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The Philip Merrill College of Journalism Remembers Ben Bradlee

A Washington Post photo of then-Editor Ben Bradlee.

A Washington Post photo of then-Editor Ben Bradlee.

COLLEGE PARK, Md. – American journalism lost an icon Oct. 21 when former Washington Post Editor Ben Bradlee died at age 93. Bradlee is best known for his tenacious and fearless oversight of the Post’s investigation of Watergate during the Nixon era.

A number of current Merrill College faculty members who worked at the Post remember him fondly.

“I had the good fortune of working for Ben Bradlee for more than 20 years when he was the Executive Editor of the Washington Post and I was his Sports Editor,” said George Solomon, who is now the director of the Shirley Povich Center for Sports Journalism at the Merrill College.

“I tell everyone his greatest asset as an editor and leader was his ability to make your day special with a five-minute conversation at the start of a day. He inspired, cajoled, supported and in many cases hired a great group of journalists because he knew what made us tick and how to best do a difficult job. He knew a story, how to get a story and the importance of supporting his editors and reporters. If you were to ask me — and so many others who worked at The Washington Post – what was the highlight of your career, the answer would be simple: Working with and knowing Ben Bradlee.”

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Bradlee attended the grand opening of the Shirley Povich Center for Sports Journalism in November, 2011. Here is poses with members of the Povich family.

Bradlee attended the grand opening of the Shirley Povich Center for Sports Journalism in November, 2011. Here he poses with members of the Povich family.

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Posted in Dana Priest, Faculty Experts, Freedom of the Press, Journalism History, Knight Chair in Public Affairs Journalism, Povich Sports Center | Tagged , , , , , , , , | Comments closed

Journalism Career Day Offers Recruiters, Panels Monday, October 20

DSC_0266See the Storify about the event!

COLLEGE PARK, Md. -The Philip Merrill College of Journalism’s annual Career Day is set for Monday, Oct. 20.  All events take place in the Grand Ballroom of the Stamp Student Union. A series of workshops are once again being planned as well.

Light refreshments will be available.  Be sure to dress appropriately and bring plenty of resumes. This is a great event to find internships as well.

The Career Fair  runs from 1 p.m. until 4:30 p.m., while workshops start at 2 p.m.

NOTE: “VICE” is sponsoring a pre-Career Fair information session with its Executive Producer B.J. Levin and several Merrill alumni – 11:30-12:30 Knight Hall 3202 (The Gene Roberts Room).

Who is attending?

The Merrill College chapter of the National Press Photographers Association will be there to shoot career photos.

National Association of Black Journalists will be there to talk about their programs and mentoring.

The Radio Television Digital News Association will be there to talk about its programs and mentoring.

The University Career Center will be there to talk about how to sharpen your career presence.

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Alumna’s New Book Looks at the Dark History of Efforts to Cure Malaria

karenNOTE: We’ve asked Karen (MJ ’04) to write a short narrative about how she came to write her new book, The Malaria Project. The book takes on fresh relevance given the on-going Ebola crisis. You can read more about her book in this article published on Newser and in a piece she wrote for Time Magazine.

By Karen Masterson

COLLEGE PARK, Md. – In his course, Mining the National Archives, Professor Ira Chinoy had students, as an exercise, try to find something that was potentially newsworthy in the archives at College Park. As graduate students, we were expected to competently research a topic and figure out an interesting question that historical records could answer. I was interested in Linus Pauling and asked:

What did he do during World War II (because so much was known about him post-war)? With help from an archivist, I navigated NARA’s room full of reference guides–looking at one guide after another, trying to track down Pauling and the contracts he got through CalTech to do war-related research. This took days of fumbling. Finally I had what I needed: numbers for the right record group, entry, shelf and box that held Pauling’s letters relating to a specific contract he held. Read More »

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“High Hopes” Student Documentary Set for DC Film Festival

Screen Shot 2014-10-16 at 9.55.34 AMCOLLEGE PARK, Md. – High Hopes, a documentary on legalizing medical marijuana shot and edited by the University of Maryland Spring 2014 long-form documentary film class (Cassandra Clayton), tells a story of hope and relief that varies widely from state to state, depending on varying legal status and restrictions.

Merrill Journalists Jaime Cantor, Paige Hymson ’14, Briah Stokes and Jarrett Adams ’14 – center the story in Washington, DC, but also interview patients in New Jersey and Maryland. “High Hopes” is one of 12 films to be featured at the Decade of Docs Film Festival.

The weekend long festival presents documentaries about Washington, DC, going beyond the politics and monuments, and into the communities, cultures and lives that make up the city.

“High Hopes” is screening October 19th at 6 pm at the U.S. Navy Memorial Burke Theater (701 Pennsylvania Ave., NW Washington DC).

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Journalism Center on Children & Families To Close

Screen Shot 2014-07-21 at 4.31.16 PMBy Julie Drizin
JCCF Director

With great sadness, I announce that the Journalism Center on Children & Families will close at the end of 2014.

Formerly the Casey Journalism Center, JCCF was founded 20 years ago by the Annie E. Casey Foundation, which recognized the crucial role of the news media in shining a spotlight on the lives of children and families in the U.S. The foundation launched the center at the Philip Merrill College of Journalism at the University of Maryland, a school renown for public affairs journalism.

For the past two decades, JCCF has helped inspire, support, spread and reward excellent reporting on kids. We’ve trained and assisted hundreds of journalists in every kind of media in every part of the the U.S.

