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

Hottelet – Last of the “Murrow Boys” – Talks to Merrill Students

Note: Special thanks to Mike Freedman, senior vice president of communications at the University of Maryland University College, who is an old friend of Richard C. Hottelet’s and made the conference call possible. Freedman was also a guest speaker during the Historiography of Broadcasting class.

By Adam Kuhn
Philip Merrill College of Journalism
Class of 2014


Richard C. Hottelet in 1956. Photo courtesy of University of Maryland Special Collections.

COLLEGE PARK, Md. – On Tuesday, March 25, students enrolled in the Historiography of Broadcasting class had the unique opportunity to participate in a conference call with Richard C. Hottelet, a journalist who had a distinguished career with CBS. Mr. Hottelet, 96, is the last surviving member of The Murrow Boys, which refers to a group of young reporters who worked with legendary journalist Edward R. Murrow.

During the 20-minute conference call, Mr. Hottelet told stories from his career that included covering World War II. On one instance, he met Adolf Hitler at an airport. Mr. Hottelet was told of the German chancellor’s intense blue eyes. But to Mr. Hottelet, the eyes were nothing out of the ordinary.

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Merrill College Students Win Big at SPJ Mark of Excellence Awards

Adapted from a Society of Professional Journalists News Release

WASHINGTON, D.C. – Student journalists from the Philip Merrill College of Journalism and the student Diamondback Newspaper showed they had “the right stuff” this weekend during the Society of Professional Journalist’s Region 2 Mark of Excellence awards at Georgetown University.

  • Maryland Newsline – the Capital News Service’s student broadcast, won for Best All-Around TV Newscast;
  • Merrill students who took part in last year’s Advanced Storytelling Class won numerous awards for stories they produced for their ViewFinder program;
  • Merrill’s CNS Online Bureau (working collaboratively in some cases with Professor Sandy Banisky’s Urban Affairs Reporting Class, Senior Lecturer Deborah Nelson’s investigative reporting class, and Lecturer Bethany Swain’s Advanced Storytelling Class) – won for best Online News Reporting, in-depth reporting and online sports reporting as well as best use of multimedia;
  • CNS also won for Best Affiliated Website and Best Student Digital Publication.

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Merrill Journalist Emily Schweich Wins $3,000 SPJ Scholarship

Junior Broadcast Major Emily Schweich recently practiced her stand ups during the Merrill College's Facetime with the Pros event.

Sophomore Broadcast Major Emily Schweich recently practiced her stand-ups during the Merrill College’s Facetime with the Pros event.

Adapted from a Sigma Delta Chi Foundation Release.

WASHINGTON, DC – Philip Merrill College of Journalism Sophomore Emily Schweich is one of four students in the Washington, DC region to share a $15,000 scholarship awarded this week by the Sigma Delta Chi Foundation of Washington, D.C., (SDX/DC). The Kiplinger Foundation and the Gridiron Club and Foundation also provided support for the scholarship.

Schweich has been awarded a total of $3,000 and is designated among the four scholarship winners as a Gridiron Fellow in recognition of the Gridiron Club Foundation’s support of the SDX scholarship program.

“I’m very honored and excited to receive this award,” said Schweich. “I’m grateful to SDX for its support of aspiring journalists, and I feel encouraged to continue dedicating myself to my journalism studies.”

The money can be used for the payment of tuition and fees. Schweich, along with two students from Howard University and one from American University, will be honored June 10 at the annual journalism awards reception and banquet held by the Washington, D.C. Professional Chapter of the Society of Professional Journalists (SPJ), parent of the SDX/DC.

“These impressive students help reassure us our craft will be in good hands in the future, run by people who are thoughtful, have high journalistic standards and a passion for getting the story and getting it right,” said SDX/DC foundation President Reginald Stuart,  journalist and recruiting consultant for McClatchy Newspapers.”
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Deborah Nelson Named Merrill College Associate Professor

Senior Lecturer Deborah Nelson will become Associate Professor of Investigative Journalism this fall. Photo by Marissa Parra

Senior Lecturer Deborah Nelson will become Associate Professor of Investigative Journalism this fall.
Photo by Marissa Parra.

COLLEGE PARK, Md. – The Philip Merrill College of Journalism will have a new Associate Professor of Investigative Journalism this fall. Senior Lecturer Deborah Nelson received news this past week that University President Dr. Wallace Loh had officially approved her tenured position.

In announcing the promotion to Merrill College faculty, Dean Lucy Dalglish wrote, “Deb joined Merrill College in 2006 as a Visiting Professor and quickly became indispensable. Her experience as a Pulitzer Prize-winning reporter at the Seattle Times and years leading investigative teams at the Los Angeles Times and Washington Post have inspired our students. She has taught everything from investigative reporting to media law and mobile journalism (in Latvia!). Her classes are challenging, and I always enjoy speaking to her very well-prepared media law students. While working hard at Merrill College, Deb has continued to publish award-winning investigative stories.”

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Ph.D. Student James Gachau Wins Foreign Press Association Scholarship


Merrill College Ph.D. student James Gachau.

COLLEGE PARK, Md. – Philip Merrill College of Journalism Ph.D. student James Gachau recently won a 2014 third place scholarship from the Foreign Press Association. Gachau, a journalist from Kenya, says, “It is such an honor to receive this recognition and scholarship from the FPA. I look forward to the awards ceremony which will be held at the Roosevelt Hotel in New York City on May 14, 2014.”

