Bringing the Outside In: Newsroom Cafe and more in Torrington, Connecticut

What does a “digital first, print last” newsroom look like?

I’m pleased, following months of work and planning behind the scenes, to be able to share with you this announcement from Journal Register Company. After 110 years in (literally) our ink-stained, print edition-focused building in Torrington, Connecticut, The Register Citizen is moving to new offices that reflect how much our business model has changed.

The centerpiece is a Newsroom Cafe, with no walls separating the public from reporters and editors. Incorporated into the space is also a Community Media Lab, the opening of 120 years of newspaper archives for easy and free public access, and the creation of a Community Journalism School.

Read our local story about the move here, or for more about the whole project, visit

And for an excellent, comprehensive overview of how we got to this point, see Journal Register Company CEO John Paton’s amazing presentation today to the INMA Transformation of News Summit at Harvard.


About mattderienzo

Matt DeRienzo has worked for more than 20 years as a reporter, editor, publisher and corporate editorial director and has been recognized nationally for leading newsroom innovation. He teaches journalism at Quinnipiac University, writes a monthly column for Editor & Publisher magazine, and serves as interim executive director of LION Publishers, a national network of local independent online news site publishers. Previously, he served as group editor of Digital First Media's publications in Connecticut, including the New Haven Register, Middletown Press, Register Citizen and Connecticut Magazine, and Northeast regional editor for Digital First Media. He also served as publisher of The Register Citizen, Middletown Press and a group of weeklies in Northwest Connecticut, and before that was corporate director of news for small dailies and non-daily publications for the former Journal Register Company. In early 2011, The Register Citizen was named one of Editor & Publisher magazine's "10 Newspapers That Do It Right," and DeRienzo was named to its annual "25 Under 35" list of leaders in the newspaper industry. In the fall of 2011, The Register Citizen was awarded the Associated Press Managing Editors Innovator of the Year Award in recognition of The Register Citizen Newsroom Cafe, an "open newsroom" launched in Torrington, Connecticut, in December 2010. He led a team of more than 100 journalists in covering the Sandy Hook Elementary School shooting in late 2012 and 2013, and has been honored for his editorial writing and leadership of public service and investigative reporting. In 2014, his efforts at the New Haven Register were recognized with the APME's and ASNE's Robert C. McGruder Award for Leadership in Newsroom Diversity. DeRienzo is a former longtime board member of the United Way of Northwest Connecticut, and served as co-chairman of the United Way's annual fundraising campaign in 2009 and again in 2011. In 2011, he received the organization's Lifetime Achievement Award.
This entry was posted in John Paton, Journal Register Company, The Register Citizen, Torrington. Bookmark the permalink.

2 Responses to Bringing the Outside In: Newsroom Cafe and more in Torrington, Connecticut

  1. Mike Barlow says:

    Very cool! I wish that one of the several daily newspapers I worked for back in the old days had thought of doing this. Good luck and happy trails!

  2. Pingback: Inside the engagement experiments at the Register-Citizen « joy mayer

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