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Sean Carlin joins New Haven Register reporting staff

7 Apr

Sean Carlin has joined the New Haven Register’s reporting staff.

Sean Carlin

Sean Carlin

Carlin graduated from Temple University in Fall 2013 with a double major in journalism and political science. At Temple, he worked as a reporter and news editor for The Temple News student newspaper.

He has also worked as a city desk intern at both the Philadelphia Daily News and the Philadelphia Inquirer, and as a volunteer firefighter with the Blackwood Fire Company in Blackwood, New Jersey.

A November 2012 story he wrote for the Inquirer, “Help in Dealing with the Pain,” was honored with a Society of Professional Journalists Mark of Excellence Award.

He was also recognized with the Lew Klein Excellence in Media Scholarship and the Jay A. Strassberg Memorial journalism scholarship.

Sean can be reached at scarlin@nhregister.com. Follow him on Twitter @SeanCarlin84.

Shako Liu joins Register Citizen reporting staff

1 Nov

Shako Liu starts today as a staff reporter for The Register Citizen in Torrington, and will be covering the Northwest Corner region of Connecticut for Digital First Media publications including The Register Citizen and Litchfield County Times.

Shako Liu

Shako Liu

Liu graduated in May with a master’s degree in journalism from the Annenberg School of Journalism at the University of Southern California, and she recently relocated from Los Angeles to Torrington.

At USC, she was active in the Asian American Journalists Association and the Online News Association. Previously, she graduated from the Beijing Language and Cultural University in 2009 with a bachelor’s degree in English literature.

For the past year, Liu contributed video journalism projects to L.A. Weekly and produced articles and radio pieces about China and North Korea for The Atlantic and KCRW, a National Public Radio affiliate in California, respectively.

Liu is a native speaker of Mandarin and Cantonese, and is proficient in Japanese and English.

She can be reached at sliu@registercitizen.com. Follow her on Twitter @shako_liu.

‘Ask the Register’ offers readers direct access to editors

4 Oct

The New Haven Register today is launching “Ask the Register,” an always-on live chat offering readers direct access to editors.1009906_10151715251560775_2064292893_a

Accessible at AskTheRegister.Com, it will enable readers to provide feedback or ask questions about what or how we’re covering particular stories, or why we’re not covering something they deem important.

Editors will also use the site each day to publicly share the list of stories reporters are working on and let readers know as breaking news happens that we are on the way.

Reporters will use the site to share crowd-sourcing queries related to their stories.

AskTheRegister.Com is powered by the ScribbleLive live blogging platform. To comment or ask a question, readers can log in with the site or use a variety of social media accounts to log in.

Readers can also participate in the live blog via Twitter by using the hashtag #AskTheRegister.

Journalism’s problem may not be the Internet, indeed

1 Oct

Earlier this week, a Connecticut newspaper editor set out to explain “the problem with journalism these days.” The result was a staggering case for more diversity and digital literacy in the leadership of traditional newsrooms.

Chris Powell, managing editor of the Journal Inquirer in Manchester, deserves tons of praise for his leadership in accountability journalism over the years and continuing. But his Sept. 28 column, “Journalism’s problem may not be the Internet,” is off-base on many levels.

He confuses the health of journalism with the health of the traditional newspaper business, and the Internet as a competitor to journalism instead of a journalism tool and delivery method. But let’s put those points aside.

Powell blames the Internet for “allow(ing) people to indulge their particular interests at any hour of the day to the exclusion of everything else, to live always in the narrowest of worlds rather than in a broad one.” That would be OK if people were interested in how their tax dollars are being spent, or what curriculum is being approved for the public school system, or, in Powell’s words, “that an airplane had just crashed a few streets away.” But no, an increasing number of people don’t care about those things, Powell says. They only want to know about the “Boston Red Sox, Miley Cyrus and sunspots.”

Not “traditional households,” mind you. Powell says that “newspapers can still sell themselves to” households that consist of “two-parent families involved with their children, schools, churches, sports, civic groups, and such.”

He blames single mothers and non-native English speakers for killing newspaper journalism.

“Even in a supposedly prosperous and well-educated state like Connecticut, how strong can demand for those things be now that half the children are being raised without two parents at home and thus acquiring developmental handicaps?” he writes.

And proceeds with this doozy: “… Newspapers cannot sell themselves to households headed by single women who have several children by different fathers, survive on welfare stipends, can hardly speak or read English, move every few months to cheat their landlords, barely know what town they’re living in, and couldn’t afford a newspaper subscription even if they could read.”

