Reporter Florin to be honored as journalist of the year

Karen Florin, a reporter at The Day, will be presented with the AP Sevellon Brown Journalist of the Year Award by the New England Society of News Editors.

The award “recognizes an individual for producing journalism of distinction in New England this past year.” Sevellon Brown was an editor and publisher of the Providence Journal and the founder of the American Press Institute.

Florin’s entry was a podcast on the cold case of Desiree Michaud, whose 1984 murder in Groton remains unsolved.

“Florin spent months digging into the life and death of Desiree, using old school reporting — combing through yellowed newspaper clips, talking to her extensive network of law enforcement sources and knocking on the doors of those who knew her,” Managing Editor Timothy J. Cotter said in his nomination letter.

Florin joined The Day in 1994 and has covered the court system for 12 years. Her court coverage has won several regional awards. She is the co-chair of the state’s Judicial Media Committee, a group of judges and journalists who deal with such issues as access and transparency. She is also the co-chair of the committee’s events subcommittee, which annually puts on either a Journalism for Judges Program or a Law School for Journalists program.

“While this award specifically recognizes Karen for the work she did on the Desiree Michaud cold case, I see it as an acknowledgment of an outstanding career at The Day,” Cotter said. “As a reporter, she has an unusual combination of compassion and doggedness that serves our readers well. She makes people comfortable in talking to her and then fairly, accurately and compellingly tells their stories.”

Florin will receive her award at the New England Newspaper Conference Awards Luncheon in Natick, Mass., on Thursday, Oct. 11. In addition, The Day will be recognized as a Distinguished Newspaper in its circulation category.

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