The New Haven Register wins the April DFMie for its coverage of two local teams playing in the Frozen Four, the NCAA Hockey Championship.
The nomination explains:
When Yale, Quinnipiac and UMass-Lowell each advanced to the Frozen Four NCAA hockey championship, it was time for our DFM team to step up as well.
Teamwork was evident from the start as staffs from New Haven and Lowell worked together to produce shared copy for special sections at each. Sports, photo and news departments worked together to provide comprehensive coverage of the event. There is a 10-day window between regional finals and the Frozen Four because hockey does not want to go up against NCAA basketball’s Final Four.
We were also able to start special web sections for both on very short notice.
New Haven was even able to get the mascots from Yale and Quinnipiac to appear in studio for a photo shoot, which appeared on the cover of its Frozen Four section.
There was a live chat with representatives from New Haven, Lowell, US College Hockey Online and the St. Cloud Times, organized by New Haven, to prepare fans for the Frozen Four.
Our DFM friends in Troy, who also cover the same league Yale and Quinnipiac participate in had their beat writer for RPI and Union breakdown the matchup to give us an outside perspective.
Chip Malafronte and Bill Cloutier broke down the Yale-Quinnipiac matchup with a video produced by Mike Wollschlager
New Haven would end up producing three special sections on the event, including back-to-back 16-page sections on the day of the championship game and for championship coverage in its Sunday paper seen here through its e-paper. Mike Blais scored with his headline of Reigning Cats or Dogs? for the special preview section.
The night of the national championship game between Yale and Quinnipiac, there was a live blog off the game and a photo gallery updated throughout the night by Peter Casolino, then a second photo gallery after the conclusion of the game focusing on Yale’s national title.
But that was just the start of the fun for the New Haven Register, which has reporters on both campuses for reaction. Rich Scinto was on the Quinnipiac campus when students started to rush a section of the campus referred to as the quad. He was eventually thrown off campus for reporting the scene through Twitter.
He had also put together a Storify after fans at the campus got out of hand after the Bobcats defeated St. Cloud State to advance to the national title game.
New Haven is in the process of putting the finishing touches on a 150-page book chronicling the successes of Yale and Quinnipiac this past season.
A judge’s comment:
The New Haven staff did the best job with the most to cover. Their devotion to both their local teams and the analysis of the games which don’t get a lot of national coverage compared to the three other major sports in the U.S. was pretty impressive. The Live Chat brought together some very knowledgeable people that included some outside voices, which is almost always an asset. The same goes for the outside beat writer offering analysis.
Additionally, the coverage of the student riots at Quinnipiac afterward was a good adaptation to a circumstance that was probably thought of but not completely prepared for. A Storify was a good way to gauge reaction beyond the kids running around on the quad.
Overall, they used the tools right for the right spots to the greatest effect.
Bill Cloutier’s lead rocks!
“A total of eight miles separate the university’s two campuses, but the bridge spanning the gap of bragging rights between the pair of New Haven County schools will never be greater.
For one night, a goaltender, Jeff Malcolm, celebrating his 24th birthday, left his name amongst the likes of Clinton, Bush and Ford in the annals of Yale’s esteemed alumni.”
Mara Lavitt’s photo of the players carrying the trophy onto the bus really sums up the pedal to the metal coverage of the event from start to finish.
Rich Scinto getting the boot from his alma mater for tweeting on campus left me in stitches.
Peter Hvizdak and Peter Casolina’s photo galleries really made me feel like I was there.
I felt like the work of the Register on this piece closely matched the criteria for quality journalism, digital skills, community engagement and community service.
This sporting event involved college communities covered by this newspaper and the sports staff rose to the occasion. The use of social media, live chats, live blogs, Storify, photo galleries and video brought the events to life and allowed the engaged college communities to become part of the story. The staff clearly went the extra mile in its coverage, stepping outside the box to bring in mascots for a photo shoot, outside reporters to break down the games and special sections.
The staff was even on scene for the aftermath of the winners and losers on campus, bringing the true, raw emotions of fans. Well done.