COLLEGE PARK (4/17/20) — Riin Aljas ’20, a master’s student at the University of Maryland Philip Merrill College of Journalism, has been awarded a 2020-21 Scripps Howard Fellowship in data reporting.
The Scripps Howard Fellowship is a 12-month program in conjunction with the Scripps Washington Bureau/Newsy and ProPublica’s New York City newsroom.
The program, which starts in June 2020, is a paid opportunity for postgraduates to kickstart their journalism careers. The goal is to develop a diverse pool of talented, young journalists who will have the foundational skills for future leadership.
Past Scripps Howard fellows have gone on to work for USA Today Network, ProPublica and Bloomberg.
Aljas will work in Washington, D.C., with the Scripps data team, which helps develop and vet investigative story ideas, adding data to all reporting. She’ll work with the entire newsroom in collecting, cleaning, evaluating and analyzing data.
Couldn't be more grateful and excited for this opportunity as a data journalism fellow @newsy Thank you everyone @merrillcollege and @AP data team for teaching me enough to get there. ? https://t.co/iZ1EB68BCe
— Riin Aljas (@riinaljas) April 16, 2020
Aljas brings extensive journalistic experience to her new role, including plenty gained during her time at Merrill College. She worked on the “Death Behind Bars” series, a collaboration between the college’s Capital News Service and The Associated Press. She also was a data analyst on “Growing Up Behind Bars,” the most recent project from the college’s Howard Center for Investigative Journalism, which was done in partnership with CNS and PBS NewsHour.
Additionally, Aljas shared a byline with Merrill College Professor Dana Priest, a Washington Post reporter, and fellow student Scott Gelman on a story illustrating how Maryland voters were targeted by Russia during the run-up to the 2016 election. The article was published by The Washington Post.
Aljas, a Fulbright Scholar from Estonia, has previously served as a data reporting intern with The Associated Press and was a reporter at Estonia’s Postimees. She is also working on a second master’s degree in E-government technologies and services at the Tallinn University of Technology in Estonia.