Tag Archives: investigative journalism

Merrill College: Fearless Journalism

COLLEGE PARK, Md. – What does Fearless Journalism mean at the Philip Merrill College of Journalism? We’ve given that a lot of thought – and we think that for our potential – and current – Merrill journalists, there’s a lot to say about what we will teach you and ultimately, how you will practice as a working journalist going into the future. Never has there been a time that required more from journalists. The training you will receive here – everything from investigative journalism to sports –  will make a difference. It will make you a fearless journalist.

Here’s what Fearless Journalism means:

  • The relentless search for what is true and meaningful;
  • The willingness to question conventional wisdom;
  • The courage to ask tough but fair questions;
  • The ability to set our own news agenda, and not follow that of others;
  • The perseverance to not give up when there are those who would deter you from pursuing a story;
  • The spirit to experiment with various modes of storytelling on many platforms;
  • The independence to hold the powerful accountable;
  • The wisdom to give voice to the powerless;
  • The vision to shape the agenda.

(Thanks to Jay Kernis ’74 and Chris Frates ’00)

There’s more!

Watch our new Fearless Journalism video that explains all the great classes, tools, experiences – in and out of class – that you’ll have here at the Philip Merrill College of Journalism:


Thanks to Ralph Crosby ’46 , John Seng ’79, David Butler (Butler Films) and Alanna Delfino ’14 for making this video possible.


Associate Professor Deborah Nelson In Lillehammer: Learning by Doing with Students

Deborah Nelson and Sheila S. Coronel

Deborah Nelson and Sheila S. Coronel. Used with permission.

By Olivia Knudsen & Agnete Bråtun
Olivia Knudsen and Agnete Bråtun are journalism students at the University College of Volda. They were on special assignment covering the Global Investigative Journalism Conference in Lillehammer, Norway earlier this month.

Reprinted with permission.

(LILLEHAMMER, Norway) – Oct. 22: Are muckrackers born or made? The question was asked by Sheila S. Coronel, academic dean at Colombia University’s Graduate School of Journalism, in the session Investigative Journalism with Students.

“We believe they are made, that is why we are teaching investigative journalism. We also believe they come in all sizes and shapes.”

Coronel and Deborah Nelson, associate professor of investigative journalism at the University of Maryland, discussed how they teach their students to produce high quality stories and what they expect from them.

Coronel highlighted that the only way to learn investigative journalism is by doing.

Deborah Nelson
thinks investigative journalism is crucial and that all journalism studies should focus more on this type of reporting and writing. “When I interview them, I try to scare them. If they still want to study here, they know what investigative journalism is all about. They are very talented,” she said.

Nelson explained that they chose the cases to work on depending on the level of difficulty and importance. The students need inner strength and curiosity to work on the project, but also, constant guidance from professors.

Journalism teachers “should read investigative stories to their students, analyze them, and talk about them step by step,” she said. And they “should be available for the students so they can ask for help while working.”

Check out Deborah Nelson’s presentation here.

Read the entire story on the Global Investigative Journalism Conference website.

The Perfect Location

The University of Maryland is uniquely located near Washington, D.C. and Baltimore. Such a perfect location gives Philip Merrill College of Journalism students the special opportunity to examine, understand and report on the most important government activities and debates of our day. We help them… and will help you… become fearless journalists.

Our undergraduate and graduate journalism programs offer students the practical courses, investigative focus and proximity to experts and decision-makers to make this possible. Most recently, student work has appeared on the front pages of the Washington Post and Baltimore Sun. Our student investigation into human sex trafficking in Maryland was judged by the Society of Professional Journalists in Sept. 2016 as the best in the nation.

Be part of a program where ground-breaking journalism can make a difference. Become #MerrillMade at the Philip Merrill College of Journalism.

Undergraduate Information

Graduate Information


Humphrey Fellow Andras Petho Publishes Front Page Washington Post Article


Humphrey Fellow Andras Petho at the Washington Post.

COLLEGE PARK, Md. – When Hungarian investigative reporter Andras Petho came to the University of Maryland as a Humphrey Fellow this past year, little did he realize just how life-changing it would be. The whole purpose of the Humphrey Fellowship program  is to give working professionals from around the world – most of them journalists – a chance to learn about state-of-the art professional practices. The program is sponsored by the U.S. State Department at colleges and universities throughout the nation.

Here at Maryland, the Philip Merrill College of Journalism has hosted the Humphrey Fellowship program for many years. It provides “an exchange between the developing world and the United States. An opportunity to form enduring friendships and collaborations,” says Director Serap Rada.

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