9 more SPJ awards for Today Magazine
Updated: Jun 15
• High school student nabs rare professional honor
Editor's Note — see below for a full list of Today Magazine's awards
Today Magazine has received nine more awards in 2021 from the Society of Professional Journalists (SPJ) — one first-place, five second-place and three third-place prizes. The Connecticut SPJ Chapter presents awards each year via its Excellence in Journalism contest.
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Contributor Noelle Blake, an Avon High student, won the magazine’s first-place award in the General Column category. She also received a second-place award in the COVID News category.
Today Magazine editor-in-chief Bruce Deckert won six awards — four second-place and two third-place honors in various categories. For details, see the full awards list below. He has received 11 SPJ awards overall in his career.
“I’m thrilled that one of our student contributors has won two awards, including a first-place honor,” says Deckert, who also serves as the magazine’s publisher.
“This magazine aims to be fertile ground for young journalists to grow and thrive — and we likewise appreciate the stellar contributions from many skilled adult writers who help us cover the underreported upside of the Farmington Valley community.”
Blake is about to enter her senior year at Avon High School. Whether she is the first high school student to ever win an SPJ award is unknown. When Today Magazine asked the Connecticut SPJ if Blake is the youngest writer to be honored in its annual contest, a representative said the organization doesn’t keep track of such information.
Meanwhile, Wendy Rosenberg garnered a third-place award in the Feature Photo category.
A Canton resident, Rosenberg has been a contributing photographer for Today Magazine since January 2019. She has received numerous prizes and honors for her photography, focusing on wildlife and nature.
Today Publishing, the producer of Today Magazine, has won 12 awards in three years. The media outlet’s debut cover story in October 2018 garnered a third-place award in 2019, and in 2020 two more awards arrived — a first-place and a third-place for two further cover stories. Deckert received those three awards.
The other two awards in his total of 11, a first-place and a second-place, came in his pre-Today Magazine career.
Deckert has worked in the media realm for 25 years — including 17 years as an editor for ESPN.com and three years as a newspaper editor and reporter in Connecticut for the Journal Register Company.
His first post-college journalism role was with the former Imprint Newspapers group that produced weekly papers for four Farmington Valley towns and seven other towns in Greater Hartford.
Deckert has been a resident of Simsbury since 1995. Born in Newark, N.J., he was raised in Bloomfield and Plainfield — to clarify, the Bloomfield and Plainfield in New Jersey, not their namesakes in Connecticut. His first news job: Star-Ledger paperboy. He graduated from Gordon College (Wenham, Mass.) and Plainfield (N.J.) High School.
The Connecticut Chapter of the Society of Professional Journalists was founded in 1966. Today Magazine competes for prizes in the state’s Regional C (Magazine) division. The SPJ is widely considered the preeminent journalism organization in the United States.
• LIST OF TODAY MAGAZINE’S AWARDS
Society of Professional Journalists
Connecticut SPJ Chapter
Regional C — Magazine
Here’s the rundown of Today Magazine’s nine awards from the Society of Professional Journalists (SPJ) in 2021 — one first-place, five second-place and three third-place awards.
FIRST PLACE — one award
• General Column
Noelle Blake • Today Magazine • Why being ‘not racist’ is not enough
SECOND PLACE — five awards
• COVID News
Noelle Blake • Today Magazine • Student’s-eye view of school during COVID
• Arts & Entertainment
Bruce Deckert • Today Magazine • Songwriter for the heart: Michael Kelly Blanchard reflects on musical journey
• Diversity Coverage
Bruce Deckert • Today Magazine • George Floyd: Valley reaction + next steps
• Page 1 Layout
Bruce Deckert • Today Magazine • World War II Redux
Bruce Deckert • Today Magazine • Three cover story headlines
THIRD PLACE — three awards
• Feature Photo
Wendy Rosenberg • Today Magazine • Humming clearly
Bruce Deckert • Today Magazine • A mother’s vow finds hope in pain: After son dies of opioid overdose, a promise to Jordan is born
Bruce Deckert • Today Magazine • Giving voice to the Holocaust: Local publisher focuses on diverse authors +
• Related Story from 2022 — Today Magazine wins 12 more SPJ awards
This article also appears in the August 2021 edition of Today Magazine, our monthly publication
Today Magazine covers the heart of Connecticut's Farmington Valley, recording the underreported upside of the Valley's five core towns — Farmington, Avon, Canton, Simsbury and Granby
Source — Society of Professional Journalists: Connecticut Chapter