CFOG Presents: The Stories Behind the Biggest Stories of 2021

For the sixth straight year, the Connecticut Foundation for Open Government (CFOG) will convene a panel of top Connecticut journalists discussing how they landed the major news stories of 2021.

This year’s stories include the misuse of federal relief funds, the legalization of marijuana and sports betting, juvenile justice, alleged nepotism in state employment, the COVID-19 pandemic, domestic violence and lead poisoning in children.

The event, “The Stories Behind the Biggest Stories of 2021,” will be held via Zoom on Monday, Jan. 31 from 7 p.m. to 8:30 p.m.

“It’s always fascinating to hear how skilled journalists overcome the normal challenges they face in delivering the news to the public, including bad weather or reluctant sources,” William S. Fish, Jr., president of CFOG and a partner of the law firm of Hinckley Allen, said. “This past year, staff shortages and the continuing COVID-19 pandemic made for added barriers for the reporters who were trying to break stories for their readers and viewers.”

The panel discussion will be moderated by Leslie Mayes, a reporter for NBC Connecticut and host of “Connecticut In Color,’’ a program that engages Connecticut residents in conversations about race, ethnicity and gender.

The panel will feature Jenifer Frank, a contributing writer for the Connecticut Health Investigative Team; Investigative Reporter Andrew Brown of The CT Mirror; Kasturi Pananjady, a former data reporter for The Mirror who is now with The Philadelphia Inquirer; Political Reporter Daniela Altimari and columnist Kevin Rennie, both of the Hartford Courant; and Investigative Reporter Clare Dignan of Hearst Connecticut Media.

The event is a fundraiser for CFOG, which is a nonprofit corporation founded in 1991 by citizens of Connecticut interested in promoting open government and the public’s right-to-know. Its programs are carried out by a volunteer board of directors drawn from the news media, academia, the law, business and government.

The panel discussion is sure to be fascinating for journalists, college students, business and government leaders and residents who are interested in the behind-the-scenes work of journalists.

The event is free, but registration is required. To register, visit Contributions of $10, $25 or $50 are welcome and will support the work of CFOG. To make a tax-deductible donation, click on the yellow “Donate” button at the top right of the page. Staff members from Hinckley Allen will provide technical support for the event and provide a Zoom link to those who have registered.