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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.

Keldy Ortiz joins New Haven Register breaking news team

1 Apr

Keldy Ortiz has joined the New Haven Register as a reporter on our breaking news team.

Keldy Ortiz

Keldy Ortiz

For the past year and a half, he has worked as a sports reporter at the Victoria Advocate in Texas. Previously, he was a Kaiser Health Fellow at the Oregonian, covering issues relating to health care. He has also interned on the city desk of the New York Daily News and freelanced for Newsday, the Queens Courier, Queens Chronicle, El Correo de Queens, AM New York, Jerusalem Post, Baseball Player Magazine and Ultimate Athlete Magazine.

Ortiz is a member of the National Association of Hispanic Journalists. He graduated from City University of New York/Queens College with a bachelor’s degree in English in 2010, and from Columbia University with a master’s degree in journalism in 2012.

He can be reached at kortiz@nhregister.com. Follow him on Twitter @keldyortiz.

Robert Michelin, Michael Lyle join JRC Connecticut newsroom staff

9 Apr

Two Quinnipiac University graduates have joined Journal Register Co.’s newsroom staff in Connecticut.

Robert Michelin

Robert Michelin

Robert Michelin has been hired as a member of the Breaking News Team at the New Haven Register, responsible for editing and producing local, state and national news coverage for JRC’s three daily newspaper websites and mobile platforms in Connecticut and managing social media accounts.

He was previously a high school sports reporter for the Star-Ledger and NJ.Com in New Jersey, and before that covered local news for The Daily Voice in Westchester County, N.Y.

Michelin graduated from Quinnipiac in May 2011 with a bachelor’s degree in print journalism.

At Quinnipiac, he was sports section editor for the Quad News. He also worked as an intern for the Torrington Titans Atlantic Collegiate Baseball League team in 2010, and as an election night correspondent for the Associated Press.

Michael Lyle Jr. has been hired as a staff reporter for The Middletown Press.

Michael Lyle Jr.

Michael Lyle Jr.

He was previously a reporter for WQUN radio in Hamden, a production assistant for ESPN Radio in Bristol and an overnight news anchor at WTIC radio in Farmington.

Lyle is a four-time winner with of Associated Press Broadcasters Awards for his work with WQUN.

He holds a bachelor’s degree in journalism from Howard University in Washington, D.C., and a master’s degree in journalism from Quinnipiac.

Michelin can be reached at rmichelin@nhregister.com.

Lyle can be reached at mlyle@middletownpress.com. Follow him on Twitter @Lyle308.

A newspaper company comes together to cover Newtown

23 Dec

There will be a lot more to say – at some point – about what has been both the worst and best week of our careers in journalism. Our main concern right now is to make sure that the rest of the story of the Sandy Hook Elementary School shooting and its aftermath is told. That’s going to take quite some time, and quite a bit more effort and resources. And to make sure that the people on our team, after nine days of interviewing witnesses to unspeakable horror and covering 6-year-olds’ funerals, are dealing with their own grief and trauma.

But I wanted to pause and take note of how remarkable it was for us to see our entire company come together to help us cover this story. More than 100 journalists have been involved in the New Haven Register’s Newtown coverage over the past week, including 55 reporters, 17 photographers and 10 main editors on the ground in Connecticut contributing to our coverage.702194314 A number of Register reporters and editors worked straight through from first word of the shooting Friday morning to the editing of the story about the final funeral eight days later.

Digital First Media sent 29 reporters and eight photographers from 17 different daily newspapers in Pennsylvania, New York, Massachusetts, Colorado and Connecticut, including a team of six from the Denver Post, six from the York Daily Record in Pennsylvania and five from the Lowell Sun in Massachusetts.

The company’s national news office, “Thunderdome,” sent five reporters, five editors, two web producers and a video specialist, and devoted more than a dozen others to help from afar on editing, web production, data and interactives.

And throughout, we had access, advice and assistance from company leaders who’d unfortunately done this before.

Jim McClure, editor of the York Daily Record and East Region editor for Digital First, organized the influx of support from out-of-town journalists for us and was on the ground in Connecticut drawing on his experience covering a 2001 machete attack on a Pennsylvania elementary school. Photographer Tom Kelly IV of the Daily Local News in West Chester, Pa., came with experience covering the Nickel Mines Amish elementary school shooting in 2006.

