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CT Law Tribune staff to receive Helen M. Loy Award

CTSPJ will give its Helen M. Loy Award to a group involved with the Connecticut Law Tribune prior restraint fight this past year.

Writer Thomas Scheffey, editor Paul Sussman, publisher Jeff Forte, former writer Isaac Avilucea, and attorney Dan Klau, will be recognized for their battle in court, and active coverage of the attempt to censor their publication.

Avilucea, now at the Trentonian in New Jersey, was working on an article about unusual legal tactics being employed in a custody battle involving the Department of Children and Families when he found a document associated with the case online. The document was a habeas corpus petition filed by the divorcing father’s attorney, but the lawyer filed it improperly and the petition appeared on the Judicial Branch’s public website.

The petition also included the names of the children involved in the custody case, prompting New Britain Superior Court Judge Stephen Frazzini in late November to bar the Law Tribune from publishing the article. The Law Tribune, led by Sussman and Forte, hired Klau and challenged the ruling on the basis that it didn’t fit criteria for prior restraint as set by the U.S. Supreme Court.

Frazzini vacated his ban on the story in December, citing the widespread publication of the document as no longer requiring the prohibition, according to a CT Law Tribune story on the decision.

Scheffey followed the case from gavel to gavel for the Law Tribune.

The Helen M. Loy award honors those who advance open government through the use of Freedom of Information laws. The CT Law Tribune case extends beyond the right to access information to the right to publish without government interference. While the document in question is typically sealed by courts, the CT Law Tribune obtained it legally and under the First Amendment has the right to decide whether to publish it. Their fight was especially important in the current atmosphere where the right to access information in Connecticut is under attack.

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.

CTSPJ 2015-2016 Board of Directors Nominations

The CTSPJ Nominations Committee submits the following slate for the Officers and Board of Directors for 2015-16. The membership will vote on the board at the annual dinner on Thursday, May 21.

PROPOSED 2015-2016 CTSPJ BOARD

OFFICERS

President – Paul Singley, Waterbury Republican-American — (1-year-term, expires June 30, 2016)

Vice President– Mike Savino, Manchester Journal-Inquirer — (1-year-term, expires June 30, 2016)
VP/Communications– Bruno Matarazzo Jr., Waterbury Republican-American (1-year-term, expires June 30, 2016)
Treasurer–  Jodie Mozdzer Gil, Southern CT State University — (1-year-term, expires June 30, 2016)

Secretary–  Zach Janowski, Yankee Institute — (1-year-term, expires June 30, 2016)

Past President — Jamie Deloma, Quinnipiac University — (remains in post until a new immediate past president transitions to position)
BOARD OF DIRECTORS
Shahid Abdul-Karim, New Haven Register — (1-year-term, expires June 30, 2016)

Liz Glagowski, Peppers & Rogers Group(2-year-term, expires June 30, 2017)
Jordan Otero, Hartford Courant — (2-year-term, expires June 30, 2017)

Cara Rosner, freelance reporter/editor– (1 year remaining on two-year term, expires June 30, 2016)

Kat Schassler, Middletown Press — (1-year-term, expires June 30, 2016)
Lynn Schnier, Hearst CT Newspapers — (2-year-term, expires June 30, 2017)

Letter to lawmakers regarding police records and FOI

The Connecticut chapter of the Society of Professional Journalists has sent the following letter to the co-chairs of the legislature’s Government Administration and Elections Committee. The committee is hearing a proposal to undo a Supreme Court ruling from July and make the FOI Commission’s 20-year standard on police records into law. The committee was scheduled to vote on the bill Wednesday but instead held it to allow for a compromise.

Chairmen Rep. Jutila and Sen. Cassano,

The Connecticut chapter of the Society of Professional Journalists asks that you allow the Government Administration and Elections Committee to pass HB 6750 as originally proposed.

The bill, as proposed, still provides exemptions that address the concerns raised by Chief State’s Attorney Kevin Kane and law enforcement officials.

But it also provides the public access to the information that it needs to hold police departments accountable when there are allegations of excessive force or other wrong doing.

While all information becomes public when police close an investigation, that process can take years.

