The Stories Behind the Big Stories of 2022

For the seventh year, the Connecticut Foundation for Open Government held a panel discussion of top Connecticut journalists telling how they landed the major news stories in the state in the past year.

The event, “The Stories Behind the Big Stories of 2022,” on Thursday, Feb. 9 at 5 p.m. was held at the Elmwood Community Center in West Hartford.

The discussion was moderated by Leslie Mayes, a reporter and anchor for NBC Connecticut. The panelists were:

  • David Collins, a columnist for The Day of New London
  • Shannon Miller, a reporter and anchor for NBC Connecticut
  • John Penney, a reporter for The Norwich Bulletin
  • Alex Putterman, a reporter for Hearst Connecticut Media and CT Insider
  • Walter Smith Randolph, the investigative editor and director of The Accountability Project at Connecticut Public

The journalists discussed the major stories they broke in 2022, including Collins’ use of the state Freedom of Information Act to uncover ethical breaches and cost overruns at the Connecticut Port Authority. Miller described her coverage of the Richard Dabate murder trial and the Alex Jones trial.

Penney described what it took to cover the controversy in Killingly about a school-based mental health clinic. Putterman talked about his story on the way schools in wealthy Connecticut towns dominate high school sports championships as well as Hearst’s project on the use of restraints in public schools.

Smith Randolph discussed an FOI controversy in Avon, where the town has refused to let the public see a document describing incidents involving a former police chief.

The event was sponsored by CFOG, which is a nonprofit organization 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.