Michael Marciano’s judicious reporting on musicians, judges, lawyers and a U.S. President

By Syd­ney Mazur, UConn Journalism
Feb­ru­ary 28, 2019

It can be chal­leng­ing to keep up with changes in the field of jour­nal­ism — but Con­necti­cut Law Tri­bune bureau chief Michael Mar­ciano has found his way through a vari­ety of report­ing jobs and a com­mit­ment to keep learning.

Mar­ciano has been worked as a jour­nal­ist for more than 25 years. After earn­ing a degree in jour­nal­ism from South­ern Con­necti­cut State Uni­ver­si­ty, Mar­ciano said he start­ed in jour­nal­ism as an intern with at the old New Haven Advocate.

Mar­ciano always had an inter­est in music and the arts, and dur­ing his 20’s, it was his pas­sion, he said.  He remem­bered inter­view­ing icon­ic artists such as David Bowie and KISS’s Gene Sim­mons. Mar­ciano worked as a music writer at the Hart­ford Advo­cate for a hand­ful of years, until tran­si­tion­ing from the music beat to gov­ern­ment-relat­ed issues. He said he spent 12 years at the Win­st­ed Jour­nal, cov­er­ing local news, the board of edu­ca­tion meet­ings and munic­i­pal gov­ern­ment. He also got to cov­er a U.S. pres­i­dent: Bill Clinton.

The oppor­tu­ni­ty to inter­view Clin­ton came when Mar­ciano was work­ing at the Win­st­ed Jour­nal,  and Clin­ton was giv­ing a speech in Con­necti­cut. Mar­ciano recalled pho­tograph­ing Clin­ton. The two shook hands, he said. Come to lat­er find out, Clin­ton sent Mar­ciano a per­son­al hand-writ­ten note say­ing “thank you” for all his work as a journalist.

Mar­ciano lat­er moved into a report­ing gig at the New Britain Her­ald and then the Bris­tol Press. His cov­er­age of sto­ries such as the high-pro­file Aaron Her­nan­dez tri­al led him to his cur­rent posi­tion as Con­necti­cut Law Tri­bune bureau chief.

Mar­ciano described the Con­necti­cut Law Tri­bune as “spe­cial­ized news for attor­neys.” It looks at legal news from a statewide point of view. The web­site is affil­i­at­ed with Law.com.   The tar­get audi­ence of the Con­necti­cut Law Tri­bune is attor­neys and judges, peo­ple who work in the legal field, and stu­dents who are inter­est­ed in the legal cir­cle, Mar­ciano explained.

From attor­neys and judges to cov­er­age of the Supreme Court, Mar­ciano said his job requires him to stay on top of the lat­est legal infor­ma­tion with­in the state.

When asked if there is a secret to cov­er­ing lawyers and the jus­tice sys­tem, Mar­ciano replied that it just helps to “have broad jour­nal­is­tic expe­ri­ence… read­ers can relate from a broad per­spec­tive.” Mar­ciano said that it is also very impor­tant to stay attuned to what is hap­pen­ing around the state, always broad­en your mind and to learn some­thing new every day.

Mar­ciano’s offered this advice to up-and-com­ing jour­nal­ists: don’t get too close to your sources. His rec­om­men­da­tion stems from per­son­al expe­ri­ence. Once while writ­ing a sto­ry about pyra­mid-scheme busi­ness­es, Mar­ciano said he inter­viewed some friends for the piece. After the sto­ry was pub­lished,  some of his friends were upset with the way in which the sto­ry was presented.

Oth­er advice from Mar­ciano: “If you know some­thing is wrong and you feel a red flag com­ing up, pay atten­tion to the red flag. Jour­nal­ists always have that voice in their heads, lis­ten to it.”