News From the Philip Merrill College of Journalism | | Page 2

Overly Named Knight-Bagehot Business Journalism Fellow


The Washington Post’s Steven Overly ’10 is a 2015-2016 Knight-Bagehot Business Journalism Fellow. Photo: LinkedIn.

Adapted from a Columbia University Graduate School of Journalism release.

NEW YORK, NY – The Washington Post’s Steven Overly – a 2010 graduate of the Philip Merrill College of Journalism – has been named a 2015-2016 Knight-Bagehot Business Journalism Fellow by the Columbia University Graduate School of Journalism.

Overly  is a national reporter for the Post. He writes about federal technology and energy policy. Previously, he covered the technology, biotechnology and venture capital industries in the Washington metropolitan area. While attending Maryland, Overly was editor-in-chief of The Diamondback and spent his summers interning at The Daily Record in Baltimore, The Plain Dealer in Cleveland and the St. Petersburg Times in Tampa.

In an email to Overly, Merrill College Dean Lucy Dalglish wrote her congratulations, adding, “You will make all Terps very proud.”

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El Nuevo Herald Executive Editor Myriam Marquez Headlines Merrill Commencement

Myriam-MarquezCOLLEGE PARK, Md. – Myriam Marquez, executive editor of Miami’s El Nuevo Herald newspaper, will be the commencement speaker for the Philip Merrill College of Journalism on May 22.

Marquez graduated with a degree in journalism from the University of Maryland in 1983.

“Myriam Marquez is one of Merrill College’s most distinguished alums,” said Dean Lucy Dalglish. “Since her graduation, she has distinguished herself as an award-winning reporter, an incisive editorial and commentary writer, and a newsroom leader. Our students have much to learn from her.”

For her part, Marquez says she is looking forward to speaking to the Merrill graduating class:

“These graduates are at the top of their game, taught by some of the best journalists in the country for a new millennium of journalism in a nation that’s growing ever more diverse. The industry has changed immensely from the time of my graduation, and these new journalists will be key to our success in telling crucial stories in innovative ways that grab audiences on digital, television or print. I’m excited by the possibilities.”

Marquez’s husband,  Tony Pipitone, also graduated from Merrill College in 1983. He is an Emmy Award-winning investigative reporter for WTVJ-TV in Miami. They have two sons. Read More »

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Cheng, Schapitl Win Sigma Delta Chi Foundation Scholarships

Screen Shot 2015-04-29 at 1.32.58 PMAdapted from an Sigma Delta Chi Foundation DC Press Release:

WASHINGTON, April 28, 2015 -Five aspiring journalists attending the University of Maryland and other Washington, D.C.-area universities have been selected as Sigma Delta Chi Scholarship recipients for the 2015-16 academic year by the Sigma Delta Chi Foundation of Washington, D.C. (SDX/DC).

The SDX/DC scholarships, in the amount of $3,000 each, are funded through ongoing support of members of the Washington, D.C. Professional Chapter of the Society of Professional Journalists, support from the Kiplinger Foundation and the Gridiron Club and Foundation and individual gifts to SDX/DC from journalism education advocates.

The 2015-16 SDX/DC Scholars from Maryland are Brittany Cheng ’17 (left) and Lexie Schapitl ’17 (right) (Photos: Twitter, LinkedIn).

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Press Uncuffed Wins $5000 Do Good Challenge Prize


University President Dr. Wallace Loh, Merrill College Dean Lucy Dalglish and Knight Chair Dana Priest pose with student members of the the Press Uncuffed project (with presenter Kristen Craft, center) during Tuesday’s Do Good Challenge finals. The team won $5000 to help jailed journalists. Photo: Jay Westcott.

shell-logo_0COLLEGE PARK, Md. – Press Uncuffed, the Merrill College project to raise funds supporting jailed journalists, has won a $5000 first place “Venture Track” Do Good Challenge prize.

The finals were held at the Riggs Alumni Center on campus Tuesday evening. The Do Good Challenge is sponsored by Maryland’s School of Public Policy.

