John Berry leaving Connecticut to be editor of The Trentonian

25 Jun

After two years as editor of The Register Citizen in Torrington and The Middletown Press, John Berry is leaving Connecticut to become editor of The Trentonian, a larger Digital First Media sister daily newspaper in New Jersey.

John Berry

John Berry

John recruited a new team of editors and reporters and focused heavily on training and professional development in his time as editor. Reporters he hired and helped develop have gone on to work at The Guardian, the New Haven Register and Connecticut Magazine.

Under John’s leadership, The Register Citizen brought two major issues facing the city of Torrington to light through dogged reporting and commentary. Last year, the newspaper exposed the social media bullying of two 13-year-old rape victims, and other sexual assault cases involving numerous Torrington High School football players. It won Digital First Media’s annual Public Service Award, and helped earn Journalist of the Year honors for Jessica Glenza, the lead reporter on the story. Over the past year, The Register Citizen brought to light an epidemic of heroin overdose deaths in Torrington. Digital First Media honored reporters Isaac Avliucea and Esteban Hernandez for the strength of that reporting last fall.

John’s promotion to the Trentonian will take him back to his native Philadelphia area, where he served as online editor of Digital First Media’s Times Herald in Norristown, Pennsylvania, prior to moving to Connecticut. He is a Temple University graduate who started his career as a photographer at the Times Herald.

Andy Thibault honored with open government award

19 Jun

Andy Thibault, who has worked with The Register Citizen, Middletown Press and New Haven Register over the past two years as a columnist and contributing editor, was honored Wednesday with the Connecticut Council on Freedom of Information‘s Stephen A. Collins Award.

According to CCFOI President Jim Smith, Thibault was instrumental in ensuring that the clemency hearing of convicted murderer Bonnie Foreshaw proceeded in public. He unearthed a 25 year-old letter from a public defender stating that Foreshaw had not received a fair trial. When she was released last November, one of her first questions was, “Where’s Andy?”

Andy Thibault accepts the 2014 Stephen A. Collins Award from the Connecticut Council on Freedom of Information.

Andy Thibault accepts the 2014 Stephen A. Collins Award from the Connecticut Council on Freedom of Information.

Thibault has hammered away on Freedom of Information Act and open government issues over the course of his career as a reporter, editor, teacher and activist. He is a former member of the state’s Freedom of Information Commission and the Litchfield Board of Education. A former editor of The Register Citizen who has also worked at the Hartford Courant and several other Connecticut newspapers, Thibault is a licensed professional boxing judge, a moving force behind the Connecticut Young Writers Project and a private investigator.

Thibault’s reporting tackled police brutality in Hartford in the early 1990s, the Young & Rubicam “Come Back to Jamaica” kickback scandal, the financial irregularities of the late Commerce Secretary Ron Brown, the cover-up of a hit-and-run death in New London and the 1996 bombing at Centennial Olympic Park in Atlanta. He is the author of several books, including, “History of the Connecticut State Police” in 2003 and “Law & Justice in Everyday Life” in 2002.

Others honored by CCFOI as champions of open government Wednesday were South Windsor Police Chief Matt Read, CTNewsJunkie.com reporter Hugh McQuaid and state Sen. Ed Meyer.

Digital First’s Connecticut newsrooms honored with SPJ awards

23 May

Reporters, photographers and editors at The New Haven Register, The Register Citizen, The Middletown Press and Connecticut Magazine were honored with 66 awards Thursday night at the annual Connecticut Society of Professional Journalists awards banquet.

The New Haven Register's Mara Lavitt won first place for Best Sports Photo for this shot from a high school swim championship.

The New Haven Register’s Mara Lavitt won first place for Best Sports Photo for this shot from a high school swim championship.

Recognition ranged from photo, video and interactive graphics to investigative and in-depth reporting, feature and sports writing, opinion columns and editorials.

The New Haven Register’s photography staff won seven awards, including 1st place for Best Video Storytelling and Best Photo Layout for Peter Hvizdak’s feature on “dancing Marine” Roman Baca and last year’s plane crash in East Haven. Mara Lavitt won 1st place for Best Sports Photo and 3rd place for Best News Photo for her coverage of the Boston Marathon bombing. Peter Casolino won 2nd place for Best Photo Layout and two 3rd place awards for Best Sports Photo and Best Feature Photo.

Mark Zaretsky won 1st place for Best Business Reporting for a feature he wrote on Connecticut’s seaweed industry. The New Haven Register also won 1st place for Best Headline, Al Santangelo’s “From jail to Yale,” and for page one layout, for coverage of the East Haven plane crash.

The Register Citizen’s won five 1st place awards – for Video Storytelling (Shako Liu), Sports Reporting (Peter Wallace), General Reporting Series (Kate Hartman), Editorial Writing (Matt DeRienzo) and Photo Layout (John Berry).

Liu picked up another Video Storytelling award in a weekly category, one of five 1st place honors for the Litchfield County Times. Others were for General Column, Feature Story and General Reporting, all by Kathryn Boughton, and Feature Photo, by Laurie Gaboardi.

The New Haven Register won 1st place for Best Front Page Layout for this cover designed by Martin O'Sullivan and Ben Doody.

The New Haven Register won 1st place for Best Front Page Layout for this cover designed by Martin O’Sullivan and Ben Doody.

Connecticut Magazine won 18 awards in the SPJ’s magazine category, including nine 1st place awards. Jennifer Swift won for Best Informational Graphic and Best Interactive Graphic for her collaborations with Stacey Slimak Shea and Ben Doody on Connecticut’s campaign finance laws and the balance of political power in the state’s 169 towns.

Swift also won 2nd place awards for General Reporting and In-Depth reporting for her Connecticut Magazine stories on campaign finance and Connecticut’s car tax system and a 3rd place award for Best Interactive Graphic for a map explaining car taxes. She won 3rd place in the over 40,000 circulation daily newspaper division in an extremely competitive General Reporting category for her expose on misconduct in the East Haven police department.

Other Connecticut Magazine awards included 1st place for Best Investigative Story (Chris Hoffman), Best General Reporting (Pat Grandjean), Best In-Depth Reporting (Alan Bisbort), Best Sports Feature (Terese Karmel), Best General Column (Larry Bloom), Best Opinion Column (Charley Monagan) and Best Reporting Series (Pat Grandjean).

See the full list of award winners here.

A flow chart on how to skirt Connecticut campaign finance laws won SPJ's award for Best Informational Graphic for Connecticut Magazine.

A flow chart on how to skirt Connecticut campaign finance laws won SPJ’s award for Best Informational Graphic for Connecticut Magazine.

Kristin Stoller joins New Haven Register reporting staff

19 May

Kristin Stoller, a recent graduate of Penn State, has joined the staff of the New Haven Register as a breaking news reporter.

Kristin Stoller

Kristin Stoller

Stoller most recently served as managing editor of The Daily Collegian at Penn State, previously working as metro editor, police/fire/courts reporter, municipal government reporter and Greeks reporter.

She was a New Haven Register intern last spring, and has also freelanced or interned for USA Today, the Hartford Courant and The Newtowner.

She is a past recipient of the Freedom Forum Al Neuharth Free Spirit Journalism Award and was a Schreyer Honors College honoree at Penn State. She graduated with a bachelor’s degree in journalism.

Stoller is a Newtown native who covered the aftermath of the shooting at Sandy Hook Elementary School for USA Today last year and for college publications.

She can be reached at kstoller@nhregister.com. Follow her on Twitter @kristinstoller.

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.

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