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Students at the Philip Merrill College of Journalism study under journalists who have helped shape the face of some the world's best news organizations.
- Professor Carl Sessions Stepp, who helped create USA TODAY as national editor, contributes regularly to the college's American Journalism Review in addition to his teaching.
- Carnegie Visiting Professor Deborah Nelson is a Pulitzer-winner who came to the faculty from The Los Angeles Times, where she was investigations editor of the Washington bureau.
- Ira Chinoy, former computer-assisted reporting director at the Washington Post, is a two-time Pulitzer winner and pioneer in the techniques of computer-assisted reporting and investigative journalism.
Students also can take advantage of theory and research courses taught by some of the leading scholars in the field: Professor Maurine Beasley, renowned historian and past president of the national Association for Education in Journalism and Mass Communication; and Professor Linda Steiner, who specializes in gender and media research.
The cornerstone of the multi-platform journalism specialization is the Capital News Service bureau program. Students near the end of their studies spend a full semester at college-operated news bureaus in Washington (at the National Press Building just a few blocks from the White House) and the state capital of Annapolis (a block from the State House). There, students put into practice what they have learned on campus by working, under the guidance of professional editors, as full-time statehouse and Washington correspondents for the service.
An estimated 600 student-bylined stories are transmitted each year to Capital News Service clients, which include 15 Maryland and D.C. daily newspapers (including The Washington Post and The Baltimore Sun), more than two dozen weekly newspapers and several broadcast outlets. The best stories can be transmitted across the nation to hundreds of newspapers via the McClatchy-Tribune News Service. Adrianne Flynn, a former congressional reporter for the Arizona Republic, directs the Washington bureau. Rafael Lorente, a former Washington correspondent for the South Florida Sun-Sentinel, runs the Annapolis operation.
Since the bureau program was started in 1990, graduating students have landed full-time reporting jobs at some of the best news organizations in the country, including The New York Times, The Washington Post, The Miami Herald, The Philadelphia Inquirer, The (Baltimore) Sun, CNN, San Jose Mercury News, The Orlando Sentinel, Associated Press, (Minneapolis) Star Tribune, Tampa Tribune, St. Paul Pioneer Press and The Hartford Courant.
The college also houses chapters of the Society of Professional Journalists and the National Association of Black Journalists. The SPJ chapter was named best in the nation in 1994 and 1995 and has won best chapter in the region for the past several years.