The Connecticut News Project’s fellowship program has graduated three talented journalists in the past two years.

While The Connecticut Mirror,, is best known for its 4,000+ reliable and objective stories, a body of work that exemplifies the best in non-partisan public policy journalism, one of the other accomplishments in which we take great pride is our fellowship mentoring program. In addition to our mission to inform and engage one Connecticut, we also set out to help train the next generation of journalists.

We established a unique twelve-month multi-media fellowship with support from the John S. and James L. Knight Foundation, the Hartford Foundation for Public Giving and the Community Foundation for Greater New Haven.  So far, it has enabled three talented young journalists to gain skills in covering state and local government and radio news by working over the course of a year at The Mirror, the New Haven Independent, and public radio station WNPR.

Our first fellow was Uma Ramiah. Now concluding her assignment as The Mirror’s human services reporter, Uma graduated the program in September 2011 and became the first holder of the Hohler Senior Fellowship, created in the memory of Bob Hohler, a founding CNP board member and executive director of The Melville Charitable Trust. Uma has a bachelor’s degree from the University of Minnesota and a master’s degree from Yale. She also attended the University Cheikh Anta Diop in Dakar, Senegal. She worked in Dakar as a research intern for Human Rights Watch in 2005-2006 and as a reporting intern for the U. N. Integrated Regional Information Network in 2007.  During her fellowship year Uma covered statewide issues for The Mirror, local issues for the New Haven Independent and a combination of both for WNPR.

Neena Satija is currently a participant in The Mirror’s fellowship and will graduate the program in June, 2012 to become the multi-platform environment reporter for both WNPR and The Mirror.  She spent her fellowship year reporting at The Mirror, WNPR/ Connecticut Public Radio and the New Haven Independent.  Before joining The Mirror, Neena worked as a general assignment reporter at the Toledo Blade in Ohio and at the Dallas Morning News. She also worked as a health/science reporter at the Boston Globe. Neena graduated from Yale University in May 2011 with a degree in English. Originally from the Washington, D.C., area, Neena lives in New Haven.

Caitlin Emma graduated the fellowship program in April 2012, and has taken a position as web editor at Politico in Washington, D.C. Caitlin received her bachelor’s degree in honors journalism and political science from University of Connecticut in 2011. Prior to that, she worked for eight months covering Connecticut politics at She was a news intern for The Daily Caller in Washington and also worked as a freelance reporter for in Mansfield, CT and as a campus correspondent for University of Connecticut’s daily paper, The Daily Campus. During her fellowship, Caitlin reported for The Mirror and the New Haven Independent. She also contributed greatly to the staff’s knowledge of social media.

It should be noted that while the fellowship program is intended to train talented young journalists, the senior staff who mentor the fellows also gain from the experience, especially in the areas of social media and multi-media presentation.

Last but not least, a special word of thanks to fellow mentors John Dankosky, WNPR news director, and Paul Bass, editor and publisher at the New Haven Independent who along with Jenifer Frank, editor, CT Mirror, provided the leadership and guidance for the program. We plan to continue the program and are currently recruiting for the 2012-13 cycle.