JCCF’s funding will run out at the end of this year. The College has concluded that this Center is not sustainable in the current economic climate. Indeed, these are very challenging times in the worlds of journalism and education.
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Covering Dental Clinic Event Provides Real-Life Experience – and Life-Long Memories

Screen Shot 2014-10-14 at 11.48.09 AM

COLLEGE PARK, Md. – 1,200 patients served. $1.5 million in care delivered. 1,800 volunteers. Two Philip Merrill College of Journalism classes. The massive free dental clinic (The Mid-Maryland Mission of Mercy and Health Equity Festival) held at the XFINITY (Comcast) Center on campus Sept. 5 and 6, 2014 was life changing in many ways. For Julie Drizin’s JOUR328A class – Journalism about Children, Youth, and Families and the JOUR368V – Advanced Storytelling Class taught by Bethany Swain and Scott Rensberger, it was an early opportunity to test journalistic skills and cover a major regional story – on campus.

DSC_8099 - Version 2Drizin was actually approached last May by Stephen Thomas, who directs the Maryland Center for Health Equity (School of Public Health), and asked how the Philip Merrill College of Journalism could get involved with the Mission of Mercy event he was helping to produce. Several other schools on campus, and the professional schools in Baltimore were already involved. Even though the event would happen very early in the semester, Drizin decided to make it the first assignment for her students. She also was able to get Bethany Swain and Scott Rensberger’s Advanced Storytelling Class involved.

The summer was spent preparing for the event, including the development of a coverage schedule and Swain brought her students in early for training as well as pairing new students with professionals or other recent graduates so that they would get the best possible video. Drizin spoke to that class to help them prepare. For her own class, she talked about story ideas while encouraging them to find their own. She also brought in Dr. Thomas to talk about the festival before it opened.

With preparations set, both classes were ready for the two day event.

Students from the Advanced Storytelling Class fanned out across the XFINITY Center’s basketball floor to record the sights and sounds of the massive event for their first ViewFinder program – called “A Free Smile.” In an email, Swain wrote, “The 14-minute production includes seven stories produced during the Mission of Mercy dental clinic… The event happened before our first class of the semester, but that didn’t stop the team from telling these compelling stories.”

Merrill Journalist Bradleigh Chance anchors ViewFinder’s coverage of the 2-day event including the extensive set-up, the volunteers donating their time and various skills, the underserved population who waited to be treated, and the painful procedures that they underwent.

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Professor Susan Moeller Named Undergraduate Studies Fellow

moellerCOLLEGE PARK, Md. – Philip Merrill College of Journalism Professor Susan Moeller has been named a 2014 Undergraduate Studies Faculty Fellow. Formerly known as the Lilly Fellows, Faculty Fellows this school year will, according to Undergraduate Studies, “address challenges and opportunities in teaching large enrollment courses and help to define these courses as uniquely important for student success – all with an eye toward improving what we do well and sharing new ideas and success with colleagues.”

Undergraduate Studies Dean Donna Hamilton says that large enrollment courses are among the first courses new students take at UMD. “To the extent that these courses introduce students to college level work, they also ideally model what we expect of students.” This program will be led by Ann Smith, Assistant Dean, and Lisa Kiely, Assistant Dean, in the Office of Undergraduate Studies. Their work will include collaboration with Associate Provost Ben Bederson and the Teaching & Learning Transformation Center (TLTC), along with consideration of how learning analytics may support teaching and learning.

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Merrill College Multimedia Journalism Program Takes Careers To New Heights


COLLEGE PARK, Md. – Working journalists – and communicators in all professions – face major challenges today to keep their skills current. That’s why the Philip Merrill College of Journalism offers a Saturday-only four-course graduate program aimed at moving careers into overdrive.  Skills learned in class can often be applied at work the following week.

Multimedia Lecturer and Director of Assessments Christine Harvey oversees the Graduate Certificate Program of Professional Studies in Multimedia Journalism. She says the program is tailored to provide the tools working professionals need now to succeed. “There are two courses each semester,” she says. “They blend practical training in video, audio, photography, blogging, and interactive Web publishing with the critical application of editorial, ethical and legal principles in digital media.” She adds there is also a strong emphasis on mobile and entrepreneurial journalism.

Note: You can start in the Fall or Spring.

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News Engagement Day A Success: Make News. Make History

Photo by Christian Jenkins.

Photo by Christian Jenkins.

Updated October 7, 2014

COLLEGE PARK, Md. – It’s time to engage with the news – to make it a national priority once again. That’s the hope of the AEJMC – the Association for Education in Journalism and Mass Communication.

On October 7, the University of Maryland joined schools, colleges and universities across the U.S. to take part in “News Engagement Day” activities as a way to encourage everyone to “read, watch, like, tweet, post, text, email, listen to, or comment on news.”

The program at UMD was a collaborative effort between the Philip Merrill College of Journalism and the Department of Communication (ARHU).


Created with flickr slideshow.



The Diamondback is also conducting a survey:

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Merrill College Welcomes New Humphrey Fellows

HuphreyFellowsBy Lily Ciric Hoffmann
Deputy Director, Lecturer
Hubert H. Humphrey Program

COLLEGE PARK, Md. – Hailing from Albania to Thailand, 12 mid-career media professionals from 11 countries are spending the academic year at the Philip Merrill College of Journalism. On Wednesday, Oct. 1, Merrill College faculty and staff and the State Department and the Institute of International Education (IIE) officials welcomed the 22nd generation of Humphrey Fellows to the University of Maryland.

The Fellows arrived in mid-August and are enrolled and actively participating in classes in Journalism, Communication, Public Affairs, Government and Politics and Telecommunications departments. They’re honing their skills in multimedia, reporting, investigative journalism, media leadership strategies, media regulations and communication strategies in the government sector.

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