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FOX61’s Brian Didlake to take part in panel on biggest stories of the year

Panelists will discuss stories including: COVID-19’s impact; Black Lives Matter and racial and social justice; the 2020 election and more

There’s no doubt 2020 will go down as an eventful year. And early next month, a panel of local journalists will discuss the events that made the news and give their insights on how they were covered.

The event, “The Stories Behind the Biggest Stories of 2020,” will be held on Webex on Thursday, Feb. 11 from 7 p.m. to 8:30 p.m. The panel will be produced by the Connecticut Foundation for Open Government.

“It’s always fascinating to hear how skilled reporters and editors overcome the normal challenges they face in getting us the news – difficulties ranging from bad weather to deadlines to angry folks who don’t want to talk to them to documents they must go to court to access,’’ William S. Fish, Jr., president of CFOG, said. “But this year, the pandemic has added a barrier that has put their health at risk and made every assignment logistically more difficult.”

It will be moderated by Leslie Mayes, a reporter for NBC Connecticut and host of “Connecticut In Color,’’ a program that engages Connecticut residents in conversations about race, ethnicity and gender.

The panel will feature; Reporter Brian Didlake II of FOX61 News; Capitol Bureau Chief Mark Pazniokas and Education and Housing Reporter Jacqueline Rabe Thomas, both of the Connecticut Mirror; Editor-in-Chief Christine Stuart from CTNewsJunkie.com; Hartford Courant Director of Content Rick Green and Political Reporter Daniela Altimari; Keila Torres Ocasio, the investigations editor for Hearst Connecticut Media, and Staff Photographer Sarah Gordon from The Day.

Mayes and the panelists will discuss major stories from Connecticut including: COVID-19’s impact on schools, high school sports, the economy, unemployment, businesses and higher education, as well as the lives lost to the coronavirus. Also learn how the panelists reported, photographed, and wrote about ten years of gun deaths in Connecticut; Black Lives Matter and racial and social justice; housing, poverty and exclusionary zoning; the 2020 election and state politics and Gov. Ned Lamont.

The virtual event is a fundraiser for CFOG, which is a non-profit corporation founded in 1991 by citizens of Connecticut interested in promoting open government and the public’s right-to-know. Its programs are carried out by a volunteer Board of Directors drawn from the media, academe, the law, business and government.

The panel discussion is sure to be fascinating for journalists, college students, business and government leaders and residents who are interested in the behind-the-scenes work of reporters, photographers and editors, which was made more difficult by the pandemic.

The event is free, but registration is required. To register, visit https://ctfog.org/programs/sbtbs_2020/ and click on the flyer. Contributions of $10, $25 or $50 are welcome and will support the work of CFOG. Staff members from Hinckley Allen will provide technical support for the event and provide a link to those who have registered. When people register, they will receive the Webex link from Hinckley Allen, the law firm where CFOG President Bill Fish is a partner