By Gino DeAngelis, UConn Journalism
November 1, 2018
Chris Keating has been reporting on politics in Connecticut for nearly 30 years. Since joining the Hartford Courant in 1990, Keating has reported on every governor’s race since then. He even met Soviet Premier Mikhail Gorbachev during a head-of-state meeting with President George H.W. Bush.
“I’ve been [in Hartford] most of the time. I was out of the capitol for two years, and I covered the courts full time,” Keating said. The reporter said he spends about 95 percent of his time covering the goings-on in the state legislature, the governor’s office and other statewide political offices.
Keating said that while he usually covers the news for political “junkies,” he also tries to reach a wider audience.
“We deal a lot with the political junkies. There’s people in the general public that don’t pay attention to it,” he said. “But many people pay attention and vote at election time. We write for a super broad audience.”
There’s rarely a dull day on the political beat, he said.
“It’s quite insane and some people don’t like it because it’s a crazy business,” Keating said. “Politics is a tough sport. It’s a bit of a blood sport. There’s a lot of people who don’t want us to know what’s going on, whether it’s because they’re doing something bad or whatever. I’ve written a lot of stories about a lot of politicians who have gone to prison.”
Despite some changes he’s seen in local politics, Keating said that in the end, the way the news should be reported hasn’t changed much.
“The biggest change is we don’t have as many reporters covering [politics]” he said. “We’re always spending an incredible amount of time trying to get it right.”
And when it comes to the upcoming election, Keating’s reporting has shown him that it’s a toss-up between Democrat Ned Lamont and Republican Bob Stefanowski.
“It’s a really hot race. Either of them could win,” Keating said. “A huge factor would be the State Senate. The two hugest things, the two races, could go either way.”
Top photo of Chris Keating courtesy of Hartford Courant