Cutting the Heart and Soul from The Courant

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The latest Hartford Courant layoffs were announced last night – political reporter Mark Pazniokas is among those cut from the newspaper. We’ve been told these names as well – please correct us if we have anything wrong: Jesse Hamilton of the Washington bureau,  Religion Reporter Elizabeth Hamilton, Business Reporter Robin Stansbury, Environment Reporter David Funkhouser, reporters  Steve Grant and Anna Marie Somma, sportswriter Matt Eagan,  itowns editor Loretta Waldman, itowns reporter Nancy Lastrina, administrative assistant Judy Prato, Marge Ruschau, Features copy editors Adele Angle and David Wakefield, and library staffer & researcher Owen Walker.

We’re told that editor/reporter Kate Farrish resigned earlier this week as did editor John Ferraro.

Denis Horgan is calling it the Mardi Gras Massacre.

Paul Bass has more in the New Haven Independent.

From an insider: Investigative editor John Ferraro guided and edited the two series that won back-to-back Sevellon Brown Public Service Awards from the New England Associated Press News Executives Association, a highly prestigious award the Courant received in 2008 for “No Haven for the Elderly”–an investigative series by Lisa Chedekel and Lynne Tuohy on Haven Healthcare, and in 2007 for “Unfit to Fight,” the series by Lisa Chedekel and Matt Kauffman on soldiers with mental and emotional defects that were redeployed to Iraq.
Mark Pazniokas was awarded “Reporter of the Year” at the Courant’s last in-house Warner Awards in March 2008, in addition to numerous other awards he’s received over the years for his political coverage.

17 COMMENTS

  1. Now that The Courant has laid off its best reporter, Mark Pazniokas, it’s conceding its own demise. All these layoffs are tragic, but what’s striking is the number of prominent reporters with important — one could say indispensible — beats. The Courant will no longer cover politics, the environment, religion?

  2. First Hladkey, now Pazniokas. Keating and a few others hold down the fort but how many stories can one person write in one day?

    Let’s face it, pretty soon we’ll be reading verbatim press releases from the Governor’s office and those of _____(put name of elected appointed official here).

    Pretty soon we’re not going to have to worry about a “free” press. Just any press.

  3. The loss of these reporters is more than a blow to the Courant – it is a blow to Connecticut.

    Most of these people have made a profound impact and their loss will be felt each and every day.

    At the end of the day, the real issue is this – Paz (and many of these other reporters) are extremely experienced, knowledgeable and talented reporter. He (and the others) have made a profound difference – at the Courant and for Connecticut.

    The bottom line is that he and the others won’t be working at the Courant and that is a huge loss for the Courant, for Connecticut and for every single person who calls Connecticut home.

    While there are still some good people at the Courant, the Courant of old is no more. Losing Paz (and the others) is more then losing great reporters, it is a also a symbol of the Courant’s decision to walk away from its heritage and its legacy.

    The Courant of old is no more.