Dear Friend,

I am delighted to share with you the first progress report for The Connecticut Mirror, the independent non-profit, non-partisan news organization that launched on January 25, 2010 at This report comes earlier than we anticipated because we have enjoyed even more progress than our most optimistic predictions.

In addition to building a core digital readership on our web site and through Facebook, Twitter, mobile devices and affiliated web sites, we have already licensed our content to a number of Connecticut newspapers whose aggregate daily print circulation exceeds 100,000. Newspaper partners to date include The Bristol Press, Identidad Latina, the Manchester Journal-Inquirer, the Meriden Record-Journal, the New Britain Herald, The Newtown Bee, and the Norwalk Hour.

Our news staff has increased with the addition of another accomplished reporter. Keith Phaneuf, a longtime Capitol reporter with expertise in state budget issues, recently joined the team of Mark Pazniokas, Capitol Bureau Chief; Robert Frahm, education reporter; and Jacqueline Rabe, general assignment reporter. Under the leadership of Editor Michael Regan, our news team has markedly enhanced state government transparency and accountability through their in-depth coverage of critical state issues, and their stories have circulated throughout the state, online and in print. The Connecticut Mirror is quickly becoming part of your daily “must read,” an indispensable source for news and information about the policies and decisions that will affect life in Connecticut now and for years to come.

In addition to attracting talented staff, we have been very fortunate to continue to attract extraordinary people to both our board of directors and our “Friends of the Connecticut News Project” advisory group. Julie Belaga has joined The Connecticut News Project’s distinguished board of directors. She currently serves on the Boards of Connecticut Fund for the Environment/Save the Sound, National Audubon Connecticut, and the Westport Public Library, and was Co-Chair of the Connecticut League of Conservation and a co-founder of the CT League of Conservation Voters. Julie was the Republican candidate for Governor in 1986, having represented Westport from 1976 to 1986 in the Connecticut House of Representatives, and serving as Deputy Majority Leader.

Our “Friends of The Connecticut News Project” advisory group now includes Scott Brohinsky, Don DeCesare and Judge Alan Nevas. Scott recently retired from the University of Connecticut as Director of University Relations. Don, former Chairman of the Connecticut Association of Broadcasters, is President and General Manager of radio stations WLIS and WMRD. Alan, a retired United States District Court Judge, currently is of counsel at the Westport law firm Levett Rockwood PC.

In addition to the early and generous support of our foundations – Community Foundation for Greater New Haven, Hartford Foundation for Public Giving, the John S. and James L. Knight Foundation, as part of its Knight Community Information Challenge, Melville Charitable Trust, San Francisco Foundation, Seedlings Foundation, and the William Caspar Graustein Memorial Fund — we are grateful to the many individual donors who have supported us as charter sponsors.

This is only the beginning! We continue to seek funding to increase our reporting staff in order to expand our news coverage of healthcare, the courts, our Congressional delegation, and other state government and public policy “beats” that affect our communities and our families no matter where we live in Connecticut.

Learn more about how you as an individual, business, nonprofit, or foundation leader can support us, or how your media or community organization can become a partner, by contacting me at 860-218-6380 or at If you’d like to make a secure tax-deductible donation, please visit our supporters page.

We have big plans for this crucial 2010 year and they all revolve around independent non-partisan news coverage of state government, public policy and politics and wide dissemination of news and background information to Connecticut residents through diverse technologies, platforms, forums, languages and community organizations. And we intend to keep you up to date on our progress and plans for the future.

Look in The Mirror! And please forward this newsletter to friends and family who share your interest in high quality journalism. Thank you.


Jim Cutie
Chief Operating Officer