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We’re making poverty a full-time reporting beat

8 Nov

Brian Charles

The gap between the country’s wealthiest and poorest is at its highest point in the past 100 years. The gap between white and minority Americans is far greater. For every $1 in assets held by the average white family, the average black family has 15 cents, and the average Hispanic family has 17 cents.

Poverty in Connecticut has a profound impact on education, health care, crime, housing and economic development. It looms over those issues. It’s why some aspects of them seem unsolvable.

At a recent conference at the UCLA School of Nursing, Jessica Bartholow of the Western Center on Law and Poverty said that in terms of a child’s long-term health and well-being, “exposure to poverty in utero is more dangerous than exposure to cocaine.”

We’re making poverty a full-time reporting beat, and we’re excited to announce that Brian Charles will be joining our staff in that role on Monday.

Brian was recently named Journalist of the Year for Digital First Media‘s mid-sized daily newspapers, partly in recognition of his work investigating a police shooting of an unarmed black teenager for one of our sister newspapers, the Pasadena Star-News, in California.

He is a New York native who graduated from Purchase College with a bachelor’s degree in 2005 and Antioch University-Los Angeles in 2010 with a master’s degree in creative writing. During his time as a reporter in California, he was active as a member of the Los Angeles Chapter of the National Association of Black Journalists and as an executive committee member of the Black Journalists Association of Southern California.

Brian will be based at the New Haven Register, but we expect his work to have a statewide impact and also appear in The Middletown Press, The Register Citizen, Connecticut Magazine and other publications.

He can be reached at Follow him on Twitter at @jbriancharles.

New Haven Register print redesign coming June 11

4 Jun

UntitledThe New Haven Register will unveil a new design for its print edition on Tuesday, June 11. It will include a new front page “flag,” a more modern typeface throughout, and easier and more consistent navigation through the different sections of the newspaper.

The new design will also include an at-a-glance digest on page A2 each day of some of the most interesting news from around the world.

It follows and matches redesigns launched last fall for two sister daily newspapers in Connecticut, The Middletown Press and The Register Citizen of Torrington. The  look was crafted by designers at the San Jose Mercury News.

The last major print redesign of the New Haven Register was 10 years ago, in April 2003.

A redesign of the New Haven Register’s website will come soon after the print redesign. It is tentatively scheduled for late July.

Digital First Media staff win 87 Connecticut SPJ awards

24 May

The New Haven Register was recognized with the Connecticut Society of Professional Journalists’ annual Stephen A. Collins Public Service Award Thursday night.

It honors work by Michelle Tuccitto Sullo in exposing inadequate police response to reports of missing adults and profiles of missing adult cases by Brian McCready and Ann DeMatteo. The effort also included creation of a blog and “Missing in Connecticut” Facebook page that continues to spread alerts and information about the missing and connect their families with resources. It helped lead to the creation of a special unit of the Connecticut State Police dedicated to missing persons cases.

Ann DeMatteo and Michelle Tuccitto Sullo

Ann DeMatteo and Michelle Tuccitto Sullo

The public service award was especially meaningful to Register staff as a tribute to DeMatteo, who died Sunday after a battle with cancer.

It was one of 87 awards won by Digital First Media staff, including 37 first place honors, in the Connecticut SPJ’s 2012 Excellence in Journalism Awards. That’s up from 65 awards and 27 first place honors last year, and 56 awards, with 20 in first place, the previous year.

The New Haven Register won 32 awards, followed by Connecticut Magazine with 18, The Middletown Press, 12, the Litchfield County Times, 10, and The Register Citizen, 5. Passport Magazine and Digital First Media weeklies the West Hartford News, Shoreline Times, Simsbury News and Westport Minuteman were also honored.

This year’s contest included special categories for coverage of Hurricane Sandy’s impact on Connecticut and the mass shooting at Sandy Hook Elementary School in December.

Digital First Media, which put more than 100 journalists from Connecticut and its sister papers in other states on the Sandy Hook story, was recognized for spot news reporting, general news reporting, page layout and photography in the Sandy Hook category.

The New Haven Register also won first place for Best Interactive Graphic for a directory its data team put together highlighting the stories of the 26 Sandy Hook victims. An interactive graphic the data team helped The Middletown Press’s Viktoria Sundqvist put together on statewide school superintendent salaries also won a first place award.

