"I quit the job at the traditional news organization and decided to take on the job in the wild world of the Internet and its been wonderful, I set my own agenda . . . I felt very naked and Oh, God, kind of it's me, the buck stops with me, here," she told the MGP2006 audience. "But everybody accepted me right off the bat."
Stuart, in comments at the MGP2006 summit, June 2006
In January, 2007, the arrest of a Connecticut political activist and photographer -- who says he was acting as a journalist -- along a gubernatorial inaugural parade route caught the attention of Stuart, who continued to follow the case of Ken Krayeske -- along with the Hartford Courant and radio station WTIC. The case raised the question of what constitutes a journalist -- and journalism. Is someone with a history of political activism forever a police suspect as a potential "troublemaker" even when he behaves as a journalist might?
Christine Stuart purchased CTNewsJunkie from founding owner/editor Dan Levine in March 2006 after leaving her job as a reporter at the Manchester, Conn., Journal Inquirer. She's a Chicago native who landed in Connecticut after graduating from Central Connecticut State University in 1999 with a BA in English. Stuart found work as a listing editor at the Hartford Advocate, an alternative weekly news magazine, where she also doubled as a backup to the paper's state-capital reporter. She left the Advocate after three years for a job at the Journal Inquirer - a daily tabloid with a reputation for tough, scrappy reporting.
At the JI, Stuart covered a variety of beats including the city of East Hartford, the state's scandal-ridden trash authority and a regional water commission, as well as other towns, police news, and politics. After four years in Manchester, Stuart took a risk and purchased CTnewsjunkie.com, the online news site dedicated to Connecticut politics and founded by Levine, her former Advocate colleague.
"I quit the job at the traditional news organization and decided to take on the job in the wild world of the Internet and its been wonderful," she said in June 2006. "I set my own agenda, [but] it feels as though I work 24-hours a day it. I get up at six in the morning." In less than three months of Stuart's oversight, the site's readership grew from from an average of 500 hits a day to about 3,500 (as of June, 2006).
In June 2006, Christine Stuart was part of a panel called "The Daily Grind," at the Media Giraffe Project summit at the University of Massachusetts at Amherst. She said the conference suggested to her that she should "go more local." As for reaction to her blog: She says The Hartford Courant and other papers regularly pickup her stuff. "The newspapers have actually caught on in that they are beginning to post stories before they appear in the paper," she said. "That wasn't the case before."
ACCEPTANCE BY GOVERNOR
Levine, who moved to California to pursue legal-affairs reporting, brought years of experience covering Connecticut news to CTNEWSJUNKIE.COM. In addition to his daily reporting and editing duties for the site, he writes a weekly state politics column for the Connecticut Law Tribune and covers Hartford courts for Courthouse News Service. Focusing on politics, he reported on a variety of news topics for the Hartford Advocate from 1999 through 2004. Levine broke into journalism as a Village Voice intern and worked a short stint at the Lakeville Journal in Northwest Connecticut before coming to Hartford. He grew up on the North Side of Chicago.