I’d like to catch up with Chris at some point to find out what “developmental handicaps” my own children are “thus acquiring” because there’s no traditional second parent in my household. But I’m figuring that white male newspaper editors might get a pass in this particular view of the world.

It takes a special kind of misogyny to believe that the decline in print newspaper subscribers is due to women who get pregnant out of wedlock. Maybe the decline really started with women getting the right to vote, or working outside of the home?

It takes a spectacular sense of denial to miss the trend away from print media across all socio-economic categories.

And it takes a stunted and isolated concept of journalism and business opportunities to believe that single mothers, minorities, low-income people and non-traditional families don’t care about the plane crash down the street, their tax bill or their children’s health or education, or that they don’t buy the products your advertisers are selling.

There is another way. Embrace and learn about the diversity of your community. Make your newsroom more diverse, including positions of leadership. Use the power of the web and mobile devices to reach new readers in new ways, increasing the civic engagement of your community in the process.

As I write this, crews are dismantling the once-mighty printing presses of the New Haven Register and carrying most of it away for scrap metal. But we’re at a high point in recent memory in terms of the accountability journalism being produced in our newsroom. Our audience is the largest in the newspaper’s history, dwarfing the bounds of the traditional print circulation we used to be limited to. And digital revenue growth is replacing print advertising losses.

Single moms who care about what is going on in their community are a big part of our present and future success. But Powell is right that they don’t necessarily want or need the newsprint or narrow view of news he is peddling.

Traci Neal named managing editor of The Middletown Press

1 Oct

Traci Neal, a Middletown native with more than 25 years experience as a reporter and editor, has been named managing editor of The Middletown Press.

Traci Neal

Traci Neal

She was most recently copy chief for six years at Catholic Digest in New London, and previously worked as a copy editor at the Hartford Advocate, an editor at Hometown Newspaper Group in East Haddam and a features writer for the Journal Inquirer in Manchester.

Neal started her career in 1988 as a reporter and editor at the Hamden Chronicle. Her new role is a homecoming of sorts. She worked as a police and courts reporter at The Middletown Press from 1991 to 1993. She also delivered the newspaper as a child growing up in Middletown.

She can be reached at tneal@middletownpress.com. Follow her on Twitter at @tracineal.

James Walker named metro editor at New Haven Register

25 Sep

James S. Walker has joined the New Haven Register as metro editor.

James Walker

James Walker

Walker comes to the newspaper from the Norwalk Hour, where he served as city editor for seven years. Previously, he was a general assignment reporter at The Hour, a business and features reporter at the Norwich Bulletin and a reporter at the Pictorial Gazette in Old Saybrook. He attended East Tennessee State University.

Walker will supervise the Register’s metro reporting staff and will take a lead role in planning the newspaper’s enterprise and investigative reporting.

He can be reached at jwalker@nhregister.com.

New website designs coming to New Haven Register, Middletown Press, Register Citizen

19 Aug

It’s been a long time coming. On Wednesday, a new website design will be unveiled at the New Haven Register, The Middletown Press and The Register Citizen in Torrington.NHR

The present “design” has been in place for about seven years, or three-quarters of a century in Internet years. So many things have been added to our home pages over the years that it’s hard to find anything, good photos and stories get lost and the advertising experience can feel like an arcade.

Our new design, developed by colleagues at Digital First Media and already rolled out to sister publications including the Denver Post, St. Paul Pioneer Press and the Lowell Sun, was built around a better user experience. The home page will be far less busy and individual article pages easier to read. Photos will be displayed better, and navigation through the site more intuitive.

With the redesigned websites – and a print edition redesign launched earlier this year and last fall at the New Haven Register, The Middletown Press and The Register Citizen – comes a new content management system for reporters and editors that allows them to publish to various digital and print platforms in one place. One area in which this will be a major benefit to readers is that it makes it easier for reporters to link to other sources of information within their stories, providing a much richer and more informative experience on the web.

Keep an eye out for these changes on Wednesday, Aug. 21, and please let us know what you think.

Charles Kochakian ‘true to a compass that served to build a great community’

26 Jan

charlesCharles Kochakian retired as editorial page editor of the New Haven Register on Friday and was deservedly celebrated by colleagues and community leaders for his leadership on issues facing Greater New Haven and Connecticut over the past several decades.

In a well-done tribute by the Register’s Ed Stannard, New Haven Mayor John DeStefano Jr. described Kochakian as holding “true to a compass that served to build a great community and a great region.”

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