The New Haven Register’s Jim Shelton and Peter Hvizdak were honored with first place awards for Best Feature Series and Best Video Storytelling, respectively, for their year-long look at the life of Roman Baca, an Iraq war veteran using ballet to help his fellow soldiers adjust to civilian life and tell the story of what they’d been through.It was part of a company-wide project about veterans’ return from war called “American Homecomings.”

A full list of DFM’s awards follows:

New Haven Register

Stephen A. Collins Public Service Award, Michelle Tuccitto Sullo, Brian McCready and Ann DeMatteo

1st Place, Editorial, Charles Kochakian

1st Place, Hurricane Sandy Page One Layout, Mheegan Rollins

1st Place, Interactive Graphic, DFM staff (Newtown victims)

1st Place, Video Storytelling, Peter Hvizdak (American Homecomings)

1st Place, Feature Series, Jim Shelton (American Homecomings)

1st Place, Newtown Shooting News Photo, Peter Hvizdak

1st Place, Newtown Shooting Non-Page One Layout, NHR Staff

1st Place, Feature Photo, Peter Casolino

1st Place, Photo Layout, Mary Albl

2nd Place, Photo Layout, Melanie Stengel

2nd Place, Feature Photo, Arnold Gold

2nd Place, Newtown Shooting News Photo, Arnold Gold

2nd Place, General Column, Michael Bellmore

2nd Place, Opinion Column, Randall Beach

2nd Place, Newtown Shooting General Reporting, Jim Shelton

2nd Place, Feature Photo, Melanie Stengel

2nd Place, Sports Photo, Peter Casolino

2nd Place, Feature, Susan Misur

2nd Place, In-Depth Series, Susan Misur, Mark Zaretsky and Jennifer Swift

2nd Place, Spot News, Mark Zaretsky and Susan Misur

2nd Place, Sports Feature, Chris Hunn

Honorable Mention, Sports Feature, Chip Malafronte

Honorable Mention, Sports Photo, Peter Hvizdak

Honorable Mention, Feature Photo, Peter Casolino

Honorable Mention, Hurricane Sandy News Photo, Peter Casolino

Honorable Mention, Newtown Shooting Spot News, Jason Fields and DFM staff

Honorable Mention, Arts & Entertainment, Donna Doherty

Honorable Mention, General Reporting Series, Mark Zaretsky, Jennifer Swift, Susan Misur, Rich Scinto, Luther Turmelle and Pam McLoughlin

Honorable Mention, In-Depth Reporting, Michelle Tuccitto Sullo and Pam McLoughlin

Honorable Mention, In-Depth Series, Michelle Tuccitto Sullo, Brian McCready and Ann DeMatteo

Honorable Mention, Sports News, Mary Albl

Register Citizen

1st Place, Opinion Column, Andy Thibault

2nd Place, Opinion Column, Andy Thibault

Honorable Mention, Editorial, Matt DeRienzo

Honorable Mention, Feature, Andy Thibault

Honorable Mention, Sports Column, Andy Thibault

Middletown Press

1st Place, Interactive Graphic, Viktoria Sundqvist, Peggy Bustamante, Vaughn Hagerty, Nelson Hsu

