News From the Philip Merrill College of Journalism

Press Uncuffed Project Meets Goal – Looks Forward

bracelet4b&wCOLLEGE PARK, Md. – The Merrill College Press Uncuffed project has successfully met its goal of raising $30,000 to support jailed journalists around the world by selling bracelets with their names on them. In a message to Indiegogo campaign supporters, Knight Chair Dana Priest  – whose students came up with the idea for the project and were instrumental in moving it forward – wrote:

“At last! We’ve meet our goal thanks to you all. If we can raise another $4k we can cover all our costs–indiegogo’s fee, etc.–and we can make more and more bracelets. We are all so excited and looking toward World Press Freedom Day, April 29, when they will be available for sale. Thanks again, Dana”

There are still eight days left in the campaign.

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Media EnTERPreneurship at Merrill: Harnessing the Potential of Information Creativity


By David Cross
Merrill College Adjunct Professor

COLLEGE PARK, Md. – Rapid changes in journalism make it more important than ever for journalists to incorporate entrepreneurship and innovation into their careers, said David Cross, adjunct lecturer in media entrepreneurship and innovation adviser for the Philip Merrill College of Journalism. Given the convergence of journalistic expertise, research, and students planning careers for decades into the future, Merrill is one of the most exciting laboratories for journalism innovation, Cross said.

“If you can harness the potential of information creativity, there is huge potential in media entrepreneurship,” said Cross, who has been working in entrepreneurship and business development for more than 30 years.

The challenge faced by journalists is the way in which changing technologies have disrupted media industries. In his classes, Cross highlights research such as that in The News Gap  that shows online news consumers are interested in crime, weather, and lighter news, while journalists want to emphasize political news. His students are passionate about journalism  – especially investigative journalism –  but it’s hard to get consumers to pay for it.

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Merrill Senior Karen Mawdsley Named News 21 Fellow

Screen Shot 2015-04-14 at 10.44.17 AMCOLLEGE PARK, Md. – Senior journalism major Karen Mawdsley has been named a News21 Fellow as part of the 2015 Carnegie-Knight News21 national multimedia investigative reporting initiative.

“I’m proud to be part of the News21 team, and I’m grateful for this unique opportunity,” said Mawdsley. “Through the seminar portion of the fellowship, I’ve learned a lot about accountability journalism and investigative reporting, so I’m looking forward to putting those skills more into practice this summer.”

Mawdsley will receive her B.A. in Multi-Platform Journalism this May with a minor in Spanish Languages and Cultures. She’s enrolled in Maryland’s Honors and Beyond the Classroom programs, worked at the Diamondback student newspaper and completed a number of journalism internships.

“Karen is just the latest outstanding Merrill College student to participate in News21,” said Dean Lucy Dalglish. “We know her experience at the Sun, McClatchy-Tribune wire and the Diamondback will come in very handy on the marijuana project.”

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Maryland Day 2015: Explore UMD and The College of Journalism


COLLEGE PARK, Md. – The Philip Merrill College of Journalism invites you to celebrate the University of Maryland and Knight Hall’s world of fearless ideas during Maryland Day 2015! Now in its 17th year, the day-long open house promises to be better than ever with more than 400 family-friendly, free and interactive events across campus.

MarylandDay02Maryland Day runs from 10 a.m. to 4 p.m on Saturday, April 25 on the University of Maryland campus. As always, there is free parking and transportation (on campus and from the College Park Metro). There are plenty of food choices as well – both on McKeldin Mall and in the Stamp Student Union.

You can be part of the fun by tweeting during the day! Send your comments and photos to #marylandday. Go online to plan your day – including events here in Knight Hall.

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Merrill Ph.D. Dr. Robert “Woody” Woodruff Wins AJHA Honorable Mention Prize

Dr. Woodruff defends his dissertation in Knight Hall in Sept. 2014.

Dr. Woodruff defends his dissertation in Sept. 2014.

COLLEGE PARK, Md. – Merrill College Ph.D. – Dr. Robert “Woody” Woodruff –  is one of three Honorable Mention Award Winners in the American Journalism History Association’s Margaret A. Blanchard Doctoral Dissertation Prize. Dr. Woodruff wins a $200 prize and will attend the AJHA annual meeting in Oklahoma City with the other winners, to both accept his award and present a synopsis of his work

His dissertation is titled: “Foretelling the Everyday: Early Modern English Almanacs Prepare a Public for News” and was directed by Merrill College (now Emeritus) Professor Maurine Beasley. Photo: Dr. Woodruff successfully defended his dissertation last September in Knight Hall.

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Symposium Asks “What’s Next” for the Arts in Baltimore?

Baltimore FlyerCOLLEGE PARK, Md. – A two day symposium in Baltimore and College Park will focus on the impact of the arts in Charm City.

“Artists and arts institutions have been attracting business and changing neighborhoods in Baltimore’s arts districts,” said the Merrill College’s Abell Professor in Baltimore Journalism, Sandy Banisky. “How much further can the arts go in improving the city’s economy and quality of life?”

Sponsored by The Abell Foundation and the Philip Merrill College of Journalism, the What’s Next Symposium features a Who’s Who of art and architecture experts from Baltimore and the University of Maryland.

