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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.

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.

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.

Connecticut journalism wins in annual Digital First Media contest

27 Mar
East Haven Mayor Joseph Maturo and Connecticut Gov. Dannel Malloy inspect the scene of a plane crash into two homes in East Haven last year. The New Haven Register's coverage of the cash is being honored with a companywide journalism award by Digital First Media. (Peter Hvizdak photo)

East Haven Mayor Joseph Maturo and Connecticut Gov. Dannel Malloy inspect the scene of a plane crash into two homes in East Haven last year. The New Haven Register’s coverage of the cash is being honored with a companywide journalism award by Digital First Media. (Peter Hvizdak photo)

The New Haven Register and The Register Citizen of Torrington have won two awards each in Digital First Media‘s annual companywide journalism contest.

The Register Citizen beat out much larger sister publications, including the Denver Post, to win DFM’s annual Public Service award for its coverage of the social media bullying of two 13-year-old rape victims in Torrington last year.

Jessica Glenza, the reporter involved in that coverage, won DFM’s Journalist of the Year for small dailies.

The New Haven Register won Best Live Coverage for its response to a plane crash in East Haven last year that killed four people.

New Haven Register Community Engagement Editor Shahid Abdul-Karim won DFM’s Special Contribution award for his work in improving and providing better context to the newspaper’s coverage of inner-city violence in New Haven.

Why we ran that photo of a New Haven man posing with stolen gun

10 Mar
(Photo by Peter Hvizdak - New Haven Register) During a photography portrait session with a New Haven Register photographer on Jan. 30, 2014, in New Haven, an African-American male of New Haven, a convicted felon in his late 20s, shows off a 9mm Smith & Wesson model 659 semi-automatic firearm that he says is stolen and which he says he uses for his personal protection.

(Photo by Peter Hvizdak – New Haven Register) During a photography portrait session with a New Haven Register photographer on Jan. 30, 2014, in New Haven, an African-American male of New Haven, a convicted felon in his late 20s, shows off a 9mm Smith & Wesson model 659 semi-automatic firearm that he says is stolen and which he says he uses for his personal protection.

A striking and sure-to-be-controversial photo leads the New Haven Register’s website and print edition front page this morning. “Joe,” an anonymous New Haven man, poses in a menacing, face-covering disguise with a handgun that he says is both stolen and against the law for him to possess since he is a convicted felon.

BiVl1a_CYAAVaRUThere were two major points of discussion among New Haven Register editors prior to publishing Shahid Abdul-Karim‘s story, which features an interview in which “Joe” (not his real name) talks about why illegal guns proliferate on the streets of New Haven from the perspective of someone who feels he needs to have one to defend himself.

1. We are generally uncomfortable with using anonymous sources, for a lot of reasons. What ulterior motives might be at play that anonymity would cover up? How do we confirm what they are saying is true?

2. Is the photo constructive in telling the story and conveying information and meaning to readers, or is it gratuitous “click bait” at best, and glorifying of some kind of tough guy violence mentality at worst?

We were comfortable with the first point because Shahid did the work to be confident that “Joe” is who he says he was. There was little to nothing to be gained by talking to us. Point by point, we checked out what he said to us (for example, that guns are sometimes stolen from National Guard armories) and ran counter-point from law enforcement and others. Most of all, we felt that anonymity was justified in this case because of how important, and rare, it is to hear from the kind of person no one ever hears from when urban violence and illegal guns are written about.

We were comfortable (for the most part) about the photo because it vividly conveyed the subject matter, and provided a telling contrast between the projection of strength young men make in arming themselves vs. the fear and desperation expressed in our interview with “Joe.”

Most of all, we hope the story will spark a dialogue about the issue. For context, see Rich Scinto‘s story on the toll that gun violence took in New Haven last year, and Brian Charles‘ story on the growing rate of income disparity and poverty in New Haven.

If you have questions or insight into the story or how we handled it, New Haven Register editors will be discussing it today at AskTheRegister.com. Please come join in the conversation.

Joe Amarante named Arts and Entertainment editor at New Haven Register

21 Feb

Joe Amarante, a 30-year veteran editor, reporter and columnist, has been named Arts and Entertainment Editor at the New Haven Register.

Joe Amarante

Joe Amarante

He succeeds Donna Doherty, who retired late last year after eight years in the position.

After graduating from the University of New Haven, Amarante started his career at the New Haven Journal-Courier in the 1970s. He has more than 28 years experience covering television, radio and other media, and is a former member of the Television Critics Association.

He was TV Editor at the New Haven Register for years, and most recently has served the paper as a general assignment reporter, columnist and editor. His column writing has been recognized with awards by SPJ, the New Haven Committee on Italian Migration and the Hamden Unitas Club. He is married to Sue and has four children.

Amarante can be reached at jamarante@21st-centurymedia.com. Follow him on Twitter at @joeammo.

First Ann DeMatteo intern named at New Haven Register

5 Dec

Adam Stuhlman has been named as the first participant in an annual paid internship program at the New Haven Register established in the memory of longtime editor and reporter Ann DeMatteo.

Adam Stuhlman

Adam Stuhlman

“Adam is looking to gain more experience to break into the field full-time,” said New Haven Register Managing Editor Mark Brackenbury. “He is just the kind of person Ann would have taken under her wing, so I think she would be pleased that he is joining us for the next couple of months.”

The program was announced earlier this year, after DeMatteo passed away at the age of 56 after a battle with cancer. DeMatteo worked for 34 years as a reporter, bureau chief and editor at the New Haven Register. She was named managing editor of its sister daily, The Middletown Press, in the fall of 2012.

For many years, DeMatteo ran the internship program at the New Haven Register, training dozens of future journalists.

Ann DeMatteo

Ann DeMatteo

Stuhlman is a graduate of Southern Connecticut State University with a bachelor’s degree in journalism. He has worked as a freelance reporter for the New Haven Register, CTNewsJunkie.com, the Middletown Press, the New Britain Herald and the Hartford Guardian.

He is also active with the Veterans Art Foundation, which uses art therapy to help veterans suffering from post-traumatic stress disorder.

Donna Doherty’s retirement dims spotlight on New Haven arts

25 Nov

Donna Doherty is retiring from the New Haven Register this week, on the day before Thanksgiving. We’re not sure what to do about it.

Donna Doherty

Donna Doherty

As arts editor since 2005, Donna has become an authority on a segment of life and culture that is hugely important to our community. We’re not sure how to replace her, because we know we won’t be able to match what she contributes to our newsroom. And if we’d been smarter about realizing what we had in Donna, we would have given her a team of minions to smartly explore the richness of the arts scene around Yale University, New Haven, the Shoreline and beyond.

The remarkable thing about Donna is that this role was just the latest diverse gig in the career of a Renaissance woman.

Decades ago, she was a sports reporter for the New Haven Register. She went on to serve as editor of Tennis magazine. She covered courts at one point. Here’s her account of covering the Black Panthers trial for the New Haven Register as a 20-year-old student at Northeastern University, and how the intensity of that assignment prompted her to go for a “change of pace” and try sports.

Our newspaper has been enriched greatly by Donna’s work, off and on, from the time she wrote as a student more than 40 years ago to her role covering the richness of the New Haven area arts scene. And we’ve been enriched to work beside her.

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