The student-developed Press Uncuffed initiative came into being during Knight Chair Dana Priest’s National Security and Press Freedom Reporting class over the 2014-2015 school year.

Their plan was to raise awareness about imprisoned journalists around the world and fight for their release.

The students partnered with the Committee to Protect Journalists (CPJ) –  a nonprofit that works to promote free press worldwide – as well as the grassroots group Investigative Reporters and Editors (IRE).

Working with in-kind donations from a number of media companies, Press Uncuffed created an Indiegogo crowdfunding campaign that raised more than $31,000. The funds are being used to produce clear Lucite (c) bracelets (for transparency) with (initially) the names of nine jailed journalists.

Dr. Loh Wearing Press Uncuffed Bracelet

University President Loh wears a Press Uncuffed bracelet as Knight Chair Dana Priest looks on. Photo: Jay Westcott.

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Posted in Announcements, Awards, Dana Priest, Do Good Challenge, Knight Chair in Public Affairs Journalism, Lucy Dalglish | Tagged , , , , , | Comments closed

White House Correspondent’s Dinner: “I Needed to Pinch Myself”

Editor’s Note: Merrill Journalist Naomi Harris ’17, was honored (with other scholars winners) Saturday night (April 25) during the White House Correspondent’s Association dinner as the winner of the $17,000 Frank Cormier scholarship. Naomi says she hopes to become a foreign correspondent some day and is interested in producing documentaries focused on international issues of women and equality.

We asked her to write a brief narrative about her experience:

By Naomi Harris ’17

Naomi Harris with the Obamas.

Naomi with President and Mrs. Obama at the White House Correspondent’s Association dinner April 25.

In a room full of long gowns, crisp tuxedos and big smiles, it did not come as a shock that I needed to pinch myself. I never thought accepting such a gracious scholarship from the White House Correspondent’s Association would lead me to a ballroom with celebrities, politicians and journalists for the 2015 dinner.

But this past Saturday I had the great opportunity of introducing myself to some incredible people and meeting the Obamas. The night was full of laughter and a rare but pleasant atmosphere shared between the administration and the press. Christi Parsons, the president of the association, reminded all of us it is incredibly important to maintain access in order to inform the public as much as possible about the current news of the White House.

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Dean Dalglish Named “Fellow of the Society” by the Society of Professional Journalists

– Adapted from an SPJ News Release

LucyDalglish_08142012_1008INDIANAPOLIS – The Society of Professional Journalists is pleased to honor Philip Merrill College of Journalism Dean Lucy Dalglish and Media and First Amendment Lawyer Mickey H. Osterreicher as Fellows of the Society. It is the highest professional honor given by the Society and is awarded for extraordinary contribution to the profession.

Lucy Dalglish was recognized nationally by the National Press Foundation in 2012 with the Kiplinger Award and was honored in 1995 by the Society of Professional Journalists with the Wells Memorial Key, the highest honor bestowed upon a member of the organization.

Dalglish became the Dean of the Philip Merrill College of Journalism at the University of Maryland in 2012. Prior to this she made substantial contributions to the profession through a broad range of career opportunities.

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Mobile Journalism Students Set for Maryland Day Coverage


COLLEGE PARK, Md. – Merrill College students  from two of Associate Professor Ron Yaros’ mobile journalism classes will be covering Maryland Day this year. 25 undergraduate and graduate students will be fanning out across campus to cover some of the 400+ events planned for the popular and family-friendly open house. You can see a slide show of photos taken by last year’s students.

In anticipation of the annual event, Yaros said, “For the first time, 14 students spent the past two weeks producing mobile stories, which ‘preview’ selected events to be featured at this year’s Maryland Day! This adds more richness to the event.”

