How to sum up the past two years?.. Well over 1,800 stories, 1,500,000 words, the rough equivalent of 15 novels. Our coverage has expanded significantly to include Hartford, and our readership to include a loyal following in Washington, D.C. and New York City.
In just the last week, writing in CT Examiner has been featured in Real Clear Policy, blogged in Fishery Nation and by the United Farm Workers, linked or referenced in USA Today, Connecticut Public broadcasting, and Stamford Advocate. We’ve had one threat of legal action (ignored), fielded an email from Koch Industries and personal calls for help from a parent facing a bullying issue in the schools, and a homeowner on Hartford Ave in Old Lyme who can’t get in and out of her driveway after the installation of new curbing and sidewalks.
A few weeks ago, at the New England Newspaper & Press Association’s annual awards, we took home eight awards – two first place awards, five seconds, and one third — not bad for our first outing.
Although I haven’t gotten nearly as much writing done as I’d like, I still managed to take home two firsts, for “Editorial Writing,” and for “Food Page or Section.” Cate Hewitt won two seconds, for “History Reporting,” and for “Arts & Entertainment Reporting,” and shared another with me for “Right-to-Know” reporting on the Connecticut Port Authority. Emilia Otte took second for her “Local Personality Profile” — it was piece that actually got her the job — and Julia Werth took two thirds, a “Racial or Ethnic Issue Coverage” award for her reporting on curriculum changes in the wake of BLM protests, and a “Right-to-Know” award for her coverage of questionable Open Choice budgeting.
We also have a couple of personnel changes to announce — Julia Werth, who has worked part time since returning from her maternity leave, is taking on the role of associate editor for the opinion page. Cate Hewitt, who is technically employee number one, has been named deputy editor, technically my number two.
Anna Elizabeth is now coming on fulltime to work as our capitol reporter — after she returns from her honeymoon. Emilia Otte will continue her exceptional coverage of health and education and Brendan Crowley his coverage of energy. Brendan will lead our reporting on offshore wind out of Bridgeport and New London — something that promises to be a huge story over the next few years.
Altogether a lot of bling for a small publication, but richly deserved.
And looking forward to year three? After months of covering lawmakers in Hartford hashing out the budget, and deciding what to do with an extra $2.8 billion, over the next year we plan to put that spending under a microscope. Expect also a significantly improved opinion section — still something of a work in progress — over the coming months, including a markedly more vocal editorial stance. Thanks to you for sharing the last years with us.
Compliments, criticism, suggestions? gregory.stroud@ctexaminer