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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.

Connecticut’s sacred cows a target as new columnists debut this week

24 Sep

Susan Campbell will kick off a new daily lineup of featured news columnists when The Register Citizen and The Middletown Press unveil redesigned print editionson Wednesday. And no topic is off the table.

Susan Campbell (Photo by Chion Wolf/WNPR)

Campbell developed a strong reputation in her years as a reporter and columnist at the Hartford Courant for seeking to “comfort the afflicted and afflict the comfortable.” As a new weekly columnist for our daily newspapers in Torrington, Middletown and New Haven, she’ll have free rein to go after the things she feels are harming Connecticut politics and society and to celebrate some of the bright spots.

Her debut column tackles “Pulpit Freedom Sunday” and what she sees as the religious right’s increasingly militant attempt to enlist congregations in political activism.

Campbell will be followed on page 3 and online each day by similarly strong voices.

Norm Pattis (Photo by Arnold Gold/New Haven Register)

Always outspoken and frequently controversial Connecticut defense attorney Norm Pattis will write on Thursdays, and doesn’t hold back in his debut column about Antonin Scalia and his “originalism” philosophy of interpreting the Constitution, calling it an “ideological hoax.”

The work of Terry Cowgill, a familiar face to The Register Citizen’s readers in Northwest Connecticut, will be featured on Fridays.

Columns by Sarah Darer Littman, a novelist and former securities analyst, and Heath Fahle, policy director for the Yankee Institute and former executive director of the Connecticut Republican Party, will alternate on Saturdays.

Ann DeMatteo, newly named managing editor of The Middletown Press, who as a cancer survivor shares others’ stories of inspiration and overcoming adversity, will write on Sundays.

Susan Bigelow, a librarian, author and former operator of the CT Local Politics website, will write on Mondays.

And Andy Thibault, a former Hartford Courant and Register Citizen editor, Connecticut Freedom of Information Commission member and investigative reporter, will write on Tuesdays.

The addition of Cowgill, Littman, Fahle and Bigelow are part of an expansion of our partnership with CTNewsJunkie.Com. Since March, we’ve carried its excellent coverage of Connecticut state government and politics, and are happy to be extending that relationship now to their team of columnists.

New Haven Register, other JRC papers in Connecticut, partner with CT News Junkie

26 Mar

I’m pleased to announce that Journal Register Company’s newspapers in Connecticut will be partnering with online Connecticut Statehouse news website CTNewsJunkie.Com to supplement our coverage of state government.

We’ll be using CT News Junkie’s articles in our print editions throughout the state, which include the New Haven Register, Middletown Press and Register Citizen, and linking to CT News Junkie’s coverage online.

This will free some of our reporters to focus more on in-depth and unique coverage of statewide issues that are presently under-covered by a shrinking Statehouse press corps.

Earlier this year, for example, we announced that reporter Mary O’Leary would be focusing on more in-depth “explainer”-format coverage and “fact check” reports.

Christine Stuart

And state politics and government reporter Jordan Fenster will be taking a lead role on our previously announced “Citizens Agenda” project, a new approach to covering political campaigns that’s based on the issues most important to our readers instead of “the horse race.”

CT News Junkie has been led since 2006 by editor and lead reporter Christine Stuart, who has developed a reputation as one of the hardest-working journalists covering the Capitol.

Prior to joining CT News Junkie, Stuart was a local news and politics reporter for the Journal Inquirer of Manchester. Previously, she covered education, transportation and the Capitol for the Hartford Advocate.

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