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Founding members of CTSPJ to be inducted into Connecticut Journalism Hall of Fame

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.

Former state budget office leader to receive Helen M. Loy Award

Alan P. Calandro, the former director of the state’s Office of Fiscal Analysis, will receive the Helen M. Loy Award from the Connecticut Society of Professional Journalists at its annual dinner May 26 in Wallingford.

During his 25 years at the Office of Fiscal Analysis, he served as its director for the last six years. With his strong belief that government exists to serve the people, Calandro pushed for more public access to state financial information. He helped create Transparency.ct.gov, which provides access to state spending, grants, pensions and other financial data.

Alan P. Calandro

Alan P. Calandro

Calandro started working as the senior adviser and special projects coordinator for the University of Connecticut in September 2015.

He previously worked as a caseworker at the Department of Social Services and a business manager in the private sector. He holds a bachelor’s degree in business from UConn and a master’s degree in government from the College of William and Mary.

He has served on various boards and committees and is a Council of State Governments Toll Fellow, a past president of the National Association of Fiscal Officers, former member of the New England Public Policy Center and has presented on fiscal and other topics at various events.

He is married and has two daughters.

The Helen M. Loy award honors those who advance open government through the use of Freedom of Information laws.  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. Upon her passing, the Connecticut Professional Chapter of the Society of Professional Journalists named its annual Freedom of Information award in her honor.

The Connecticut SPJ Excellence in Journalism dinner will be held on Thursday, May 26, 2016 at Seasons at the Tradition in Wallingford.

The CTSPJ board announces winners of the 2016 Excellence in Journalism Contest, as well as the recipients of the board’s annual scholarship, at the dinner. The board also inducts new members into the Connecticut Journalism Hall of Fame and honors those who have fought for open government during the event.

The dinner is the largest gathering of journalists in Connecticut each year.

Click here to purchase tickets to the dinner.

CTSPJ celebrates 50 years

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In 1966, 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. National SPJ granted their charter on Feb. 3, 1966.

This year, CTSPJ celebrates 50 years of working toward improving and protecting journalism in the state.

Over the last 50 years, the Connecticut chapter of SPJ has 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, 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 and handful 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.

Come celebrate the 50th anniversary at this year’s Excellence in Journalism Awards Dinner on May 26 at Seasons at the Tradition in Wallingford.

Donate to the Bob Eddy Scholarship during the Great Give

The Bob Eddy Scholarship program helps Connecticut students who want to become journalists pay for college.

Each year the committee awards about $6,000 to students from Connecticut, or studying in Connecticut.

The fund is administered through the Community Foundation For Greater New Haven. To donate during The Great Give, click here.

Testimony Sought for FOI BILLS

Connecticut SPJ’s Board of Directors strongly urges journalists and news outlets to submit testimony during public hearings this week on a number of proposed bills that affect public access to information.

The Government Administration and Elections Committee’s March 7 public hearing includes legislation that, as written, would greatly expand when a public board or agency could call an executive session (HB 5501). The proposal would allow public officials to close off meetings from the public for any consultation with an attorney of the public agency concerning legal matters. This is a tremendous expansion beyond what is currently allowed under the state’s Freedom of Information Act.

A second piece of legislation (HB 5512) would allow municipalities to charge additional fees whenever someone files a FOI request for commercial purposes. The bill expressly states that journalists are exempt from the legislation, although it doesn’t define what constitutes a news outlet. Additional, this bill goes against the FOI Act, which does not grant a public agency to consider the intent of a requester, and this proposal would thus go against the spirit of the FOI Act. The bill also appears to give tremendous flexibility to how much a town can charge, making it potentially cost prohibitive for a requester whose intentions are deemed to be for commercial purposes. Lastly, this bill sets a dangerous precedent in chipping away at the public’s ability to easily access information.

GAE will also hear comments on a proposal requiring the preservation of and improving access to some historical records of value (HB 5499). The bill would improve access to some government records of value, including medical records. This would allow for a better examination on the way certain health ailments or conditions were treated in the past, as well as how the medical history of historically significant people may have affected their actions.

The committee’s hearing begins at 1 p.m., or written testimony can be sent to gaetestimony@cga.ct.gov

The Higher Education and Employment Advancement Committee will hear testimony during its March 8 public hearing on a bill that would moderately expand the amount of information that the University of Connecticut Foundation is required to make publicly available (SB 333). It would allow the foundation, though, to otherwise maintain its statutory exemption from the FOI Act.

Testimony can be sent to HEDtestimony@cga.ct.gov

Journalists Talk FOI Changes at CTSPJ Forum

The public has more clear access to certain police records with the passage of Public Act 15-164. FOI public information advocate Tom Hennick and former South Windsor Police Chief Matthew Reed talked with CTSPJ Vice President Michael Savino and a group of about 20 journalists on Jan. 14 about the changes.

The forum was hosted at the Hartford Courant.

The full discussion can be viewed on Periscope. Or see a summary of some points in the tweets posted below.

2015 Excellence in Journalism Contest Open For Entries

The CTSPJ 2015 Excellence in Journalism Contest is now open for entries.

You can enter the contest here.

CTSPJ has revised its contest to reflect changes in the industry. We hope the new circulation classes and categories give entrants a chance to compete against media outlets with similar resources and goals — and to do so in more specific categories than before. We welcome all feedback on the contest as we continue to refine it. Any feedback should be sent to Contest Chair Jodie Mozdzer Gil at jmozdzer@gmail.com.

If you do not see your media outlet on the list, please contact contest clerk Jessica Garin at Jessica.Garin.U.@gmail.com.

