Journal Register staff win 65 Connecticut SPJ awards

25 May

Journal Register Company staff were honored at the Connecticut Society of Professional Journalists 2012 awards ceremony Thursday night for their digital first coverage of Hurricane Irene, the trial of triple murderer Joshua Komisarjevsky and a spike in New Haven’s murder rate.

In all, JRC staff took home 65 awards, including 27 first place honors, up from 56 awards, with 20 in first place, last year.

The New Haven Register’s first place award for Online Spot News Reporting happened from a makeshift newsroom in reporter Alexandra Sanders’ apartment in the wake of Hurricane Irene.

The New Haven Register swept SPJ’s Online Spot News Reporting category, winning first place for team coverage of Hurricane Irene. Because the Register building was without power in the hurricane’s aftermath, the best reporting came from a makeshift newsroom set up in reporter Alexandra Sanders‘ apartment.

The Register won second place in the same category for its coverage of the trial of triple murderer Joshua Komisarjevsky, which featured daily live tweeting from the courtroom, instant SMS alerts of the verdict and live video of reaction from defense attorneys, prosecutors and the victims’ family.

The Register won first place in the Online In-Depth Reporting category for the “New Haven Homicides Report,” a blog created by William Kaempffer and Chris March that maps every murder that happens in the city, profiles the victims and tracks updates on when arrests are made and court appearances are scheduled.

The Register’s year-long coverage of racial profiling allegations against the East Haven Police Department, led by Mark Zaretsky and Susan Misur, also took home a first place award, for Best General Reporting Series, newspapers over 50,000 circulation.

Mara Lavitt won first place for Best News Photo in the over 50,000 circulation category.

Mara Lavitt

Ed Stannard won first place for best single General Reporting story for “Sins to confess? Catholics, there’s an app for that.”

Donna Doherty won first place for Best Arts & Entertainment writing in the over 50,000 circulation category for “Breaking down Bergman.”

Sports Editor Sean Barker won first place for Best Sports Column for newspapers with over 50,000 circulation for a tribute to late Register sports columnist Dave Solomon, who was killed in a car accident last year. Solomon himself posthumously won second place in the Best Sports Column category for a piece about New Haven coach Jim Wolf.

The Register led JRC papers in Connecticut with 20 awards in all, including 9 first place honors.

The Register Citizen and Middletown Press received 7 and 6 awards, respectively.

Register Citizen sports writer Kevin Roberts won first place for Online Sports Feature, while Editor Rick Thomason was  honored with a first place business writing award for a piece on manufacturing in Torrington and several second and third place awards for editorials and column writing.

Jonetta Badillo

Middletown Press reporter Jonetta Badillo won first place in the under 18,000 circulation daily newspaper category for Best General Reporting Series for her coverage of the fate of the Powder Ridge ski area.

JRC weekly newspapers won 18 awards, including 5 – all by Jimmy Zanor for sports writing – at the Shoreline Times.

At Housatonic Publications in New Milford, the Litchfield County Times took home 6 awards, the Housatonic Times, 4, and Passport magazine, 3.

They included first place awards by Jack Coraggiofor Best Sports Feature and Best Business Reporting. Kathryn Boughton and Alice Tessier won first place honors for column writing.

Charles Monagan

JRC’s Connecticut Magazine dominated awards in the magazine division, with 14 total, 7 first place.

Editor Charles Monagan, who won his first SPJ award in 1972, picked up a first place honor 40 years later for Best Magazine Editorial.

Joan Barrow won first place honors for Photo Layout and Non-Page 1 Layout.

Patricia Grandjean won first place for Magazine Feature Writing and second place for General Reporting for a magazine.

The entire list of JRC’s winners follows. The complete Connecticut SPJ list can be found here.

3 Responses to “Journal Register staff win 65 Connecticut SPJ awards”

  1. Susan Skipp July 17, 2013 at 6:42 am #

    Why doesn’t any media in the state cover this? 84 families, that’s the people we find and who are willing not to be silent, someone has to stop the abject destruction of children in this state:
    AFCC has the judiciary franchised with a marketing plan. Lawyers, judges, and mental health workers collude to make the most money possible. Children and litigants are chips. Good parents have been deprived of even phone calls to children two years, six years, in my case nine months. I did nothing wrong except point out the illegal and unconstitutional acts. The system just did more. We have a serious problem that no one even writes about or covers because no one will go in front of political fire.

    • Susan Skipp July 19, 2013 at 9:17 am #

      Why do t you read the link and realize we have a great tragedy ever dayA

      Sent from my iPhone

    • Susan Skipp July 19, 2013 at 11:22 am #


      Please read this link. At least 84 families are currently harmed and children placed with their abusers. This is a story that no one local will carry because ct is small and many people are making money from this as well as steering grants. This is Pulitzer Prize journalism. No one does this real news anymore because news is bought and paid for. So you want to uncover the reasons why 9 Dcf kids are raped in one foster home? How kent connecticut and st. sngus home gor hirls had a 100% removal rate of infant by dcf under predictive neglect? You want to understand and inform how children are trafficked right in front of us read that story link. It will give you an over view. Bad things, hundreds of millions of dollars, tax free payoffs- you name it its here. Family court and Dcf – especially the mental health providers who give paid testimony to put kids where it’s financially advantageous or sexually available. No one covers this. It’s Sandusky on a small scale. Susan

      Sent from my iPhone

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