Angela Carter rejoins New Haven Register staff

17 Apr

Angela Carter is rejoining the staff of the New Haven Register as a senior web producer with its statewide Breaking News Team.

Angela Carter

Angela Carter

Angi has worked for the past two years as a curator and features producer for “Thunderdome,” a Digital First Media national news operation that provided content to the company’s 75 daily newspaper websites.

Previously, she was community engagement editor at the New Haven Register, where she started in 1995 and worked as a city and business reporter.

She is a member of Zeta Phi Beta Sorority and has been active in journalism organizations including the Society of Professional Journalists, National Association of Black Journalists, Investigative Reporters & Editors and the Online News Association.

Angi can be reached at acarter@nhregister.com. Follow her on Twitter @ReachAngi.

Wes Duplantier joins New Haven Register breaking news team

11 Apr

Wes Duplantier has joined the staff of the New Haven Register as assistant breaking news editor. He will help coordinate and write morning-shift coverage for our statewide breaking news team.

Wes Duplantier

Wes Duplantier

Duplantier had worked as a breaking news reporter for the Connecticut Post in Bridgeport and Hearst’s dailies in Danbury, Greenwich and Stamford since September.

Previously he worked two different stints as a politics intern at the Hartford Courant, worked as a legislative relief reporter in Missouri for The Associated Press and interned with the Missouri Digital News, the Wall Street Journal the Jefferson City News Tribune, the Sedalia Democrat, and the Mexico Ledger.

Duplantier is a 2013 graduate of the University of Missouri-Columbia.

Duplantier joins a number of alumni of Hearst’s Connecticut newspapers who are now working for Digital First Media in Connecticut, including Breaking News Editor Tom Cleary, whom he’ll report to, GameTimeCT.com Editor Sean Patrick Bowley and New Haven Register Design Hub Director Albie Yuravich.

He can be reached at wduplantier@nhregister.com. Follow him on Twitter at @breaking203.

New Haven Register wins Best Sports Section, Writing awards

8 Apr

The New Haven Register has won first place in the Local Media Association’s annual journalism contest for both Best Sports Section and Best Sports Writing.Untitled

Under the leadership of Sports Editor Sean Barker, the Register’s sports staff last year distinguished itself in coverage of the University of Connecticut women’s run to a national championship and the historic national college ice hockey championship game between two Connecticut teams – Yale and Quinnipiac.

The staff, led by columnist Chip Malafronte, also produced a popular series of stories on great moments in New Haven area sports history to coincide with the New Haven Register’s 200th anniversary. It was one of Chip’s 200th series stories, on Ty Cobb, that won for Best Sports Writing.

The recognition was among nine awards won by the New Haven Register in the Local Media Association’s annual contest, including New Haven Register Managing Editor Mark Brackenbury being named as the organization’s Editor of the Year.

The Register won first place for Best Breaking News Story for its coverage of the Sandy Hook Elementary School shooting, and first place for Best Special Section for a special edition it produced a week after the shooting.

It won two second place honors – for Best Front Page and for Best Multimedia Coverage – for its coverage of a plane that crashed into two East Haven homes last year. That coverage was also recently honored by Digital First Media.

The Register also received Honorable Mention in two categories – Best Arts and Entertainment Writing, honoring recently retired Arts Editor Donna Doherty, and Best Breaking News Story, for the staff’s coverage of the historic blizzard that hit Connecticut last year.

The New Haven Register’s sister dailies in Connecticut were also honored, with Viktoria Sundqvist of The Middletown Press receiving a 3rd place award for Best In-Depth Reporting for a data project she did on Connecticut school superintendent pay, and The Register Citizen receiving a 2nd place award for Best Investigative Reporting for Jessica Glenza‘s work on the social media bullying of rape victims, and 3rd place for Best Editorial Writing for editorials on the same topic.

Mark Brackenbury named Editor of the Year by Local Media Association

8 Apr

New Haven Register Managing Editor Mark Brackenbury has been named Editor of the Year by the Local Media Association, an organization representing hundreds of newspapers across the United States and Canada.

Mark Brackenbury

Mark Brackenbury

Brackenbury was recognized for his distinguished career in Connecticut journalism as well as a remarkable recent tenure of leadership in which he guided the Register’s newsroom through coverage of the Sandy Hook Elementary School shooting, a hurricane, blizzard, Boston Marathon bombing, a plane crash and two historic elections.

“Mark is an unsung hero of our newsroom, and Connecticut journalism,”  read the nomination letter that helped earn him the honor. “Unsung because over the course of his 27-year career at the New Haven Register, he has done the work while shunning every opportunity at the spotlight. Time after time, people in positions below him or above him get credit for the work and leadership he has put into award-winning and policy-changing journalism.”

Friends and colleagues will see the award as evidence that sometimes, nice guys do finish first.

“He has been the rock to which the newsroom is anchored through so many changes in the industry and our company,” the nomination said. “He has strong convictions about the news and journalism, and has quietly and consistently held us to them. We once polled newsroom veterans to see if anyone could remember Mark raising his voice. There were only two documented cases in 27 years, and the facts were in dispute.”

