News

Yale hosts FOIA Bootcamp 2014

The Information Society Project at Yale is hosting a FOIA Bootcamp on Feb. 24 beginning at 6 p.m. It will feature Karen Keiser, General Counsel of the Associated Press, and Lisa Siegal, Staff Attorney CT Freedom of Information Commission (FOIC).

This program, designed for students, teachers, journalists and interested members of the public, offers “practical strategies for requesting government records through Freedom of Information laws,” focusing on both state and federal FOI statutes.

The bootcamp will be at the Yale Law School, 127 Wall St., Room 120, New Haven, CT 06520.

For more information, click here.

CTSPJ Members: Get free tickets to see James Risen

Connecticut SPJ will send two chapter members to the New England First Amendment Center luncheon, where New York Times reporter James Risen will speak about his refusal to testify in the trial of a former CIA officer.

CTSPJ is giving away two $100 tickets to the luncheon, which will be held on Feb. 7 in Boston. Any current CTSPJ member is eligible for the tickets, which will be given to the first person or people to contact CTSPJ President Jodie Mozdzer Gil at jmozdzer@gmail.org.

Membership status will be verified with national SPJ before the tickets are distributed. Chapter members are national SPJ members who have also paid the $10 annual chapter dues.

Risen, a Pulitzer Prizing winning journalist, will receive the 2014 Stephen Hamblett Award from the New England First Amendment Coalition at the event. He will speak about his work writing about the CIA and domestic spying, and the legal fallout after he refused to testify and identify his source for the book “State of War: The Secret History of the CIA and the Bush Administration.”

The New England First Amendment Center was formed in 2006 to advance and protect the Five Freedoms of the First Amendment, including the principle of the public’s right to know. Its members include lawyers, journalists, historians, librarians, academics and private citizens.

Event Details

Place:Boston Park Plaza Hotel

Time: 12:30 p.m.

Date: Friday, Feb. 7

CTSPJ members should e-mail Jodie Mozdzer Gil at jmozdzer@gmail.com to request free tickets.

Boston Globe announces 2014 internship program deadline

The Boston Globe runs one of the top internship programs in the nation, giving 10 interns the opportunity to work as reporters, as well as photographer, designer or copy editor.

The 12-week paid internship places reporter-interns in our Metro, Business, Living/Arts, and Sports departments; the photo intern shoots stills and video for all sections, the design intern creates sections fronts and information graphics for print and online, and the copy editing intern works on local, national, foreign and business copy. We provide guidance and direction, as well as a writing coach dedicated to the interns. Globe interns produce every day and finely polish their journalism skills over the summer.

The application deadline is Nov. 1. More information on the program and an application can be accessed from our website:www.bostonglobe.com/newsintern.

CTSPJ appoints four journalists to legislature’s task force

June 18, 2013 — The Connecticut Pro Chapter of the Society of Professional Journalists voted to appoint four journalists to the Connecticut task force on public information and privacy, created by the state legislature as part of the Newtown public records legislation this month.

The four CTSPJ appointees are:

  • Don DeCesare, President and General Manager of WLIS-AM in Old Saybrook and WMRD-AM in Middletown. DeCesare is past chairman of the Connecticut Broadcasters Association. DeCesare is a 40-year broadcast veteran, and spent several years at CBS in New York City, where he went from editing radio broadcasts to overseeing television news coverage. He is a past treasurer for CT-N, and is a member of the Media Center Advisory Board at Middlesex Community College. DeCesare helped push for a Connecticut Shield Law.
  • Klarn DePalma , Vice President and General Manager for WFSB-TV 3 Hartford and WSHM-TV 3 Springfield. DePlama has spent the last 20 years at WFSB, starting as an entry-level account executive in 1993. He was named Vice President and General Manager in 2005. DePalma is the chair of the Connecticut Broadcasters Association.  He also serves on the Board of Trustees for the Connecticut Science Center and Channel 3 Kids’ Camp.
  • Brian Koonz, Metro Editor for the Connecticut Post in Bridgeport, a Hearst Connecticut newspaper. Koonz has spent the last 26 years in daily journalism in Connecticut. In addition to his role at the Connecticut Post, he has also worked as a sports reporter and columnist at The News-Times in Danbury, and has reported for the Register Citizen in Torrington, The Day of New London, The New Britain Herald and the Republican-American in Waterbury. Koonz, a Newtown resident, was nominated for the Pulitzer Prize in feature writing for his coverage of the Newtown school shooting.
  • Jodie Mozdzer Gil, president of the Connecticut SPJ board and assistant professor of multimedia journalism at Southern Connecticut State University in New Haven. Mozdzer Gil is also a freelance reporter for her former employer, the Valley Independent Sentinel, as well as other online news sites, including the Connecticut Health Investigative Team. Mozdzer Gil is a member of the national SPJ Digital Media Committee. Prior to her time writing for the Valley Independent Sentinel, she previously reported for the Hartford Courant and the Republican-American of Waterbury.

The appointees represent print, radio, television and online media.

“Our board is pleased to find four journalists who are enthusiastic to serve on this committee and who represent CTSPJ’s views — that transparency and public access to records is paramount in a free and open society,” said Cindy Simoneau, immediate past president for CTSPJ.

