Tag Archives: Cape Cod Times

Torrington’s Register Citizen: Using community to remain relevant

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Matt DeRienzo has welcomed the community into his newsroom, unlocking the doors and letting them walk right in.

This hasn’t led to any security concerns, and he has only had to call the police once – when he spotted “a kid watching porn on one of our computers, and refused to leave,” DeRienzo said. (I was lucky enough to join some journalists from the Cape Cod Times for a tour of his Newsroom Café in Torrington, Connecticut  in March.)

Opening the doors means learning a lot about your community, he explained. He’s had a homeless man come in to use Google earth on one of the public computers to find a place to sleep.

When some of his staff complained about the homeless using the space in the winter, DeRienzo said he pushed back. “I will address the issue if there is a smell, but not the fact there is a homeless person here.”

Besides, he added “it’s noisiest when my kids are here.”

DeRienzo opened the Register Citizen‘s News Café in December, 2010. To do this, he moved his newsroom to a new location (an abandoned ball bearing and sewing machine parts factory) in downtown Torrington, with an eye to a place that could host a space “for coffee and pastries.”

In this setting, the front door is unlocked, from 7 a.m. to 7 p.m. on weekdays. There is no reception or security desk. But it is one of three locations in town with free wifi.

The public can – and has – walked in and talked to a reporter about a story. Sometimes this is a good thing, DeRienzo said, it can result in story leads. Other times, people have to be reminded they’ve made their point, and that reporters have a job to do.

Continue reading Torrington’s Register Citizen: Using community to remain relevant

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How outing a fabricating reporter illustrates the importance of integrity, trust

Photo by Flickr user Dr. Andre
Photo by Flickr user Dr. Andre

This week, the Cape Cod Times issued an apology to its readers for the work of one of its reporters, Karen Jeffrey.

“There is an implied contract between a newspaper and its readers. The paper prints the truth. Readers believe that it’s true,” the paper’s publisher Peter Meyer and Editor Paul Pronovost wrote. “… so it is with heavy heart that we tell you the Cape Cod Times has broken that trust. An internal review has found that one of our reporters wrote dozens of stories that included one or more sources who do not exist.”

The paper did an internal audit of some of the stories written by Jeffrey, who had been with  (“She no longer works for the Cape Cod Times,” her former employers wrote) since 1981. It was unable to verify identities for 69 people in 34 stories dating back to 1998, when it began keeping electronic versions of its stories.

Continue reading How outing a fabricating reporter illustrates the importance of integrity, trust