Mobile Story Examples

Merrill Journalist Becky Kaminsky investigated how the new Maryland Dairy ice cream shop in the Stamp Student Union is doing – and what it will be offering on Maryland Day:

Screen Shot 2015-04-22 at 12.10.40 PM
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Merrill Students Take Honors at DataFest “Hackathon”

With contributions from Tong Wu and Kelley MacEwen

Team ReJin members included (l-r) Takako Nishimura, Thomas Lardner,

Team ReJin members included (l-r) Takako Nishimura, Thomas Lardner, Jin Kim and Regina Catipon. (Photo: Kelly MacEwen – ASA Datafest.)

COLLEGE PARK, Md. – A University of Maryland team led by two Merrill Journalists made quite an impression at the first ever “ASA Datafest” competition held in Washington, D.C. this past weekend – taking the “Best Insight” category. “Team ReJin” included Senior Multi-platform major Jin Kim and Senior broadcast major Regina Catipon as well as UMD Seniors Takako Nishimura (Computer Science and Math ) and  Thomas Lardner (Math).  The competition also featured teams from American University, Howard University, Georgetown University, and University of Maryland, Baltimore County (UMBC).

For this first-ever competition, the teams were given data bases and visitor records of a website and were asked to analyze the datasets and properly visualize the analysis outcome under deadline pressure. The competition is intense. The Merrill students told Deadline reporter Tong Wu,  “It is like the statistical version of a ‘hackathon’ but in this case teams use Excel and similar software to break down large blocks of data into small workable groups that results in useable information.”

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Dean Dalglish Signs Brief in Ventura Defamation Case vs. Estate of American Sniper Chris Kyle

Dean Lucy Dalglish, Philip Merrill College of JournalismCOLLEGE PARK, Md. – Dean Lucy Dalglish has signed an amicus brief in support of the estate of American Sniper Chris Kyle, which faces a defamation suit brought by former Minnesota Governor Jesse Ventura. Dalglish is one of a dozen high-profile First Amendment scholars to have signed. She is the only active dean of a journalism school in the U.S. to lend her name to the amicus brief.

A release from the University of Michigan Law School by Katie Vloet reports:

The trial court erred in the case by giving inadequate and inaccurate instructions to the jury in regard to the standards for defamation of a public official, the brief says. “Jury instructions in public figure and public official defamation actions are not procedural window dressing. They are essential to the preservation of First Amendment protections,” (Michigan Law Professor Len) Niehoff says. “In this case, the trial court got very wrong two instructions that it needed to get exactly right.”

Former Minnesota Gov. Ventura (aka James G. Janos) filed a defamation suit in 2012 against Kyle, the late Navy SEAL who wrote the bestselling and movie-inspiring memoir “American Sniper.” The suit was based on Kyle’s claim that he punched Ventura in a bar in 2006 after the former governor said during a wake for a Navy SEAL that the elite special operations force “deserved to lose a few guys” in war.

Read the full release on the University of Michigan Law School website.

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Merrill Alumnus Wins Team Pulitzer for Medicare Series

Chris Weaver

Wall Street Journal Reporter Christopher Weaver (MJ) ’08 (Photo: Twitter)

COLLEGE PARK, Md. – The Wall Street Journal’s Christopher Weaver (MJ ’08) was part of a team of reporters who won a Pulitzer Prize this week for their investigative series called “Medicare Unmasked.” The Pulitzer is journalism’s highest honor.

The Pulitzer Committee said the series was “a pioneering project that gave Americans unprecedented access to previously confidential data on the motivations and practices of their health care providers.” The reports came only after a lengthy legal battle to obtain government data about Medicare.

“It’s not a surprise that Chris is doing great things,” said Associate Dean and Master’s Program Director Rafael Lorente. “He was a smart reporter with an incredibly advanced sense for working sources. He covered the 2008 Democratic National Convention, worked in our Capital News Service bureau in Washington and reported as part of our Carnegie Seminar. I’m really proud of him.”

“He was such a big talent that I set him up with an investigative colleague at Salon,” said Associate Professor of Investigative Journalism Deborah Nelson.  “He co-authored this great story for his class project.  He then got an internship at ProPublica, landed a job at Kaiser Health and made his way to the WSJ.”

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