Saturday, January 1, 2011

LATEST COLUMN: Community, transparency are Register Citizen themes for 2011

If you have yet to visit The Register Citizen’s new offices at 59 Field Street in Torrington, stop by, ask for a quick tour. You’ll understand how much things have changed for Northwest Connecticut’s local newspaper since January 1 of last year. And you’ll catch a glimpse, we hope, of what we mean by a “digital first” and “community first” approach to local news.

Monday, December 6, 2010

A case for Torrington as Connecticut's Christmas capital

My 3-and-a-half-year-old daughter "gets" Christmas for the first time this year, and the excitement is building.
She decided that Christmas was finally coming last night when she saw the first real snow of the year. She started singing "Jingle Bells," and pointed out every set of storefront Christmas lights on our drive through town.
Then we drove by the famous "Christmas House," and, unplanned, stopped, got a closer look, and went inside. She was blown away, and I was blown away. It was magical, even for an adult, and a stick-with-you-for-a-lifetime experience for a child.
Reading RegisterCitizen.Com later that night, I came to this firm conclusion:

Torrington is the Christmas capital of Connecticut.

Sorry, Bethlehem.
But Torrington has the snow.
Torrington has the Christmas House, which to the unfamiliar, is the home of a private resident who has gone over-the-top nuts decorating the outside and inside of his home with Christmas light displays, Nativity scenes, moving Santa Claus figurines, rooms full of nutcrackers, snow globes, running train sets and more.
Torrington has Christmas Village, which opened for its 63rd year yesterday and features Santa and Mrs. Claus and live reindeer, and has delighted generations of children in Northwest Connecticut.
Torrington has the 1900 Hotchkiss-Fyler House Museum, which is decorated in turn-of-the-century Christmas style and offers tours throughout the season.
Torrington has the world-class Nutmeg School of Ballet and its annual production of "The Nutcracker" at the historic and beautiful Warner Theatre.
The Warner Theatre has a bunch of other Christmas programs on the schedule also, including "The Best Christmas Pageant Ever" and "A Very Merry Doo Wop Spectacular."
Torrington has the amazing "Christmas Angelicus" concert at Trinity Episcopal Church Dec. 19.
Plus, the downtown and Coe Memorial Park are decked out in lights.
Don't forget ice skating at Major Besse Field, and one of the best sledding hills around.
And shopping.
Torrington has Christmas shopping opportunities galore. There's East Main Street, and every big box store you could need, of course, but there are more small business shopping opportunities this year in our beautiful downtown.
Main Street mainstays such as Libby's Torrington Furniture, one of the best small toy stores in the state, Toy Jam, newcomers such as Barking Dog Guitar Traders and Bender Showrooms, and "shopping experiences" such as Brazen Betties, where you're bound to see something that presents a unique gift opportunity.
Come for Christmas Village and the Christmas House, enjoy the snowy scenery of the Litchfield Hills and check some hard-to-buy-for people off your shopping list.
And tell me if there's another community in Connecticut that has this much to offer for Christmas.

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City Views to discuss Register Citizen Newsroom Cafe project

I will be a guest on Tim Driscoll's and Sam Slaiby's "City Views" cable TV call-in program at 7:30 p.m. Tuesday (Dec. 7) on local Cablevision Channel 5 to discuss The Register Citizen's Newsroom Cafe project.
We'll see about possibly getting it live-streamed on RegisterCitizen.Com as well, for those of you who do not have cable or live outside Channel 5's coverage area.
Please call in with your questions.

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Sunday, December 5, 2010

Register Citizen's Newsroom Cafe concept turns heads

Our announcement on Thursday about The Register Citizen moving its offices to 59 Field Street, with an "Open Newsroom" concept that welcomes the community to be part of the process of local journalism at any step in the process, got lots of attention within the newspaper industry.
Here's a roundup of some of the coverage, in case you missed it:

- From Bud Wilkinson's blog, "Two kinds of tips at Newsroom Cafe?"

- From the Republican-American (most of the article is behind a pay wall), "Register Citizen to move headquarters"

- Journal Register Company CEO John Paton's presentation at the Transformation of News Summit, "Channeling Change"

- From Hartford Business Journal, "Torrington paper to offer newsroom cafe"

- From Hartford Courant columnist Rick Green, "Cup of Joe with that news story?"

Finally, there's lots more on our Newsroom Cafe and related new office plans at RegisterCitizen.Com/newsroomcafe, and we'll be updating with more details as the date of our move approaches and in the weeks following our opening.

Any questions or ideas, please feel free to call me at 860-489-1877, email me at or find me on Twitter at Twitter.Com/mattderienzo.


LATEST COLUMN: Come by for coffee, and a lot more

Well, in case you missed our announcement yesterday, The Register Citizen will be moving its offices in a few weeks. We’re not going far, to 59 Field Street, just down the street and around the corner from our longtime headquarters on Water Street. But we’ve come a long way. The Register Citizen has published from its building on Water Street for 110 years. And for 108 years or so, the business model was pretty much the same.


Thursday, November 4, 2010

Job openings at The Register Citizen

Are you or someone you know interested in working for us?

It's a good time to talk to us. We have the following openings (click on each for more information):

Monday, November 1, 2010

LATEST COLUMN: Our approach to correcting mistakes

Recently I updated you on the “Fact Check” program that we launched on RegisterCitizen.Com, enabling readers to easily report, at the bottom of every story we publish, factual errrors that they notice.
It’s part of an effort to improve accuracy and transparency about how we handle news reporting in The Register Citizen.
Another step that we recently took is to publish a formal corrections policy on our website, and to print corrections on the site on a special page, in addition to correcting them within the stories themselves and in print.


Saturday, October 16, 2010

LATEST COLUMN: Fact Check program about accountability, transparency in local news

Fact Check program about accountability, transparency in local news reporting
Since launching an easy-to-use online “Fact Check” form in May, readers have made well over 100 reports to us about local news stories that contained incorrect information, lacked context to the point of being misleading, or missed the “real point” of the story altogether.


Thursday, October 14, 2010

LATEST COLUMN: I'm buying in, literally, to downtown's potential

I'm buying in, literally, to downtown's potential
Never before has $200 given me such a feeling of empowerment.
Like most of you, I am tired of driving past empty storefronts and buildings falling into disrepair on Water Street every day.
And like most of you, I felt helpless when the Torrington Twisters were purchased by an out-of-state person two years ago and moved to Massachusetts.

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Thursday, September 16, 2010

Sound Off to feature live chat

The Register Citizen's popular Sound Off feature will evolve next week with the start of a weekly "live chat" feature.

The chat will allow readers to discuss and/or debate the issues of the day in real time, and to interact with Register Citizen staff about topics in the news and how the newspaper approaches its coverage and website management.

The chats are free and open to anyone — no registration required.

To participate, log on to the Sound Off between 7 and 8 p.m. on any Wednesday, beginning Sept. 22.

One question still unresolved - and up to you, the readers - is whether we will choose one hot topic a week to discuss, or keep the discussion wide-ranging, similar to the basic Sound Off concept.

CLICK HERE to vote in our survey on which topic our first chat should cover.