News

Paul Giguere wins SPJ’s Helen M. Loy FOI award

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 award honors any member of the public or officials who use the state’s Freedom of Information laws to advance open government.

This year, on May 24, 2018, the honor is given to Paul Giguere.

Giguere is the current president of National Civic Trust, an organization committed to increasing governmental transparency through the creation of state civic networks. He has been committed to the cause for two decades, playing a role in the creation of the Connecticut Public Affairs Network.

CPAN launched the Connecticut Network, or CT-N, in 1999, broadcasting state government to homes around Connecticut.

During his time as president and CEO, CT-N’s coverage expanded to include more state government functions, as well as events organized by civic groups. Prior to his time with CPAN, he was a studio manager with West Hartford’s public access channel.

Excellence in Journalism Winners Announced

Winners of the 2017 Connecticut Society of Professional Journalists Excellence in Journalism Awards were announced May 24 during the organization’s annual meeting and awards dinner at Grassy Hill Country Club in Orange. 

The awards recognized outstanding reporting by news professionals throughout Connecticut. 

“It’s always good to recognize great work, but it’s even more important during a time when many public figures seek to discredit the journalists tasked with holding them accountable,” said Mike Savino, president of CTSPJ. “One way to combat all of the negativity toward and distrust of the news media is to highlight all of the ways the great work journalists continue to do. Thursday’s ceremony is just another example of how journalists at outlets throughout Connecticut, big or small, serve the communities around them.” 

Notable awards:

Stephen A. Collins Public Service Award
Hartford schools: More separate, still unequal 

Hartford Courant; Vanessa de la Torre, Matthew Kauffman, Kathleen Megan

Judges’ comments: This reporting incorporates a broad range of interviews and data to tell an important story about seemingly failed efforts to desegregate schools. The reporters employ graphics and multimedia to tell the story. This package emerged from a very tight and competitive field. This was an extremely deep category with a number of entries delving into a range of important public service stories. All the entrants should be proud of producing strong public service journalism.

Theodore A. Driscoll Investigative Award: 
Capital Prep lottery investigation
Hartford Courant; Vanessa de la Torre, Matthew Kauffman

Matthew Kauffman of the Hartford Courant accepting its awards.

Judges comments: The reporters went to extraordinary lengths to interview sources and gave the accused an opportunity to respond to their reporting, and did a great job explaining the issues to an outsider who may be unfamiliar with Connecticut schools and the role of sports in those schools and beyond. The reporting captured multiple perspectives on the controversy surrounding recruitment.

First Amendment Award:
Surveillance video, records offer new perspective on UConn student’s 2016 death
Hartford Courant; Vinny Vella, Matthew Kauffman

Judges comments: Now more than ever, enhancing the public view of the press is an act worth recognizing. The Courant piece demonstrates the power of the press to shed light in ways that citizens alone rarely can. For Jeffny Pally, for her family and friends, for the UConn community, and for the citizens of Hartford, the Courant used its power to hold public officials accountable for actions that might have otherwise, and easily, been under-examined. I can hardly put it better than John Ferraro did in his submission: “We had an obligation to provide the public with a full understanding of how our government employees conduct themselves.”

But this piece also shows the responsibility of the press, not just its power. The Courant had raw footage of a young woman’s death. It would have been easy to publish the video in its entirety and draw web traffic in droves to view something so grotesque. The Courant quite purposefully did not. They showed only the footage that was necessary for understanding.

Excellence in Journalism college contest now open for entries

The Connecticut SPJ college contest is now open for entries. The contest deadline is April 15, 2018.

The entry fees are:

  • $5 for SPJ student members (membership ID number required)
  • $10 for non-members and news organizations paying for entries

The contest is open for items published or broadcast in the 2017-18 academic year. Because of a technical issue, please use 2017 as the year for all entries. 

Entries are limited to three per person per category. Each story, editorial, photo, etc. is a separate entry. Each item can be entered no more than two times in the contest.

Print entries can be submitted as PDFs or JPGs of a page. Entrants may also submit alink to the article as it appeared on a news organization’s website. 

For broadcast entries, you may submit your content in the form of a link to your video or broadcast. 

Content online must remain live and accessible until May in order to be considered for the contest. 

Click here to enter the contest

Awards will be presented at the annual Excellence in Journalism dinner on Thursday, May 24, at 6 p.m. at Grassy Hill Country Club in Orange, Conn.

Travel grants available for national SPJ conference

The Connecticut Pro Chapter of the Society of Professional Journalists will again offer travel grants to the SPJ national conference.

Professional members of the CTSPJ chapter are eligible for reimbursements, with proof of receipt, of up to $1,100 toward conference expenses. Student members of SPJ in Connecticut are eligible for $500.

The Excellence in Journalism Conference will run from Sept. 7 – 9 in Anaheim, Calif. It’s hosted by SPJ, the National Association of Hispanic Journalists and the Radio Television Digital News Association.

