Updated Nov. 2, 2016

COLLEGE PARK, Md. (Aug. 27) – A busy fall semester starts Monday at the University of Maryland and Knight Hall, as the 2016-2017 school year gets underway.

It promises to be one of the most exciting school years yet at the Philip Merrill College of Journalism.

New technology will increase the hands-on, real-world experiences of our #MerrillMade students:

  • A generous grant from the Richard Eaton Foundation helped provide two additional TriCaster video switchers, new studio cameras, a digital router, and other equipment to the Reichard Eaton Broadcast Center.
  • New 360 degree video cameras (prosumer and professional) have been purchased for use by our Capital News Service student reporters. Broadcast Lecturer Josh Davidsburg is also creating a unit that will be used in many other Merrill College classes so students at all levels can try out this new technology for storytelling.
  • The Merrill College has purchased two Sony FS5 XDCam Super 35 cinema cameras that can be used for producing longer form documentaries or other projects. This camera even has built-in WiFi capability for live streaming to PCs, tablets or smart phones.
  • Two new podcast studios are now available for class and faculty use and (ultimately) to conduct remote radio interviews.
  • Updated equipment in Knight Hall’s Studio C includes new cameras, a TriCaster Mini and other professional TV gear. The studio will be used for a number of purposes, including CNS Broadcast live or taped remotes and even Facebook Live or remote broadcast interviews.

Knight Hall classes this semester touch on Election 2016, scandal in America, video innovation, 9/11’s impact on journalism and even cybersecurity reporting:

  • ElectionWatchVisiting Professor Tom Bettag is teaching JOUR368E – “Managing a Broadcast” where students will “analyze competing network’s coverage of the presidential campaign.” They will “examine reporting, writing, ethical decisions, statistics and graphic presentation, studio presentation, and utilization of supporting web materials. They will work to understand what tools produce the most effective broadcasts.” Their goal will to be envision and shape a compelling broadcast. The class will be developing a website to document their work. Check out their website.
  • Merrill’s Eaton Broadcast Chair, Professor Mark Feldstein, is teaching JOUR289P “Scandal! Exposing Corruption, Injustice, and Vice in America.”  Students will “examine the nature and meaning of scandals in society: how they are uncovered and constructed; why some forms of wrongdoing are considered scandalous but not others; how this definition has changed over time; and how scandals resonate in ways that reflect evolving societal norms.”
  • Broadcast Lecturer Josh Davidsburg’s JOUR368K, “Video Innovation” lets students “explore the intersection between social media, video and a live broadcast by creating new and innovative ways to ‘broadcast’ news to an audience. The class will encourage an entrepreneurial spirit and give students the opportunity to produce a show from scratch, with content aired on UMTV and online. In addition to creating television, students will support the broadcast arm of Capital News Service by managing volunteers, filling in on the studio staff and producing special projects and graphics when necessary.” The class will also be producing a “VLOG” or “Video Blog” to document all the great things going on in the class:

  • Merrill College’s Knight Chair Dana Priest is teaching JOUR459P, “The Impact of 9/11 on Journalism and Civic Life.” This course will explore the “impact of the Sept. 11 terrorist attacks on journalism and American civic life. Students will examine the growth of secret government institutions and technology, western government leaders’ willingness/unwillingness to speak truthfully with citizens about threats, and the historic role journalism has played in shaping public debate on critical issues facing the nation.”
  • Adjunct Lecturer Bruce Auster (NPR’s Collaborative Coverage Senior Editor) will teach JOUR389Y, “Reporting on Cybersecurity Journalism.” Merrill students will “learn the essentials of cybersecurity as a journalistic beat. This course will balance an exploration of key issues in the field with practical guidance on how journalists approach the subject. Topics include: balancing security and civi l liberties; the different roles and responsibilities of government and business; how to find sources in a very secretive field; ethics of cover age and the role of advocacy journalism; and more.”

artworks-000177797647-t1bzaj-t500x500Election 2016 is Campus-Wide

The Merrill College is also taking part in a signature University of Maryland event this fall called “Democracy Then & Now – Citizenship & Public Education.” The semester-long series of events kicks off Sept. 6 and will “educate students on the central role of public education in the development of American democracy and civic participation.” Follow along on Twitter using #UMDpolitics.

Among the many events planned across campus, Knight Hall will host the executive director of the Student Press Law Center – Frank LoMonte. On Oct. 13, he will talk about constitutional rights on campus.

Wait! There’s More:

  • In November, TERP Magazine published an article called “Tails from the Trail” featuring a number of Merrill College graduates who are on the campaign trail with Hillary Clinton and Donald Trump.
  • Merrill College faculty experts are part of a major list of University of Maryland experts who can talk about a wide range of issues for the media.
  • Merrill College hosted the executive director of the Student Press Law Center – Frank LoMonte Oct. 13. He talked about constitutional rights on campus.
  • Having covered both national political conventions, Merrill College’s CNS student-powered news service is preparing coverage plans election night from Washington, D.C., Annapolis, College Park – and London, England!
  • Also on the radar – January’s presidential inauguration.