1st Place, Newtown Shooting General Reporting, Viktoria Sundqvist

1st Place, News Photo, Catherine Avalone

1st Place, Sports Photo, Catherine Avalone

1st Place, Investigative Series, Viktoria Sundqvist

1st Place, Sports Feature, Joe Pelletier

1st Place, Sports News, Joe Pelletier

2nd Place, Feature Photo, Catherine Avalone

2nd Place, Feature, Viktoria Sundqvist

2nd Place, Sports Column, Joe Pelletier

Honorable Mention, Feature Photo, Catherine Avalone

Honorable Mention, News Photo, Catherine Avalone

Connecticut Magazine 

1st Place, General Column, Larry Bloom

1st Place, Opinion Column, Charley Monagan

1st Place, Editorial, Charley Monagan

1st Place, Hurricane Sandy Non-Page One Layout, Greg Harmel

1st Place, Non-Page One Layout, Stacey Slimak Shea

1st Place, Newtown Shooting General Reporting, Ian Eller

1st Place, Photo Layout, Richard Feeda

1st Place, Arts & Entertainment, Patricia Grandjean

1st Place, Business, Tom Connor

1st Place, Feature, Alan Bisbort

1st Place, In-Depth Reporting, Tom Connor

1st Place, Sports Feature, David Holahan

2nd Place, Arts & Entertainment, Charley Monagan

2nd Place, Non-Page One Layout, Carol Petro

2nd Place, General Column, Cathy Ross

2nd Place, General Reporting, Tom Connor

Honorable Mention, General Reporting, Alan Bisbort

Honorable Mention, Feature, Patricia Grandjean

Litchfield County Times

1st Place, Op-Ed Column, Andy Thibault

1st Place, Business, Daniela Forte

1st Place, Feature, Kathryn Boughton

1st Place, Investigative Series, Jack Coraggio and Andy Thibault

1st Place, In-Depth Series, Daniela Forte and Andy Thibault

2nd Place, In-Depth Series, Jack Coraggio and Andy Thibault

2nd Place, Op-Ed Column, Edwin Matthews

2nd Place, Arts & Entertainment, Kathryn Boughton

Honorable Mention, Feature, Kathryn Boughton

Honorable Mention, In-Depth Series, Jack Coraggio and Doug Clement

Passport Magazine

2nd Place, Business, Jason Torsiello

2nd Place, Feature, Scot Allyn

Honorable Mention, Feature Photo, Laurie Gaboardi

West Hartford News

Honorable Mention, Video Storytelling, Kathleen Schassler

Honorable Mention, In-Depth Reporting, Kathleen Schassler

Shoreline Times

1st Place, Sports Column, Jimmy Zanor

1st Place, Sports News, Jimmy Zanor

2nd Place, Sports Column, Jimmy Zanor

Westport Minuteman

2nd Place, Sports Feature, Mary Albl

The Simsbury News

2nd Place, Feature Photo, Jacqueline Bennett

New Haven Register establishes paid internship in memory of Ann DeMatteo

21 May

The New Haven Register is establishing an annual paid internship dedicated to the memory of longtime reporter and editor Ann DeMatteo, who died Sunday after a battle with cancer.

Ann DeMatteo

Ann DeMatteo

For years, DeMatteo led the newspaper’s internship program, so honoring her in this way seemed like the natural thing for New Haven Register Managing Editor Mark Brackenbury.

“This feels like such a fitting way to honor Ann’s memory.  She mentored dozens upon dozens of aspiring journalists and young reporters through the years.  Few things seemed to make her happier, and in her own unassuming way, she was great at it,” Brackenbury said. “When interns started at the Register, I knew I could send them Ann’s way and she would handle the rest.  By the end of that first day, they would have accompanied her on rounds and have three or four story assignments for the week.  And Ann would work with them every step of the way on those stories, right down to the editing process while still filing a few stories of her own. Ann always made sure new staffers felt welcome, and she shared with them her voluminous Rolodex of phone numbers  – most of which she threw out off the top of her head.  The best place to be as a young reporter in the Register newsroom was at the desk next to Ann.”

DeMatteo managed the internship program without funding. Students participated for college credit and experience only. The position created in her memory will include a salary for the intern chosen over the course of their time in the program.

The first Ann DeMatteo intern at the New Haven Register will be named for the upcoming fall semester. Students who are interested in applying can contact Brackenbury at

Albert Yuravich named director of New Haven Register design center

6 May

Albert Yuravich has joined Digital First Media’s newsroom staff in Connecticut as director of a new regional page design center based at the New Haven Register.

Albie Yuravich

Albie Yuravich

Yuravich led the newsroom of the Greenwich Time over the past few years as managing editor, and also assisted with a redesign of all of Hearst’s daily newspapers in Connecticut in 2012.

He follows Ben Doody and Tom Cleary in making the jump from Hearst Connecticut to Digital First. Doody was Hearst’s digital news editor and is now managing editor of DFM’s Connecticut group. Cleary was a breaking news reporter at the Connecticut Post and is now co-managing editor of DFM’s Register Citizen in Torrington.

But it’s also a homecoming for Yuravich, who was city editor of The Register Citizen from 2004 to 2008, where he won first place national awards for front page design and breaking news coverage from Suburban Newspapers of America.

Yuravich started his career in 2002 as a sports reporter and copy editor for the Waterbury Republican-American.

He holds a bachelor’s degree in English from Boston College.

In his new job, Yuravich is overseeing a design center that will handle page design for Digital First Media’s newspapers in the region. One of his first tasks will be to help lead the New Haven Register through an upcoming print redesign and conversion to a new content management system.