Helping at our makeshift newsroom just outside of Newtown this past week was Mike Topel, national editor at Digital First Media’s Thunderdome office in New York. He helped lead the AP’s coverage of Columbine in 1999.

706117785Frank Scandale, Digital First’s vice president of print production, helped lead the Denver Post’s Columbine coverage as metro editor. He offered advice from afar and then arrived in New Haven mid-week to help plan a special print edition encapsulating more than a week’s worth of coverage for the Sunday newspaper.

And we were also able to turn to Denver Post Editor Greg Moore, who led intense coverage of the Aurora movie theater shooting earlier this year, and Digital First Editor-in-Chief Jim Brady, who was leading WashingtonPost.Com during the Virginia Tech massacre.

 

Christine Tansey promoted to Breaking News Editor at New Haven Register

18 Apr

Christine Tansey has been promoted to Breaking News Editor at the New Haven Register.

Christine Tansey

She’ll lead a five-person breaking news desk the Register created when it reorganized its newsroom in late November. This team’s job is to speed local, state and national news to the web and digital platforms such as social media and mobile, while assuring that reporters’ breaking news copy is accurate and goes through an editing process.

Christine is a graduate of the University of Connecticut, where she was a double major in journalism and English.

She joined the Register in 2005 as a graphic designer, and over time became an integral part of the decision-making process and design of the Register’s front page and other key aspects of the print edition.

She joined the Breaking News Team in January as a web producer.

She succeeds Cara Baruzzi, who recently left the New Haven Register for a job with the United Way of Greater New Haven.

Chris March is disrupting our newsroom

9 Dec

I just wanted to write a job description that included the words “blowing stuff up.”

That’s what Chris March’s new role will be at the New Haven Register and Journal Register Company’s other newsrooms in Connecticut.

Chris March

He’s been promoted to Assistant Managing Editor for Disruption and is an integral part of a bigger newsroom reorganization announced last week.

Go ahead, poke fun at the future-of-journalism pretentiousness of that title. But we wanted to send a strong message to our staff and our audience. We must, and we intend to, disrupt how we’ve operated for decades.

“We can’t afford to think and act like a newspaper anymore,” Chris said. “We can’t keep doing things a certain way because ‘that’s how we’ve always done that.’ That’s the reality. When you look at the Journal Register Connecticut newsrooms like that, you start to see things that don’t make as much sense as when we started doing them or when we had a bigger staff. That’s what we have to disrupt, or rethink.”

That includes many aspects of our internal, print edition-focused newsroom operation. That includes how we gather news and how we present it. That includes our definition of “news” and “content” and “journalism.” And that most certainly includes how we interact with and treat our audience.

We’re shifting significant resources away from print and toward Breaking News, Community Engagement and Investigative and In-Depth Reporting. To start, Chris will be leading us through the changes in technology and process that are needed to pull this off.

“I think some of the things we’ve started to dismantle and rethink already as part of our newsroom reorganization, such as how we approach election coverage, moderate online comments and engage with the community, is going to start making some big noise in a really meaningful way for us.”

Chris is quite literally a newspaper kid. His mother, Nancy, is editor of The Mercury, a JRC daily in Pottstown, Pennsylvania, and his father, Bill, is managing editor of The Daily Local, a JRC daily in nearby West Chester. “Growing up, they told me to get into anything but writing and newspapers, because of the hours and low pay. And I didn’t argue with that, because why would I?” he said. “But when I was captain of my high school cross country team … I started writing and publishing a weekly newspaper. And that was it. By accident, I stumbled across that joy of capturing a little community in words and watching everyone pass it around and talk about it. I haven’t wanted to do anything other than that since. Plus, it’s cool to rebel against your parents, right?”

Chris graduated from Penn State with a bachelor’s degree in journalism. He wrote about the punk and indie music scene for absolutepunk.net in college, which led to some freelance work in music and entertainment.

In 2007, he joined The Mercury as Promotions and Marketing Coordinator, and in May 2010, he moved to Connecticut to work at the New Haven Register as an online producer. In August of that year, Chris was named to Journal Register Company’s Idea Lab, which equips members with tech tools and frees them up to spend 25 percent of their work week experimenting on new ideas.

He lives in New Haven.