The task force includes 13 other members, including a representative from the Connecticut Council on Freedom of Information and the executive director for the FOI Commission.

The speaker of the House of Representatives, Brendan Sharkey, and president pro tempore of the Senate, Donald Williams, will select two chairpersons for the committee.

The task force is asked to meet between July 1, 2013 and Jan. 1, 2014, at which point a report with recommendations will be sent to the Connecticut General Assembly.

Sherman London receives Helen M. Loy Award

LondonThe Connecticut Society of Professional Journalists gave its FOI award to Sherman D. London at the annual Excellence in Journalism Awards Dinner May 23, 2013.

Sherman D. London, a past CTSPJ president and member of the Connecticut Journalism Hall of Fame, has been a member of the Freedom of Information Commission since 1996, having been appointed by Gov. John Rowland.

The award, named after the late Helen M. Loy, honors a person who has fought for freedom of information in Connecticut.

A graduate of Rider College in New Jersey, London came to the commission after a distinguished journalism career, during which he reported on local politics and the Connecticut General Assembly. During the last 20 years of his journalism career, London was the editor of both the Republican and the American newspapers in Waterbury.

Since his appointment, London has become known as a “work horse.” Not only does he rarely miss a commission meeting, but he also presides as hearing officer over contested cases on a weekly basis. He has quickly mastered the law and the procedures under which the commission operates, and is studious in preparation. Even simple typographical errors rarely get by him.

At 17 years, London is the commission’s longest serving member. His last term on the commission ends this year.
London’s two careers, first as a reporter and editor and then as a public servant, together demonstrate a decades-long commitment to the values of open government so important to SPJ.

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. She worked in various local and state government positions throughout her career.

According to former FOI Executive Director Mitchell Pearlman, “It was said of Helen Loy that she never saw a public record that she thought ought to be kept secret, and, to a large extent, this was true. She believed passionately that democracy requires the greatest amount of public disclosure possible.”

Upon her passing, the Connecticut Professional Chapter of the Society of Professional Journalists named its annual Freedom of Information award in her honor. The award honors any member of the public or officials who use the state’s Freedom of Information laws to advance open government.

New London Day: Secrecy wins, but discussion continues

“Any erosion of the public’s right to know, any prohibition on access to evidence that can independently assess the fairness and thoroughness of criminal investigations, is reason for concern,” the New London Day wrote in a June 6 editorial. “We therefore object to the legislature’s decision to approve a blanket prohibition on the release of and access to photos of homicide victims. It is also objectionable that the legislation results from discussions that took place in secret and bypassed the normal committee and public hearing process. It is thick irony that elected leaders, including Gov. Dannel P. Malloy, used such backroom dealing to corrode Connecticut’s Freedom of Information law.”

Please click here to read the full editorial.

CTSPJ board to meet

The CTSPJ Board of Directors will meet on June 8, 2013 in East Hartford, Conn.

The meeting is the time when CTSPJ starts planning programs for the upcoming year, discusses upcoming SPJ conferences and the board-run contest.

Click here to download a copy of the agenda.

If you have any suggestions for programming or items you wish the board to discuss, please contact CTSPJ President Jodie Mozdzer Gil at jmozdzer@ctspj.org by Friday, June 7.

CTSPJ officers and board members elected for 2013-14

The following slate of officers and board of directors for the Connecticut Pro Chapter of the Society of Professional Journalists was approved by the chapter membership for approval at the annual meeting on Thursday, May 23 at Fantasia, North Haven.

CTSPJ Officers — 2013-14
(All are one-year terms, expiring June 30, 2014)
 
President — Jodie Mozdzer Gil, SCSU
Vice President — Jamie DeLoma, Quinnipiac University
Vice President/Communications — Liz Glagowski, 1to1 Media
Treasurer, Cara Rosner, United Way, New Haven
Secretary — Ricky Campbell, CT House Republicans
 
Immediate Past President– Cindy Simoneau, SCSU/Hearst CT Newspapers (serves until president transitions out of office)
 
Board of Directors
(Terms are staggered for one and two years)
 
Lila Carney, QU — two-year term, expires 2015
Daniela Forte, Access Intelligence – one year remaining on two-year term, expires 2014
Don Stacom, Hartford Courant – two-year term, expires 2015
Zach Janowski, Yankee Institute — one year remaining on two-year term, expires 2014
NEW board members:
Paul Singley, PATCH — one-year term, expires 2014
Jesse Buchanan, Record-Journal, Meriden — two-year term, expires 2015

2012 Excellence in Journalism contest winners

THE FOLLOWING IS A LIST OF WINNERS IN THE 2012 EXCELLENCE IN JOURNALISM CONTEST OF THE CONNECTICUT CHAPTER OF THE SOCIETY OF PROFESSIONAL JOURNALISTS

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2012-13 College Journalism Contest winners

WINNERS 2012-2013 COLLEGE JOURNALISM CONTEST OF THE CONNECTICUT PROFESSIONAL CHAPTER OF THE SOCIETY OF PROFESSIONAL JOURNALISTS

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