Email Yuravich at Follow him on Twitter @albertyuravich.

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.


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 Follow him on Twitter @evanmlips.


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 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 Follow him on Twitter @tomrenner.

Robert Michelin, Michael Lyle join JRC Connecticut newsroom staff

9 Apr

Two Quinnipiac University graduates have joined Journal Register Co.’s newsroom staff in Connecticut.

Robert Michelin

Robert Michelin

Robert Michelin has been hired as a member of the Breaking News Team at the New Haven Register, responsible for editing and producing local, state and national news coverage for JRC’s three daily newspaper websites and mobile platforms in Connecticut and managing social media accounts.

He was previously a high school sports reporter for the Star-Ledger and NJ.Com in New Jersey, and before that covered local news for The Daily Voice in Westchester County, N.Y.

Michelin graduated from Quinnipiac in May 2011 with a bachelor’s degree in print journalism.

At Quinnipiac, he was sports section editor for the Quad News. He also worked as an intern for the Torrington Titans Atlantic Collegiate Baseball League team in 2010, and as an election night correspondent for the Associated Press.

Michael Lyle Jr. has been hired as a staff reporter for The Middletown Press.

Michael Lyle Jr.

Michael Lyle Jr.

He was previously a reporter for WQUN radio in Hamden, a production assistant for ESPN Radio in Bristol and an overnight news anchor at WTIC radio in Farmington.

Lyle is a four-time winner with of Associated Press Broadcasters Awards for his work with WQUN.

He holds a bachelor’s degree in journalism from Howard University in Washington, D.C., and a master’s degree in journalism from Quinnipiac.

Michelin can be reached at

Lyle can be reached at Follow him on Twitter @Lyle308.

Rachel Chinapen joins New Haven Register reporting staff

11 Mar

Rachel Chinapen joins the staff of the New Haven Register today as a staff reporter.

Rachel Chinapen

Rachel Chinapen

She is a graduate of Stony Brook University in New York, where she majored in journalism and sociology.

She previously served as an intern at Newsday.Com and Three Village Patch.

At the Register, she will work as a morning breaking news reporter and general assignment reporter focused on enterprise.

Contact Rachel Chinapen at Follow her on Twitter @RachelChinapen.

JRC Connecticut welcomes new reporters

26 Feb

Four new reporters have joined the staff of Journal Register Co. newspapers in Connecticut.

Ryan Flynn and Jessica Glenza have joined our newsroom at The Register Citizen in Torrington.

Alex Gecan has started work at The Middletown Press.

And Neal McNamara has joined the staff of the New Haven Register.

Ryan Flynn

Ryan Flynn

Flynn is a recent graduate of Southern Connecticut State University, where he served as sports editor of the Southern News. He also worked as an intern in the sports department of the Connecticut Post in Bridgeport.

He’ll be covering the Litchfield area for The Register Citizen and Litchfield County Times. Follow him on Twitter @RyFly12.

Glenza has worked for the past year and a half as a reporter for the Cortlandt Daily Voice in New York.

She is a summa cum laude graduate of the State University of New York in Purchase, where she received the Mike McKnickle Exellence in Journalism Award.

Jessica Glenza

Jessica Glenza

She’ll be covering Torrington schools and courts for The Register Citizen. Follow her on Twitter @JessicaGlenza.

Gecan worked most recently as web editor for Renaissance Publishing in Metairie, La. He is a former intern for The Trentonian in Trenton, N.J.

Alex Gecan

Alex Gecan

Gecan holds a bachelor’s degree in history and art from Tulane University in New Orleans and a master’s degree in journalism from Columbia University, where he trained at the Toni Stabile Center for Investigative Journalism.

He’ll be covering the city of Middletown for The Middletown Press. Follow him on Twitter @Stunati0201.

Neal McNamara

Neal McNamara

McNamara is a former New Haven Register reporter and editor who is returning after working as a reporter and editor in various parts of the country, including as a reporter for the Anderson Herald Bulletin in Anderson, Indiana, and Federal Way Mirror in Federal Way, Wash., as a news editor for City Pulse in Lansing, Mich., and as a content editor and marketing manager for ChefTools.Com in Seattle, Wash.

He is also a graduate of the State University of New York in Purchase. He is covering the city of Milford for the Register. Follow him on Twitter @Neal_McNamara.

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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