“My modus operandi is discovery and exploration. That extends from music and travel to beer and community journalism. I like being one of those people who sniffs around for the little places where truth and all-out-radness are waiting to be discovered. That’s why I like what we’re doin here at JRC and the New Haven Register right now. We’re exploring. And we’re discovering. And I’m very proud to be a part of that,” he said. “I grew up at a dinner table where the talk was often about how the newspaper business is broken, and a dead end. Now I sit down at the dinner table and talk about how we’re fixing it, and making it a road with possibility and promise.”

After 32 years in print, a newsroom veteran jumps to a digital-only job

29 Nov

As newspapers transition to “Digital First,” with the new skills and radically different job descriptions that can entail, what happens to a person whose entire career has been focused on the print edition?

No doubt, some will not make the transition. Catch up with the past year of layoffs, buyouts and early retirements across the industry for evidence of that.

But for other newsroom veterans, it represents an exciting (and/or nerve-wracking) new chapter in their careers. Their transition is significant for our company because we can’t afford to lose the knowledge and experience these journalists and editors have.

Roseann Iacomacci

Yesterday, the New Haven Register announced a significant newsroom reorganization that, among other things, established a five-person Breaking News team focused 100 percent on speeding news and information to our websites and via social media, blogging and SMS alerts.

The effort will be led by Cara Baruzzi, whose previous role as business editor revolved around preparation of a daily print section. Three other members of the team will be moving over from the copy desk that prepares the Register’s print edition.

Roseann Iacomacci is making the transition to a digital-only job after 32 years in the business.

She started her career at the Bridgeport Post and worked there for more than two decades before joining the New Haven Register in 2002. She started writing wedding and engagement notices and has spent most of her career selecting and editing wire copy from around the country and world to sandwich into print edition pages, writing editorials and plowing through a blizzard of local reporter copy filed for a late-night print edition deadline.

On Nov. 18, Rose left her last late shift on the copy desk at 12:30 a.m.

On Nov. 21, she arrived at 6 a.m. for her new shift – more aligned with the reading habits of the Register’s digital audience.

“My first thought about the shift to ‘Digital First’ was that it was inevitable, but, frankly, perhaps a bit premature. I also thought it was one of those mysteries of business that only accountants and tax lawyers understand, because the print product is still making the bulk of our profits, if what I hear is true,” Iacomacci said.

The New Haven Register’s parent company has been a pioneer in accelerating rapidly to a focus on digital on both the news and advertising sides of the business as print advertising revenue has plummeted across the industry and print circulation has declined.

“I decided to apply for one of the digital jobs because it’s the direction of the future and I want to stay employed,” she said. “Over the years, I’ve had to adapt to many changes: hot lead to cold type, galley proofs to full page setups, paper layouts to computerized pagination and more.”

As she learns dozens of unfamiliar technologies and processes – from embedding a live chat on a web page to maximizing the effectiveness of her Twitter posts, Rose worries that she’s spending more time on the medium, the technology, than the content.

New Haven Register City Editor Helen Bennett Harvey worries what the content would be like if Rose and employees like her weren’t making the transition to digital.

“To me, Rose has always embodied the part of journalism that demands that we get things right,” she said. “She has been relentless in making sure we get our facts straight – as well as making sure we say it in a way that is clear to our readers.”

“By nature, I don’t like change. I’m always a little nervous about it, and sometimes I worry that the actual skills of writing and editing are taking a back seat to the technology,” Rose said. “I guess the exciting part is that we’re sort of pioneers of paperless newspapers. The routines and practices we work out now, and the mistakes we make, might inform the next generation of journalists.”

Bennett Harvey is more confident that we’re establishing the right ground rules with Rose on board.

“Rose, for instance, is the one we can turn to to make sure a headline – while SEO friendly – does not make us sound like grammar morons,” she said. “This talent also plays well into our goal of improving our journalism as we climb toward the digital first goal: There is no good journalism without good writing.”

“Rose has come a long way in terms of her skills and the evolution from the legacy print operation to our digital world,” Bennett Harvey said. “We all need to keep honing our digital skills, and to me, Rose has embraced this goal.”

UPDATE: Of course, in reading this blog post, Rose pointed out an antecedent problem. I inserted a quote from Helen Bennett Harvey before the “By nature, I don’t like change …” quote, which referred only to “she said,” making it seem as though Bennett Harvey said it, when it was actually Rose’s quote. More evidence of why we need her!

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