RJ Wins 20 Awards in Connecticut’s SPJ Competition


MERIDEN — The Record-Journal won a total of 20 awards, including three first-place awards for coverage of COVID-19, in the 2021 Excellence in Journalism competition sponsored by the Connecticut Society of Professional Journalists.

The top three COVID-19 awards were for journalist Mary Ellen Godin’s story about older people struggling to schedule vaccinations, Kevin Markowski’s editorial cartoon titled ‘COVID Vacation’ and a local series on COVID vaccinations. -19 by journalists Jareliz Diaz, Mary Ellen Godin, Jesse Buchanan and Lauren Takores

Journalist Michael Gagne also won third place in the COVID-Investigative category for his story on efforts to expand vaccine access in Meriden, and journalist Lauren Takores won third place in the COVID-News category. for his article on contact tracing.

Outside of COVID-19 coverage, Associate Editor and Columnist Glenn Richter has won three posthumous awards. His “My beef with Mr. Harding” and “Is it me, or is it…?” columns. Oh, That’s Me” won first and second place respectively in the Humorous Column category. Richter also won second place in the editorial category.

Editorial Page Editor Jeffery Kurz won first place in the Editorial category and third place in the Diversity Coverage category.

The Record-Journal also won second and third place in the Editorial Cartoons category, with cartoons by Markowski and Justin Piccirillo, respectively.

Photographer David Zajac won three awards in total for his photography, including first and third place in the Sports Photo category and second place in the Feature Photo category. Photographer Aaron Flaum also won first and third place in the Feature Photo category.

Journalist Jesse Buchanan won first place in the Investigative category for his investigative piece on the debate surrounding an LGBTQ video played at a Southington school.

Journalist Devin Leith-Yessian won second place in the Arts & Entertainment category for his story about remembering a local artist and sportswriter Bryant Carpenter won third place in the Sports Feature category.

The Connecticut SPJ will host an outdoor event on June 25 to celebrate the winners at the Ansonia Nature Center Pavilion from noon to 4 p.m.


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