Meet Shahid Abdul-Karim

Shahid Abdul-KarimShahid Abdul-Karim is an award-winning journalist and the community engagement editor for the New Haven Register and former managing editor for Muslim Journal.

His role as community engagement editor focuses on involving the community at every step of the process of local journalism; including outreach and partnerships with community organizations and readers. Among other responsibilities, Abdul-Karim has lead newsroom efforts of producing original content for all platforms relating to engagement, lead engagement efforts through liveblogs and live chats, and coached newsroom staff in the use of social media to improve journalism.

As managing editor, was directly responsible for the overall operations and news content of the weekly print publication.

His work as community engagement editor has given opportunity for the voice of the disenfranchised and less fortunate to be heard.

Through a series of stories about suffering and trauma many New Haven families endure, Abdul-Karim was able to draw the attention of the U.S. Congress to violence in New Haven and more specifically to the slayings of so many young people of color.

Further, it was the trust he developed in the scarred and grieving communities that led to the chance to tell these stories.

His stories and engagement have promoted change locally and nationally. U.S. Sen. Richard Blumenthal and U.S. Sen Chris Murphy, both (D-Conn.) have addressed New Haven violence in speeches on the floor of the United States Senate. His work has also prompted Blumenthal and Murphy to hold community conversations on violence in New Haven, bringing national attention to the issue.

Abdul-Karim has been invited to the White House to cover President Barack Obama’s annual Iftar dinner celebrating the holy month of Ramadan.

He is a graduate of Springfield College (MA) with a bachelor’s of science degree in human services. From 1999 to 2008 he was a national correspondent for Muslim Journal. He is a native of Baton Rouge, La.

Meet Michael Savino

savinoMike Savino is a staff writer with the Journal Inquirer in Manchester, where he covers the state capitol in Hartford. He previously covered superior and federal courts. Prior to his time with the Journal Inquirer, he worked for the Chronicle in Willimantic. He covered numerous towns in eastern Connecticut, as well as the University of Connecticut.

Mike has been on the Connecticut SPJ board of directors since 2014 and was elected as vice president in May.

He is a staunch advocate for FOI issues and is a member of the board’s Freedom of Information Committee. He is also active with the Connecticut Council on FOI.

He can be reached at msavino@ctspj.org.

Meet Kat Schassler

Kat Schassler is a reporter at the Middletown Press.

Meet Jordan Otero

oteroJordan Otero is a town news multimedia reporter at the Hartford Courant, covering the towns of South Windsor and East Hartford.

She was previously a town news reporter at the Republican-American and has been a member of the Connecticut SPJ board since 2015.
She is from Southington, Conn. and holds a degree in communication arts with a journalism concentration and a minor in political science from Franciscan University in Steubenville, Ohio. She is a caffeine addict, amateur baker and bookworm.
Connect with her on Twitter @je_otero or via email at jotero@ctspj.org.

Dodgeball Tournament Postponed

The dodgeball tournament fundraiser that we had scheduled for Sunday, Feb. 22, 2015, has been postponed due to snow. The Central Connecticut State University campus has issues with parking during the snow clearing process. So we figured it was better to postpone than to try to squeeze it in today. We do, however, plan to reschedule. We will post more information about the new date once it is set. Thank you for your understanding.

Advocates urge more access to police records as legislature considers bill

The legislature’s Government Administration and Elections Committee held a public hearing Friday on H.B. 6570, which would restore public access to police records to its level prior to the state Supreme Court’s ruling in Commissioner of Public v. Freedom of Information Commission.
That ruling requires police departments to only make available to the public booking information and one other item, be it an arrest report, incident summary, or basic press release, while an investigation remains pending. HB 6750, though, would make all documents available with the exception of specific exemptions.
Chief State’s Attorney Kevin Kane testified that the additional information required under the proposed bill could potentially harm witnesses or victims, hamper police investigation, and even disgrace defendants who are later found not guilty. That Connecticut Police Chief’s Association raised similar concerns in its testimony. Kane said the State’s Attorney’s Office is currently working on a blanket policy for state, and even local police, and urged legislators to wait for it before deciding if more steps are necessary.
But FOIC Executive Director Colleen Murphy said the state’s FOI statutes and the commission’s interpretation granted exemptions for police when the release of information posed an actual harm. She said the burden was placed on police to claim the exemption, but the FOIC rarely questioned police when basic proof was provided. She also said that legislation would be much strong that policy, which police could change whenever they wanted.
Others, including CT SPJ, the Connecticut Council on FOI, and the CT ACLU, testified that access to this information is crucial for those who wish to hold police departments accountable. They also said that waiting for a case to resolve could take years, at which point the information may not longer be relevant to public discussion or concerns.

SPJ National Convention poll

Take our poll:

Code of Ethics – Following a meeting last week, the board recommended that the delegates of EIJ14 adopt the latest revision of the Code of Ethics. It further recommends that the delegates vote to strike the following passage: “Be cautious about reporting suicides that do not involve a public person or public place.”
For more information on the Ethics Code revisions, click here.

Name Change – Regarding changing the name of Society of Professional Journalists to Society for Professional Journalism, the board recommended “Whereas, the name change task force concluded there is little support for the name change, this board recommends to the delegates that the name remains the Society of Professional Journalists.”

Join the CTSPJ Board

CTSPJ needs your help. Members are needed to serve as chapter officers or on the Board of Directors for 2014-15. Positions open include: president, vice president, vice president if communications, treasurer, secretary, and one and two-year-terms on the board. Can you spare some time to help serve the Connecticut journalism community? Interested members should send a resume to Nominations Committee Chair Cindy Simoneau at csimoneau@ctspj.org by Feb. 26.

College journalists reporting in the Information Age

A free one-day conference on the ethics and responsibilities of reporting is open to all college students and instructors.

The conference, being held at Colby College on Oct. 27, is hosted by Goldfish Center for Public Affairs and Civic Engagement, along with the Maine Center for Public Interest Reporting.

For more information and the brochure, please click here.

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.

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