Latest News

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, 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



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

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

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.

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 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 →

CTSPJ Contest Survey

As we end the 2014 Excellence in Journalism contest year, the CTSPJ board is looking forward to next year already. With changes in media outlets and the industry, we are considering some changes to the way we handle circulation classes and categories.

We’d like your input.

Please take a moment to fill in the following survey.

Storify: Minimize Harm in the Digital Age — Ethics discussion on 4/29/15

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