Professor and Senior Scholar Sarah Oates oversees the Ph.D. program at the Merrill College. She says, “I am delighted that James has won this prestigious award. He is an excellent student in our program. He is thinking creatively about what it means to be a journalist in moments of conflict and beyond. His experience in Kenya gives him special insight into the pressures of modern journalism and has been an important contribution to discussions in our PhD classes.” Read More »

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Storify Used to Detail Coverage of UMD Data Breach

COLLEGE PARK, Md. – Media coverage of the University of Maryland’s massive data breach has been widespread. Storify is a great way to show how the story of the data breach broke, who covered it, and what members of the University of Maryland community can do to protect themselves. As a Merrill Journalist, the exercise is a good way to look at the use of interactive social media to help tell a story.  This Storify will continue to be updated as the story warrants.

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Ben Holman: Respected Journalist, Professor and Mentor

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“We are trying to keep up with the changes set by inflation and advancement in technology. The College has recently purchased new electronic equipment. It is expensive, but we need the equipment to maintain a competitive program. We are better off than most schools in the country. That is why our enrollment went up this year by 100.”
-Dean Benjamin Holman
College of Journalism
1981 Terrapin Yearbook

A Black History Month Feature about the Merrill College’s first African American Professor and Dean

COLLEGE PARK, Md. – Benjamin (Ben) Holman believed in journalism’s power to improve society. A gentleman with a big, booming voice, he was an African American trailblazer, mentor and peacemaker. His work had impact and his time at what is now the University of Maryland’s Philip Merrill College of Journalism laid the groundwork for the long-term success of the college and its students.

Tom Kunkel was dean of the Merrill College when Holman died in 2007 at the age of 76. He said, “Over the years, I can’t tell you how many former students made a point of telling me how influential Ben Holman was to them, not only in terms of their careers but their lives. He was not only respected but was much loved.”

Early Career in Print and TV

Ben Holman’s career began as a reporter for the Chicago Daily News in 1952 after graduation from the University of Kansas. He was the first African American to succeed as a reporter for a mainstream Chicago newspaper. Ten years later, he made the transition to television – first as a commentator and reporter for Chicago’s WBBM-TV and later as a correspondent and editor for CBS News in New York.

Emeritus Professor of Journalism Douglas Gomery serves as the Resident Scholar for Special Collections in Mass Media and Culture (University Libraries) at Maryland and knew Ben Holman for more than two decades. Upon Holman’s retirement in 2004,  Gomery wrote, “When TV news was lilly white, Ben added face and voice of a man of color. Much too modest to ever boast about it and never able to express his feelings on paper, I heard many a tale of his working in Chicago to make visible a vast population of that city. We should honor his presence in the history of television.”

By 1968 Holman had moved to NBC News in Washington, serving as a correspondent and producer. The next year, then-President Richard Nixon appointed him assistant attorney general in charge of the community relations service office at the Justice Department, where he served for the next eight years. Not content to sit in an office, Holman traveled the country meeting with blacks and whites to mediate disputes.  Malcolm X and Martin Luther King, Jr. sought out his opinions.

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Lele LeVay Ashworth Named Merrill College Development Officer

Lele Ashworth is the new assistant dean for development at the Philip Merrill College of Journalism.

New Merrill College Assistant Dean for External
Relations Lele LeVay Ashworth.

COLLEGE PARK, Md. – Lele LeVay Ashworth has been appointed to the position of assistant dean, external relations of the Philip Merrill College of Journalism.  Ashworth has been working as the interim associate director of leadership gifts for University Relations at the University of Maryland since late last summer.

Prior to coming to Maryland, she was the director of advancement at St. Andrew’s Episcopal School and Georgetown Day School where she managed the advancement programs of those institutions.  Ashworth has worked at the University Pennsylvania, University of Oregon and University of Connecticut as well.

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Broadcast Education Association Honors Merrill Students and Faculty

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COLLEGE PARK, Md. – Students and faculty from the Philip Merrill College of Journalism continue their winning ways with an announcement this week from the Broadcast Education Association. The BEA’s annual Festival of Media Arts gives awards to college students and professionals in a number of categories from audio to longform video. Among the highlights: Josh Birch ’13 won a Best of Show award for a sports feature on Maryland Bike Safety while a student team in Lecturer and Photojournalist Bethany Swain’s Advanced Storytelling class won first place for their ViewFinder piece called “Overcoming Obstacles” in the Student Video Competition. These submissions all come from the 2012-2013 school year.

Student Sports Competition

Best of Festival: Josh Birch, University of Maryland; Maryland Bike Safety (TV Sports / Story / Feature)

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Merrill Students and Faculty Honored by White House News Photographers Association

COLLEGE PARK, Md. – Faculty and students from the Philip Merrill College of Journalism took home a number of awards this past weekend – as the White House News Photographers Association announced its 2014 WHNPA ‘The Eyes of History™’  contest winners. The judging was done at the National Geographic in Washington, D.C.

In the professional division, Lecturer and Photojournalist Bethany Swain won second place in the News Feature Video Editing category for her natural sound piece that detailed WTOP Radio’s traffic center. The piece was done for American Journalism Review:


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