It can be very difficult for the public to hold officers accountable years after allegations of wrong doing, which is unacceptable given the fact that police departments are charged with protecting and serving that very public.

The original proposal puts into statute a standard that the Freedom of Information Commission had utilized successfully for 20 years. Efforts to scale back this standard will greatly harm the public’s ability to seek transparency. And with court rulings and public policy decisions, both in Connecticut and nationwide, that have limited the public’s access to information, it is important that the General Assembly say that transparency still matters.

Society of Professional Journalists Opposes Prior Restraint Ruling in Connecticut

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

 

CCSU announces journalism scholarship program

Announcing The Sigrid Schultz Scholarship for Future Journalists

Two awards of $6,000 each.
SigridSchultz01
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.

Learn more here.

SCSU student chapter tackles high school censorship

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.

Job posting — Waterbury Republican-American looking for Reporter

Reporter opening — 9.23.14

The Republican-American seeks energetic reporter for a challenging, four-town municipal beat. Cops, schools, Town Hall, town characters — you get them all, and face daily competition. Tell residents what they need to know, hold officials accountable, and capture the essence and issues of these towns. Daily news reporting experience required. Web and social media skills a must.

Send resume, clips, reasons why you’re the reporter for our team to ra-hr@rep-am.com. Include Reporter 4-14 in subject line.

Full-time positions have an excellent benefits package including health, vision, dental, life insurances, and 401(k) with company match.

Equal Opportunity Employer

Boston Globe seeks news interns for summer 2015

It’s rare to find an internship program that offers prestige, great real-world experience, AND money. That’s why we encourage students to apply to the Boston Globe Summer 2015 newsroom internship program.

The largest group of interns works in Metro on general assignment. Other intern reporters are assigned to Sports, Living/Arts, Health/Science and Business. We also have intern positions in the Photography and Editorial Design departments, and on the copy desk. The copy editing position may be filled by a Newspaper Fund* intern. Internships are NOT limited to students with undergraduate journalism majors. All students currently enrolled in an undergraduate program or who will be graduating in May or June may apply, as well as journalism graduate school students who have NOT had professional journalism experience.

 

An aptitude for newspaper work is the most important qualification for the internship. A previous internship at a daily newspaper is recommended. Applicants must have a driver’s license and should be comfortable driving.

Summer interns work as full-time employees for 12 weeks, between Memorial Day and Labor Day.  Interns are paid a weekly wage, and shifts vary.  An intern supervisor serves as a writing coach and there are weekly meetings with editors and staff members on a range of issues and topics pertaining to journalism.

Apply by November 1st at http://www.bostonglobe.com/newsintern.

SPJ names Newport a National Historic Site in Journalism

From an SPJ press release:

INDIANAPOLIS — The Society of Professional Journalists has named Washington Square in Newport, R.I., a National Historic Site in Journalism.

Since 1942, the Society has honored the people and places that have played important roles in the history of journalism through the Historic Sites program. Some honorees include: The Associated Press offices in Washington and New York City; Freedom’s Journal, the first Black newspaper published in the United States; and, most recently, the Tubac Presidio State Historic Park.

Janine Weisman, editor of the Newport Mercury, nominated the historical section of Newport, which housed the town’s only printing press during the Revolutionary War. When the British arrived in 1776, they seized the printing press in order to print official military documents and a newspaper for British soldiers. Its owner Solomon Southwick had allegedly tried to bury it, but couldn’t hide it before it was discovered by troops.

READ MORE by clicking here.

The dedication ceremony will be held Thursday, June 19, at 11 a.m. at the Museum of Newport History, 127 Thames St., Newport, RI

Storytelling with data: Boston University workshop

Boston University is hosting Storytelling with Data, a summertime workshop designed for anyone interested in using data to tell more powerful stories.

Pricing is as follows:

  • $950 for Session I (July 7-11, days)
  • $750 for Session II (July 14-18, nights)
  • $450 for two-day pass
  • $250 for one-day pass
  • $425 for students for full session
  • $125 for students for 1-day pass

Seats for these sessions are limited, so reserve your space early.

Click here to find out more about the workshop, its speakers, the schedule and to register.

Copyright 2010-15. Connecticut Society of Professional Journalists. P.O. Box 5071, Woodbridge CT 06525