delta Chi in 1966. National SPJ granted their charter on Feb. 3, 1966.
Their efforts have had a ripple effect on journalism in the state over the last 50 years.
During that time, the Connecticut chapter of SPJ hosted hundreds of professional development workshops to help journalists in the state network and further their careers. Through the Bob Eddy Scholarship Foundation, the board has distributed more than $140,000 in scholarships to Connecticut students since 1981.
Each year since the early 1970s, the board hosts an Excellence in Journalism contest, which gets between 800 and 1,000 entries each year, in order to recognize the work of journalists across the state. The contest winners are honored at an awards banquet in May, the largest gathering of journalists in the state each year.
The contest raises money for the board operations, including thousands of dollars in donations given to journalism causes. For example, in 2016, the board donated $500 to help host the Connecticut FOI day, donated another $500 toward CCFOI and CFOG, supported the SPJ Legal Defense Fund and Region 1 Fund with $500 each, and helped Connecticut student chapters pay for programming and conference attendance. Additionally, the chapter donated $750 toward the Bob Eddy Scholarship Fund in 2016.
Over the last 50 years, CTSPJ has hosted influential regional conferences, including one this past April at Southern Connecticut State University. This year’s conference attracted 200 journalists from across New England and the tri-state area.
The board created the Connecticut Journalism Hall of Fame to bring credit to those who have made significant contributions to journalism in the state. The actions of these 13 men has had tremendous impact, and will continue to touch the lives of journalists in the state for years to come.
Bob Eddy, the founding president of the chapter and a former editor and publisher of the Hartford Courant, is already a member of the Connecticut Journalism Hall of Fame.
The others will be inducted together at the annual Excellence in Journalism Awards Dinner Thursday, May 26, 2016 at Seasons at the Tradition in Wallingford.
To purchase tickets to the dinner, visit our dinner page on the website.