“We came to realize just how valuable Mark Brackenbury is and always has been as a newsroom leader when the New Haven Register journalists experienced one of their most difficult years in modern times.”

Brackenbury is a Rhode Island native and Penn State grad who worked as a reporter in New Hampshire and Connecticut before joining the New Haven Register’s staff in 1986 and advancing to the position of managing editor more than a decade ago.

His work and the work he has inspired and guided journalists at the New Haven Register through has been recognized numerous times over the years, including dozens of awards from the Connecticut Society of Professional Journalists last year, and recognition from Digital First Media and the Local Media Association in breaking news and numerous other categories this year.

Sean Carlin joins New Haven Register reporting staff

7 Apr

Sean Carlin has joined the New Haven Register’s reporting staff.

Sean Carlin

Sean Carlin

Carlin graduated from Temple University in Fall 2013 with a double major in journalism and political science. At Temple, he worked as a reporter and news editor for The Temple News student newspaper.

He has also worked as a city desk intern at both the Philadelphia Daily News and the Philadelphia Inquirer, and as a volunteer firefighter with the Blackwood Fire Company in Blackwood, New Jersey.

A November 2012 story he wrote for the Inquirer, “Help in Dealing with the Pain,” was honored with a Society of Professional Journalists Mark of Excellence Award.

He was also recognized with the Lew Klein Excellence in Media Scholarship and the Jay A. Strassberg Memorial journalism scholarship.

Sean can be reached at scarlin@nhregister.com. Follow him on Twitter @SeanCarlin84.

Ben Doody named to Editor & Publisher’s 25 Under 35

4 Apr

Ben Doody, managing editor of our Connecticut newsrooms for the past year and a half, has two big things to celebrate today.

Ben Doody

Ben Doody

First, he’s been named to Editor & Publisher magazine’s “25 Under 35″ list of young people who are making a huge impact on the newspaper industry.

Second, he’s accepted a job as managing editor of Heavy.com, a pioneering Manhattan-based national breaking news and pop culture website.

Ben has had a huge impact on our operation in Connecticut. He has taken a lead role on recruitment and hiring, bringing in an array of talented reporters and editors and establishing a remarkable record of improving the diversity of our staff – from 3 minority journalists two years ago to 14 today.

He helped improve our breaking news coverage, and helped launch GameTimeCT.com, one of the most comprehensive and popular statewide high school sports outlets Connecticut has ever seen. And he was a steadying, conscientious force in the newsroom through two major elections, two major hurricanes, a 100-year blizzard, the Sandy Hook Elementary School shooting and Boston Marathon bombing.

Keep an eye on our friend and colleague, and on his new venture with Heavy.com. We expect big things.

Connecticut police move toward transparency after Sunshine Week investigation

4 Apr

As cynical journalists often frustrated by stonewalling and secretive government officials, we were expecting the worst when we decided to send a reporter to every police department and state police troop in Connecticut  (103 of them) this spring to test compliance with the Freedom of Information Act.FOIA

And the results were pretty bad in a bunch of cases. The New Haven Police Department public information officer telling a reporter that “we keep secrets here” on that department’s way to an “F” grade sparked outrage from citizens of New Haven and open government advocates across the country.

But departments such as South Windsor showed that they are very serious about complying with the law, embracing public access to information about arrests and police activity, and that they have trained their rank-and-file staff well on these principles. East Haven, one of the most-criticized police departments in the state over the past few years, received a good grade, showing that transparency is a key part of its efforts to reform under federal Justice Department oversight.

Most encouraging has been the response since the New Haven Register, The Middletown Press and The Register Citizen published the results of our project, and other media outlets, including TV stations, the Associated Press, the New Britain Herald and the Hartford Courant, ran their own stories or editorials about it.

Here’s some of the results tracked by Michelle Tuccitto Sullo and Viktoria Sundqvist, who led this project for us:

  • Several departments who received an “A-” or “B” grade vowed to get an “A” if we do a similar test in the future.
  • The state’s Freedom of Information Commission fielded a spate of calls from local police chiefs requesting special training on compliance with the law after they received less-than-perfect grades.
  • The Norwalk Police Department immediately started posting arrest log information online to improve public access.
  • The Middletown Police Department, which received a pretty good grade of “A-,” sent a memo to all police department employees reminding them of best practices.
  • The West Haven Police Department promised to investigate why a reporter was denied access to information, and plans to train staff. State Police promised a similar investigation of why that happened at Troop G when we visited.
  • Westport police announced that it would be making arrest log information available for public access 24-7 in the lobby of its statoin.
  • New Britain police leadership reminded staff that the press and public should not be denied access to arrest log information.
  • And in New Haven, where a reporter was told, “You’ll never get blotter from us, we are just too damn busy,” and “It is not public information; these are arrests, not convictions,” the department has reversed itself, and now has an arrest log available for public access.
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