To apply, submit an essay of 500 words or less about why you want to attend the conference, and how you have been, or would like to become, involved in CTSPJ events. That could include anything from helping with judging swaps, supporting programming, or volunteering to select scholarship winners.

Send the short essay, along with your SPJ member number, to Cindy Simoneau, a past president of the CTSPJ board, at simoneauc1@southernct.edu.

Simoneau will prepare all entries for a blind review by the CTSPJ board.

One professional member and one student member will be selected. The winners must be members in good standing of CTSPJ. New members are welcome to apply.

To confirm your membership status, contact national Membership Coordinator Chrystal Parvin at cparvin@spj.org or 317-927-8000 ext. 213.

The deadline to apply for the grants is noon on Wednesday July 19.

For questions about the grants, contact Simoneau at the email provided. For more information about the conference itself, go to ExcellenceInJournalism.org.

Excellence in Journalism finalist list now available

The 2016 Excellence in Journalism Contest received more than 700 entries this year.

You can view a PDF of the finalists list here.

The winners of the contest will be announced during the annual Excellence in Journalism awards dinner on Thursday, May 25 at Grassy Hill Country Club.

You can purchase tickets for the dinner by clicking here, or by visiting our Dinner Page.

 

 

2016 Scholarships Awarded

The Bob Eddy Scholarship Foundation awarded $6,000 in scholarship to four deserving students at the Excellence in Journalism Awards banquet May 26.

To qualify for a scholarship, students must start their junior or senior year in Fall 2016 and be enrolled at an accredited university in Connecticut, or be a Connecticut resident enrolled in an accredited university in any state or country. The scholarship committee looks at past journalism work, commitment to the industry, academic success and financial need when determining winners of the scholarships each year.

The Bob Eddy Scholarship Foundation is managed through the Community Foundation for Greater New Haven. To donate to the scholarship fund, please click here.

The 2016 scholarship award winners are:

 

 

SophieOtaScholarship

CTSPJ President Paul Singley, left, with Sophie Ota, Bob Eddy Scholarship winner.

Sophie Jane Ota (Bob Eddy Award — $2,500), a Redding, Connecticut native, is a rising junior at George Washington University, where she is a reporter for her campus radio station, WRGW District Radio. She has interned at The Redding Pilot, the U.S. Department of Education, and the U.S. Senate Committee on Health, Education, Labor and Pensions. She will be interning in D.C. this summer at the Fairfax County Democratic Committee and the Vietnam Veterans Memorial Fund. She received the 2015 Phillip L. Graham Diversity in Journalism Award and the 2016 Sherman Page Allen Excellence in Journalism Award through her journalism department. Sophie aspires to become a political reporter.

 

CTSPJ President Paul Singley, left, with Amanda Morris's father, who accepted the Bob Eddy Scholarship award on her behalf while she is traveling in Europe.

CTSPJ President Paul Singley, left, with Amanda Morris’s father, who accepted the Bob Eddy Scholarship award on her behalf while she is traveling in Europe.

Amanda D. Morris (Bob Eddy Award – $1,500), of Farmington, Connecticut, will be a junior at New York University, double majoring in Journalism and Media, Culture and Communications. Her aspiration is to be a humanitarian journalist who covers global issues. She has experience in print, radio and broadcast journalism, including internships at Scholastic News, Prague.tv/Prague Daily Monitor, and a summer internship planned for the Republican-American in Waterbury.

 

 

 

SandraGomezScholarship

CTSPJ President Paul Singley, left, with Richard Peck Scholarship winner Sandra Gomez-Aceves.

Sandra Gomez-Aceves (Richard Peck Award – $1,000) is a junior at Southern Connecticut State University from Meriden, Connecticut. She is the news director for the campus television station, SCSU TV, and has completed an internship at the Meriden Record-Journal. She will start an internship at the Hartford Courant this summer. She is working toward a career in broadcast journalism, and would like to one day work at Univision.

 

 

 

CTSPJ President Paul Singley, left, with scholarship winner John Napolitano.

CTSPJ President Paul Singley, left, with scholarship winner John Napolitano.

John V. Napolitano (James Clark/Pat Child Award – $1,000) ) is a sophomore journalism major at Hofstra University from Hamden, Connecticut. He is a member of the news and sports departments at WRHU 88.7, two-time recipient of the Princeton Review’s number one college radio station. He is a staff writer for the Hofstra Chronicle, the university’s weekly print publication. Napolitano works in the Dean’s Office at the Lawrence Herbert School of Communication. After school, he has aspirations of working in the sports broadcasting field.

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

The CTSPJ board announces winners of the 2015 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.

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 14 men — Bob Eddy, Samuel Barstein, 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

spj_gold

 

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.

Recap: Making CONNections journalism conference

The Making CONNections regional journalism conference was held at Southern Connecticut State University in New Haven on April 8 and 9.

See some of the highlights from the panels in the Storify below.

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