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Esteban Hernandez, Evan Lips, Tom Renner join DFM Connecticut newsroom

22 Apr

Esteban Hernandez, Evan Lips and Tom Renner have joined the newsroom staff of Digital First Media in Connecticut.

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Evan Lips

Hernandez and Lips have been hired as staff reporters at The Register Citizen in Torrington and the New Haven Register, respectively. Renner has been hired as a deputy sports editor in New Haven.

Lips, a Connecticut native, previously worked as a reporter at a DFM sister paper, the Lowell Sun in Massachusetts. He got to know the New Haven newsroom in December when he was part of a team of DFM journalists who came to help the Register cover the shooting at Sandy Hook Elementary School.

Within hours on his first day as a Register reporter on April 15, he was sent in the other direction as part of a DFM team headed to Massachusetts to cover the bombing of the Boston Marathon. His first week was spent working with his former Lowell colleagues and a team from New Haven that fed news of the bombing’s aftermath to Digital First Media’s 75 daily newspapers across the country.

Lips holds a bachelor’s degree from Kenyon University and a master’s degree in journalism from Boston University. He will cover East Haven for the Register. Email him at elips@nhregister.com. Follow him on Twitter @evanmlips.

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Esteban Hernandez

Hernandez also worked for a DFM sister paper, as an intern at the Daily Camera in Boulder, Colorado, before relocating to Connecticut to work at The Register Citizen.

He holds a bachelor’s degree in journalism from the University of Colorado at Boulder, where he worked as an editor on the staff of the CU Independent. Email him at ehernandez@registercitizen.com. Follow him on Twitter @estebanHRZ.

Renner starts work today as deputy sports editor at the New Haven Register.

He has worked the past three years as Fairfield County sports editor for the online local news site The Daily Voice, formerly known as Main Street Connect.

Previously, he worked for 22 years at the Stamford Advocate, leaving in 2009 as sports editor.

Tom Renner

Tom Renner

Renner holds a bachelor’s degree in journalism from Temple University and has won numerous awards for sports writing, page design and overall sports section leadership from the Connecticut Society of Professional Journalists, New England Press Association and Associated Press Sports Editors.

Email him at trenner@nhregister.com. Follow him on Twitter @tomrenner.

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.

 

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