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Merrill Professors Chadha & Steiner, Oates Receive $20,000 ADVANCE Seed Grants

COLLEGE PARK, Md. – The Maryland ADVANCE program aims to “lead AAU/BIG 10 research universities in women’s representation, satisfaction, professional growth, and positive work environment.” Promoting interdisciplinary research is one way to do that, and in its fifth and final round of grants, three Merrill College faculty members will have a chance to work with faculty from the iSchool and Smith Business School.

The seed grants are $20,000 each. The Co-Director of the ADVANCE program, Dr. KerryAnn O’Meara (College of Education) says data shows an 8 to 1 return on investment with the grants. Further, she said, “recipients of these grants have been more likely to be retained to campus than their peers.”

Merrill College Professors Team with iSchool, Smith School

Assistant Professor Kalyani Chadha (College Park Scholars))(left) and Professor Linda Steiner will collaborate with Assistant Professor Jessica Vitak (right)of the iSchool in a project entitled, “Misogyny Online: Implications and Consequences.”

Professor and Senior Scholar Sarah Oates (left)(who oversees the Merrill Ph.D. Program) will work with Professor of Marketing Wendy Moe – who is also the Director of the MS in Marketing Analytics program at the Robert H. Smith School of Business. Their research project is entitled, “Building a Voter Intelligence Dashboard: Applying Social Brand Metrics to Political Campaigns.”

Funding comes from the UMD Division of Research and NSF funds. Dr. O’Meara says although the grants have now been exhausted (save for two funded by BSOS), efforts are underway to find additional sources of funding for the future.

About The ADVANCE Program at Maryland

The University of Maryland ADVANCE program “aims to lead AAU/Big 10 research universities in women’s representation, retention, satisfaction, professional growth, and positive work environment. We do this by creating strategic networks across disciplines, facilitating opportunities for learning and leadership, enhancing agency through knowledge and planning for career advancement, and by recognizing faculty contributions and accomplishments. We use data to increase awareness of equity issues and support local and campus-wide efforts to design better work environments.”

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Dalglish, McGee Among the “Powerful Women of College Park”

COLLEGE PARK, Md. – Philip Merrill College of Journalism Dean Lucy Dalglish and Senior Journalism Major Jatara McGee were recently named to the  “Powerful Women of College Park” list.

Sophomore English Major Aiyah Sibay did the interviews for the Women’s History Month feature:

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Dean Lucy Dalglish by Aiyah Sibay.

Dean Lucy Dalglish:

“Juggling alligators, that’s what I do. I juggle alligators.”

“I basically make sure that everything runs, that the budget is balanced, that the classes are taught, that the faculty is qualified, that the curriculum is meeting the needs of employers and students, and I make sure that we’re bringing in enough money to keep the lights on … oh and I referee disputes.”

“I was a reporter and editor in Minnesota, I was a trial lawyer in Minneapolis, then for quite a few years I ran a non-profit [The Reporters Committee For Freedom of the Press] that did legal defense and advocacy for journalists working all over the country.”

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Knight Chair Dana Priest: What I’ve Learned From My Students

Knight Chair in Public Affairs Journalism Dana Priest at this year's Society of Professional Journalist's Region 2 Conference March 28.

Knight Chair in Public Affairs Journalism Dana Priest at this year’s Society of Professional Journalist’s Region 2 Conference March 28.

By Dana Priest
Knight Chair in Public Affairs Journalism
Philip Merrill College of Journalism

COLLEGE PARK, Md.  – Knight Chair in Public Affairs Journalism Dana Priest was the keynote speaker this year for the Society of Professional Journalist’s Region 2 Conference held March 27-28 at the Philip Merrill College of Journalism. She chose to talk about what’s she’s learned from her students in the short time she has served as the Merrill College’s third Knight Chair (there has been a tad of editing):

I’M HAPPY TO BE HERE in my new role as Knight Chair in Public Affairs Journalism here at Merrill. And of course, I’m still a reporter at heart and still a reporter at The Washington Post. This year I am working on a series, which we hope will be published in a month or so, with four graduate students.

Instead of talking about what I know and what I think you should know too, I thought I would speak about what I’ve learned from my students over the past nine months –  about them, about “who is a journalist,” and about the power of the pen. Or keyboard. Or camera.

Let’s start with “who is a journalist?” I used to have a very narrow view of this.

Dana's Class

Knight Chair Dana Priest’s National Security and Press Freedom Reporting Class.

I believed you needed a certain set of standards, a lot of practice and an editor or two.

Over the last several years the mainstream media began filling their online pages with people I call “opinionators.” Young people, mostly, who collect, or aggregate, the digging of others, and top it with their “attitude,” their opinion, a rif. This seems to be popular but it is not journalism in my mind.

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Merrill Alumni and Adjuncts Honored by MDDCA

Screen Shot 2015-03-30 at 11.29.42 AM
COLLEGE PARK, Md. -Philip Merrill College of Journalism alumni and adjuncts were strongly represented in this year’s Maryland-Delaware-DC Press Association’s Editorial Contest. The press association announced the winners of its editorial contest March 27.

The MDDC press release reports:

“These winners represent the best work of member publications in Maryland, Delaware and DC.  Publications are divided into six categories, based on circulation, and entries are judged, in most cases, by a sister press association.  This year, judges from the Texas Press Association evaluated our entries… The judges were very impressed with the caliber of writing in the contest and the competition was stiff!  We received 1,994 entries from 63 member publications.”

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