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New Canaan News honored at SPJs

Updated 2:17 pm, Thursday, May 31, 2012
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Paresh Jha, staff writer for the New Canaan News, earned two awards at the Connecticut Society of Professional Journalists Award Ceremony on Thursday, May 24, in North Haven.

Jha, who's been with the New Canaan News for two years, earned a first-place award in the community non-daily category for his in-depth series, "Enabling underage partying," which focused on parents' roles in underage drinking.

Jha's colleague, Ben Holbrook of the Darien News, placed second in the same

category for his piece "Piecing together the puzzle," which discussed autism.

In the community non-daily feature category, Jha placed third with his piece "Teachers, students weigh in on Twain controversy." The feature was about how local educators reacted to a publisher's decision to rewrite "The Adventures of Huckleberry Finn" without using racial slurs.

"I'm obviously very grateful that the Connecticut SPJ believed in these stories," Jha said. "More than anything else, the awards represent the hard work the entire staff of the New Canaan News puts into every article we run."

Editor Ashley Varese was pleased with Jha's awards.

"I know firsthand how hard Paresh works, and his curiosity and dedication paid off," she said. "It's extremely gratifying to see him recognized by his peers."