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Reporter Steve Jensen on the New Year

If an ability to see situations from both sides of the fence is one requisite for a reporter, I guess I’ve got that part of the job covered. 

After earning my journalism degree back in the media Stone Age of the early 1980s when you might still find a typewriter in a newsroom, I spent 13 years writing for the Journal Inquirer of Manchester and then the Hartford Courant, specializing in crime reporting. 

An unexpected offer in 1997 led to two decades as a state media spokesman, mainly for one of the most respected elected officials by both sides of the aisle in recent memory – former State Comptroller and Lieutenant Governor Nancy Wyman. 

Now back on the other side of the pen, I think my diverse background informs my reporting and writing with the experience of being both a taxpayer-paid public employee and a journalist seeking to shine light into the often-murky corners of state and local government. 

And since I came on board here in September, that has helped shape my perspective on stories including the role that state employees hired as political appointees play in the Governor’s administration; how one such appointee sued after being fired for trying to blow the whistle on his superiors; turmoil in the ranks of the New London police department; scandal at a public-utility cooperative in Norwich, and the handling of an investigation into the puzzling death of a Lyme show horse by the state Department of Agriculture, where I worked for four years. 

My stint at the agriculture department, and especially my lifelong pursuit of all things outdoors, also plays into my love for writing about places and happenings in the natural world.

In my brief time at CT Examiner, I’ve had the professional and admittedly personal pleasure of motoring on an oyster boat in the Thimble Islands; seeing sunrise with a group of goose hunters in a cornstalk blind in North Franklin; watching bald eagles hunt in the McKinney Wildlife Refuge in Guilford, and cruising the Connecticut River during the final hours of the long career of the Captain of the historic Chester-Hadlyme Ferry. 

It’s definitely no coincidence that I’ve lived for the last 18 years in the peaceful woods of Hadlyme maybe a mile from the ferry, where I am still awed by the beauty and wildlife of the area. 

Here’s to hoping 2022 continues to produce such a varied array of topics for me to explore with our readers, and for readers to send me ideas for stories that you’d like to see brought to life – from whatever side of the fence you view it.  

Happy New Year! 

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