CT Mirror Staff
The Connecticut Mirror staff consists of staff reporters and editors based in Hartford, as well as contributors around the state. If you have a news tip, submit it here or contact a specific reporter.
Brett Orzechowski, CEO/Publisher
Brett was appointed CEO/Publisher in August 2013. He previously taught journalism at Quinnipiac University with a particular emphasis on reporting stories using nonlinear, interactive digital media, and public affairs reporting with a focus on data and analytics. Brett was also co-creator of the Media Innovation Collaborative (MIC) at Quinnipiac, an interdisciplinary effort by the Schools of Business and Communications designed to equip students with multimedia and entrepreneurial skills. During its formative stages, the MIC incubator fostered 26 media-based businesses with 17 incorporated, of which six secured external start-up capital. Earlier, he was a digital editor and producer at the New Haven Register with 15 state, regional and national awards to his credit.
Claude Albert, Editor
Claude is a former managing editor of The Hartford Courant, where he held a variety of leadership posts overseeing most aspects of the newsroom. He also took a leading role in adapting the skills and culture of the newsroom to digital publishing. He has extensive experience editing in-depth journalism and leading initiatives focused on strategic planning, diversity and staff development.
Mark Pazniokas, Capitol Bureau Chief
Mark is a former staff writer for The Hartford Courant and Journal Inquirer and a former contributing writer for The New York Times. In 35 years as a reporter, he has covered some of the most compelling political stories in the state, including the impeachment inquiry and resignation of Gov. John G. Rowland in 2004, the nationally watched Senate race won by Sen. Joseph I. Lieberman as an independent in 2006, and Linda McMahon's efforts to remake campaigning in Connecticut by spending $100 million on runs for U.S. Senate in 2010 and 2012. The Washington Post included Mark on its list of best state capitol reporters in the U.S. is 2014. Mark is a graduate of Boston University.
Keith Phaneuf, Budget Reporter
Keith, with Jacqueline Rabe Thomas, won first prize in investigative reporting from the Education Writers Association in 2012 for a series of stories on the Board of Regents for Higher Education. The former State Capitol bureau chief for The Journal Inquirer of Manchester, Keith has spent most of 24 years as a reporter specializing in state government finances, analyzing such topics as income tax equity, waste in government and the complex funding systems behind Connecticut's transportation and social services networks. A former contributing writer to The New York Times, Keith is a graduate of and a former journalism instructor at the University of Connecticut.
Jacqueline Rabe Thomas, Education and children's issues reporter
Jacqueline won two first prizes from the national Education Writers Association for her work in 2012 – one in beat reporting for her overall education coverage, and the other, with Keith Phaneuf, in investigative reporting on a series of stories revealing questionable monetary and personnel actions taken by the Board of Regents for Higher Education. Before coming to The Mirror, Jacqueline was a reporter, online editor and website developer for The Washington Post Co.'s Maryland newspaper chains. She has also worked for Congressional Quarterly and the Toledo Free Press. A graduate of Bowling Green State University, Jacqueline is in the public policy master’s program at Trinity College.
Arielle Levin Becker, Health Reporter
Arielle Levin Becker covers health care for The Connecticut Mirror. She previously worked for The Hartford Courant, most recently as its health reporter, and has also covered small towns, courts and education in Connecticut and New Jersey. She was a finalist in 2009 for the prestigious Livingston Award for Young Journalists, a recipient of a Knight Science Journalism Fellowship and the third-place winner in 2013 for an in-depth piece on caregivers from the National Association of Health Journalists. She is a 2004 graduate of Yale University.
Ana Radelat, Washington Correspondent
Ana is a longtime Washington correspondent who has won numerous awards, including from The Associated Press and Gannett, has written for more than a dozen newspapers, including USAToday; The (Jackson, Miss.) Clarion-Ledger; the Shreveport (La.) Times; and the Montgomery (Ala.) Advertiser. She’s also been a regular contributor to other publications, including the Miami Herald and Advertising Age. Some of the stories Ana has broken focused on the strategies of disgraced lobbyist Jack Abramoff, former Sen. Trent Lott’s fall from power and questionable Hurricane Katrina contracts. Ana is a graduate of the University of Maryland School of Journalism.
Alvin Chang, Data editor
Alvin specializes in interactive storytelling at the intersection of narrative and data. Prior to The Mirror, he was a data visualization developer at the Boston Globe. He has also covered the NHL for ESPN with a metrics-driven approach, and contributed to the New York Observer, Kansas City Star and Boston Globe Magazine. He also co-founded The Listserve, a project exploring collaborative storytelling. A Kansas native, he holds a master's degree from New York University in interactive art. He has won multiple awards from the Society of News Design and the Online News Association.
Jan Ellen Spiegel, Environmental reporter
Jan has won awards for her reporting on energy, environment and food and agriculture. In 2013 she was the recipient of a Knight Journalism Fellowship at MIT on energy and climate. She is a former editor at The Hartford Courant, where she handled national politics including coverage of the controversial 2000 and 2004 presidential elections. As a freelance reporter, her stories have appeared in The New York Times, The Boston Globe, and elsewhere. She was an editor at the Gazette in Colorado Springs and spent more than 20 years as a TV and radio producer at CBS News and CNN in New York and in the Boston broadcast market. She graduated from the University of Michigan and attended Boston University’s graduate film program.
Paul Stern, Assistant editor
Paul has more than 40 years of journalism experience in New Jersey, Florida and Connecticut. He worked 22 years at the Hartford Courant in various editing roles including deputy state editor, assistant editor of Northeast Magazine, and at Courant.com. He earned his bachelor’s degree from Rutgers in 1972; and, in 2010, completed a training program in culinary arts at Manchester Community College. He is the founder of the Hartford Courant Alumni Association and Refugee Camp blog.