Record-Journal staff take home 22 awards in regional journalism competition

Record-Journal staff take home 22 awards in regional journalism competition

Record-Journal newsroom staff received 22 awards at the 2019 Connecticut Society of Professional Journalists awards dinner Thursday night.

The annual awards dinner was held at Casa Mia at the Hawthorne in Berlin. Categories were judged by other SPJ chapters across the country.

Record-Journal coverage of last year’s violent microburst storm was recognized for several awards, including first place for continuing coverage by Mary Ellen Godin, Matt Zabierek, Jeniece Roman, Bailey Wright, Devin Leith-Yessian and Lauren Sellew.

Dave Zajac won first-place in the feature photo category for “Mail roots” in the aftermath of the storm. Richie Rathsack won second-place in the news photo category for another photo reflecting storm damage. 

In the investigative reporting category, Matt Zabierek received first place for his reporting on complaints of misconduct against a Lyman Hall High School gym teacher.

Ashley Kus won first place in the “video storytelling” category for a feature video on the Christmas display at Cava restaurant in Southington. She won second place in the same category, while third place went to the Record-Journal’s Bailey Wright.

The newsroom also received first place for editorial cartoon for “Wallingford microburst hits twice” by Kevin Markowski. 

Zajac also took first place in the news photo category for a photo titled “Police train for a school shooting response,” as well as first place for “Powder Puff takedown” in the sports photo category.

First place for general column went to Jeffery Kurz for “We could sure use Lincoln today.”

First place was awarded to Richie Rathsack and Ron Rainey in the infographic design category for an interactive “Create your own budget” digital feature.

Here are the rest of the Record-Journal winners: 

Breaking News- Third Place

Police detonate pressure cooker found outside Israel Putnam School in Meriden; Bryan Lipiner, Lauren Sellew.

Diversity Coverage- Third Place

A year after Hurricane Maria, residents displaced from Puerto Rico still adjusting; Jeniece Roman.

Editorial- Second Place

Meriden School Readiness Council operated in secret; Jeffery Kurz

Editorial- Third Place

Keeping Sandy Hook investigation secret is inconsistent with democracy; Glenn Richter

Feature photo- Third Place

Up in the air with acro yoga; Richie Rathsack

Feature story- Second Place

Lost, but not forgotten: Meriden’s Vietnam casualties; Leigh Tauss

Health- Second Place

After surviving teenage suicide attempt, Wallingford woman creating awareness; Mary Ellen Godin

Investigative- Second Place

Scaife keeps in touch, on city’s dime; Leigh Tauss

Religion- Second Place

Florida couple hopes to establish Presbyterian church in Wallingford; Bailey Wright

Sports photo- Third Place

Catching some air during Snocross; Justin Weekes

Video storytelling- Second Place

Organist keeps music alive at Meriden church; Ashley Kus

Video storytelling- Third Place

Kidcity museum in Middletown; Bailey Wright