Matt DeRienzo is group editor of Digital First Media's publications in Connecticut, including the New Haven Register, Middletown Press, Register Citizen and Connecticut Magazine. Contact him at email@example.com.
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- Reporters take on new beats at New Haven Register September 18, 2014The New Haven Register is shuffling some local reporting beats, and moving into new offices. After a year and a half covering the towns of East Haven and Branford, Evan Lips will move to the New Haven city hall beat. Before joining the Register, Lips was a reporter for our sister daily, The Sun of […]mattderienzo
- John Berry leaving Connecticut to be editor of The Trentonian June 25, 2014After two years as editor of The Register Citizen in Torrington and The Middletown Press, John Berry is leaving Connecticut to become editor of The Trentonian, a larger Digital First Media sister daily newspaper in New Jersey. John recruited a new team of editors and reporters and focused heavily on training and professional development in […]mattderienzo
- Andy Thibault honored with open government award June 19, 2014Andy Thibault, who has worked with The Register Citizen, Middletown Press and New Haven Register over the past two years as a columnist and contributing editor, was honored Wednesday with the Connecticut Council on Freedom of Information‘s Stephen A. Collins Award. According to CCFOI President Jim Smith, Thibault was instrumental in ensuring that the clemenc […]mattderienzo
- Digital First’s Connecticut newsrooms honored with SPJ awards May 23, 2014Reporters, photographers and editors at The New Haven Register, The Register Citizen, The Middletown Press and Connecticut Magazine were honored with 66 awards Thursday night at the annual Connecticut Society of Professional Journalists awards banquet. Recognition ranged from photo, video and interactive graphics to investigative and in-depth reporting, feat […]mattderienzo
- Kristin Stoller joins New Haven Register reporting staff May 19, 2014Kristin Stoller, a recent graduate of Penn State, has joined the staff of the New Haven Register as a breaking news reporter. Stoller most recently served as managing editor of The Daily Collegian at Penn State, previously working as metro editor, police/fire/courts reporter, municipal government reporter and Greeks reporter. She was a New Haven Register […] […]mattderienzo
- Angela Carter rejoins New Haven Register staff April 17, 2014Angela Carter is rejoining the staff of the New Haven Register as a senior web producer with its statewide Breaking News Team. Angi has worked for the past two years as a curator and features producer for “Thunderdome,” a Digital First Media national news operation that provided content to the company’s 75 daily newspaper websites. […]mattderienzo
- Wes Duplantier joins New Haven Register breaking news team April 11, 2014Wes Duplantier has joined the staff of the New Haven Register as assistant breaking news editor. He will help coordinate and write morning-shift coverage for our statewide breaking news team. Duplantier had worked as a breaking news reporter for the Connecticut Post in Bridgeport and Hearst’s dailies in Danbury, Greenwich and Stamford since September. Previo […]mattderienzo
- New Haven Register wins Best Sports Section, Writing awards April 8, 2014The New Haven Register has won first place in the Local Media Association’s annual journalism contest for both Best Sports Section and Best Sports Writing. Under the leadership of Sports Editor Sean Barker, the Register’s sports staff last year distinguished itself in coverage of the University of Connecticut women’s run to a national championship and […] […]mattderienzo
- Mark Brackenbury named Editor of the Year by Local Media Association April 8, 2014New Haven Register Managing Editor Mark Brackenbury has been named Editor of the Year by the Local Media Association, an organization representing hundreds of newspapers across the United States and Canada. Brackenbury was recognized for his distinguished career in Connecticut journalism as well as a remarkable recent tenure of leadership in which he guided […]mattderienzo
- Sean Carlin joins New Haven Register reporting staff April 7, 2014Sean Carlin has joined the New Haven Register’s reporting staff. Carlin graduated from Temple University in Fall 2013 with a double major in journalism and political science. At Temple, he worked as a reporter and news editor for The Temple News student newspaper. He has also worked as a city desk intern at both the […]mattderienzo
- Reporters take on new beats at New Haven Register September 18, 2014
I’ve accepted an invitation tomorrow night to be part of a panel of community leaders speaking at a community forum addressing racism and discrimination against Hispanic students in our city’s school system.
A good thing happened in Torrington, Conn., about two months ago. A new school superintendent arrived in town. At age 33, he is too young in the minds of many residents skeptical of the revolving door of past leaders spouting the latest education jargon but having negligible impact on student performance, graduation rates, etc.
But there is reason for hope with this guy. He is owning up to the school district’s problems. He is attacking them head-on. He is doing it with a policy of transparency.
Racism is a big, ugly elephant in the room here. One that most would be happy continuing to ignore.
The only reason it is rising to the level of community forums, a cynic would say, is that Hispanic kids got so tired of feeling unsafe that a rumor was spread that Hispanic gang members were coming to Torrington to retaliate. That put the police department into high alert, and caused a panic among white parents.
Imagine the panic that Hispanic parents feel every day in sending their kids to school in that kind of environment.
Except they don’t run the PTO. They aren’t represented on the school board. They are too new a community within our community, even, to have a cohesive voice or ability to organize.
They don’t have a voice, or don’t feel their voice is heard, our new superintendent says.
And that’s where he thinks – and I think – we can help.
When I arrived in Torrington as interim publisher two years ago, one of the first things I did was kill a zoned regional edition of our New Haven-based Spanish-language weekly, “Registro.”
Besides the fact that it lost a lot of money, Registro was a forced, traditional newspaper company attempt to exploit a “demographic.” The disconnect between the product and the community it purported to serve couldn’t have been larger.
If you think the one-way communication of traditional media is wrong-headed, imagine that, run by people who don’t have any connection to or understanding of the communication they are feeding readers, nor speak or read the language of that one-way communication.
In The Register Citizen, and its story comment section, the Hispanic community finds a mirror reflection of the culture where “teachers do nothing” and the community reacts only when the police sound the alarm about scary rumors of Hispanic gangs from the city.
How do we change that?
Well, I think I’ll start by asking that question tomorrow night.
But we need to back that up with a willingness to give voice to this community on its terms. To give up the traditional compulsion to control information and the way it is distributed. To offer a partnership that could give them a voice – and financial benefit – instead of viewing them as a “target demographic.”
Could be a very good thing, for us, for them, and for Torrington.