MERIDEN — The Record-Journal won 20 total awards, including three first-place awards for COVID-19 coverage, in the 2021 Excellence in Journalism contest sponsored by the Connecticut Society of Professional Journalists.
The three first-place COVID-19 awards were for reporter Mary Ellen Godin’s story on seniors struggling to schedule vaccinations, Kevin Markowski’s editorial cartoon titled “COVID holidays,” and a local series on COVID-19 vaccinations by reporters Jareliz Diaz, Mary Ellen Godin, Jesse Buchanan and Lauren Takores
Reporter Michael Gagne also won third-place in the COVID-Investigative category for his story on vaccine access expansion efforts in Meriden, and reporter Lauren Takores won third-place in the COVID-News category for her story on contact tracing.
Outside of COVID-19 coverage, Glenn Richter, an associate editor and columnist, won three awards posthumously. His columns “My beef with Mr. Harding” and “Is it me, or is it … ? Oh, it’s me” won first and second place, respectively, in the Humorous Column category. Richter also won second place in the Editorial category.
Editorial Page Editor Jeffery Kurz won both first place in the Editorial category and third place in the Diversity Coverage category.
The Record-Journal also took home second and third place in the Editorial Cartoon category, with cartoons by Markowski and Justin Piccirillo, respectively.
Photographer David Zajac won three awards in total for his photography, including first and third place in the Sports Photo category and second place in the Feature Photo category. Photographer Aaron Flaum also won both first and third place in the Feature Photo category.
Reporter Jesse Buchanan won first place in the Investigative category for his investigative piece on the debate surrounding an LGBTQ video shown in a Southington school.
Reporter Devin Leith-Yessian won second place in the Arts & Entertainment category for his article on remembering a local artist and sports editor Bryant Carpenter won third place in the Sports Feature category.
The Connecticut SPJ will host an outdoor event on June 25 to celebrate the winners at the Ansonia Nature Center pavilion from noon to 4 p.m.