Categories

All media outlets compete against each other in the top three special awards categories. For the rest of the categories (below), media outlets will compete in one of five circulation classes. Download a PDF with the circulation classes and the categories here.

Stephen A. Collins Public Service Award
This is a special award open to all media for a story or stories having a significant impact in the public interest. Entries must include supporting documentation such as letters, editorials, evidence of a change in public policy, showing how the entry had an impact. Please include a cover letter with the entry.
Theodore Driscoll Award for Investigative Reporting
This is a special award open to all media for a single story or formal series containing information, obtained through reporter initiative not readily available to the news media or public.
First Amendment Award
This is a special award open to all media for a single story, column or series which increases public understanding of the role of the press in a free society.


Editorial Cartoon | A single cartoon online or in print
Single Editorial | Represents the opinion of the publication, station or news website as an organization
General Column | A single (other than sports or humorous) that expresses an opinion or point of view on an issues or event
Humorous Column | A single column on any topic with the purpose to entertain
In-Depth | A single story that helps audience understand situation beyond information provided in a normal news story
Investigative | A single story containing information obtained through reporter initiative that was not readily available to the news media or the public
Feature | Any story written for a reason other than timeliness. (Please note, this was omitted from an earlier list in error)
Religion | A story dealing with religious topics
Government | A story dealing with government topics
Courts/Crime | Any story dealing with issues of the criminal justice system, except for breaking news
Arts & Entertainment | A single story dealing with the arts
Business | A single story dealing with business
Leisure | A story dealing with travel, food, gardening, or other leisure topics
Continuing Coverage | No more than 10 articles that follow the same topic over time
Diversity Coverage | Single story on a diversity issue
Education | A single story on an education issue
Reporting Series | A formal series of no more than 10 articles, including investigative, in-depth or feature series
Local Reporting | A story that shines light on an issue important to a single town or region. This category is meant for those stories that fulfill the mission of community journalism.
Breaking News | A single story or package of stories and social media updates that involves coverage of a spot news event written under an immediate deadline.
Sports News | A single story on a sports news topic
Sports Feature | A single story on a sports topic, written for a factor other than timeliness
Sports Column | A single column on a sports topic
Sports Photo | A single sports photo
Feature Photo | A single feature photo
News Photo | A single news photo
Photo Essay | A collection of photos, either in print or online, that together tell one story.
Page 1 Layout | A category for the person who arranged the text and images, not for the writers or photographers of the materials on the page.
Non-Page 1 Layout | Any single page design that was not on page 1
Headline | A single entry is made up of three headlines, all the work on a single individual
Infographic Design | The design of a single static or interactive graphic
Infographic Reporting | The reporting of a single static or interactive graphic
Video Storytelling | Use of video to tell a story alone or bolster written reporting
Audio Storytelling | Use of audio to tell a story alone or bolster written reporting

CTSPJ Contest Revision Proposal

Connecticut SPJ has been talking and thinking a lot about our contest. And we’ve decided it’s time for an update.

So we present to you our plans to move forward for the 2015 Excellence in Journalism Contest, which will open for entries in late December 2015, and close for entries some time in February 2016.

We invite your feedback at this critical stage in the redesign. Please send any comments, questions or suggestions to Contest Chair Jodie Mozdzer Gil at jmozdzer@ctspj.org by Aug. 15.

Read more →

CTSPJ Awards $6,000 in Scholarships

The Connecticut pro chapter of the Society of Professional Journalists awarded four college students a total of $6,000 in scholarships at its annual awards dinner May 21, 2015.

The Bob Eddy Scholarship program awards annual scholarships to promising students from Connecticut or studying at a Connecticut college. Students apply through a competitive process and are considered based on their demonstrated passion for the industry, grades, financial need and personal essay.

The following students received scholarships in 2015:

Gabriel Rosenberg (Bob Eddy Award — $2,500) is a junior at Wesleyan University, where he is editor-in-chief of The Wesleyan Argus, contributing editor of the campus blog Wesleying, project production assistant at Wesleyan’s Department of Communications. He will be interning this summer at the Pittsburgh Post-Gazette, reporting and writing for the Features desk, and is a recipient of the 2015 Lynch Family Endowed Internship Grant from Wesleyan University. Next year, he plans to complete a senior thesis in American Studies.

Isaac Stein (Bob Eddy Award – $1,500) is a junior at the University of Chicago, where he writes news for both the Chicago Maroon and the South Side Weekly. Last summer he worked to establish a student newspaper at a public high school in Bridgeport and aspires combine his career interests by becoming an education reporter. He cites Charlie LeDuff as one of his main inspirations.

Samantha Tomaszewski (Richard Peck Award – $1,000) is from Redding, Conn. and a sophomore at Lehigh University who is double-majoring in journalism and political science. She has served as a reporter and editor at Lehigh’s student newspaper, where she currently is associate news editor. She also is also a head resident assistant, a class officer, a tour guide and a sorority member. This summer she will be interning at The Hour in Norwalk.

Monique Atkinson (James Clark/Pat Child Award – $1,000) is from East Hartford and attends Boston University. There she has been a campus ambassador, a DJ Intern for the campus radio station, a member of the BU Society of Professional Journalists, and a member of the Alpha Phi Omega community service fraternity. This spring she interned at the Dorchester Reporter. Her love of journalism began in high school when she was a student correspondent for her local newspaper.

CTSPJ Announces Winners of the 2014 Excellence in Journalism Contest

Stories about police departments failing FOI compliance checks, train derailments along the Metro North line and a charter school CEO with a shady past were among those that garnered top awards at the Connecticut SPJ awards dinner Thursday, May 21.

Read more →

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