COLLEGE PARK (5/14/18) — Competing against professional news organizations across the region, six projects by University of Maryland Philip Merrill College of Journalism students won Best in Show awards and the college’s nonprofit Capital News Service was named online-only News Organization of the Year by the MDDC Press Association.

Additionally, 20 student submissions won their categories and 15 more won second place in the association’s annual Editorial, Design and Revenue Contest.

“Merrill College’s students once again showed that they can compete with the professionals in this regional contest,” said Lucy A. Dalglish, dean of the Merrill College. “To have won six Best in Show awards demonstrates the breadth of the education our students receive in online, video and data journalism. We’re incredibly proud of them.”

The annual contest recognizes print and online journalism published last year by the press association’s 62 member organizations in Maryland, Delaware and Washington, D.C. Judges considered more than 2,200 entries across 94 categories in eight divisions.

The winners are Merrill College students working for CNS or its visual storytelling team, ViewFinder, under the guidance of professional journalists on the college’s faculty. CNS and ViewFinder compete in the contest’s online-only division, but Best in Show winners compete against entries from all divisions, which include large publications such as The Washington Post and The Baltimore Sun.

The following students or teams won Best in Show awards:

  • Becca King‘s “Restaurant Crash” won in the Spot News Video category for telling the breaking news story of a car crashing into a busy Prince George’s County restaurant during lunchtime.
  • Julie Depenbrock‘s “How a wrongly imprisoned man got his life back,” about a Maryland man who spent nearly 40 years behind bars for a murder he did not commit, won in the General News Story Category.
  • ViewFinder’s Henrietta Biayemi won the Features Video category for “Fostering New Hope,” which tells about a family who adopted three boys affected by heroin abuse.
  • CNS staff won the Medical/Science Reporting category for “Home Sick,” in which a team of student journalists spent more than a year analyzing millions of medical records and conducting dozens of interviews with Baltimore health officials, community leaders and residents to show how housing conditions contribute to illness in one of the city’s poorest neighborhoods. The project also won the 2018 Robert F. Kennedy Journalism Award this spring.
  • Chris Rogers-Spatuzzi and Jake Gluck won for “Major League Baseball players prefer hip-hop songs to get pumped up” in the Sports/Multimedia Storytelling category. The students analyzed the 721 walk-up songs listed for players on MLB.com and created several graphics showing their findings.
  • ViewFinder won the Special Event Video category with “The Value of a Smile,” about a free dental clinic held on the University of Maryland campus. The project also won an Award of Excellence in the Broadcast Education Association Festival of Media Arts this year.

FIRST PLACE

NEWS-DRIVEN MULTIMEDIA STORYTELLING
Becca King
“Safe Stations”

WILD CARD: TRUMP’S IMPACT on COMMUNITIES
Chris Miller
“Maryland Muslims brace for life under Trump”

MEDICAL/SCIENCE REPORTING
CNS STAFF
“Homesick”

EDUCATION REPORTING
Georgia Slater
“Md. Schools commission aims for more career-bound programs”

RELIGION REPORTING
Chris Miller
“Maryland Muslims brace for life under Trump”

GROWTH & LAND USE REPORTING
Alex Mann
“State slashes oyster restoration acreage goal”

FEATURE STORY: PROFILE
Julie Depenbrock
“How a wrongly imprisoned man got his life back”

FEATURE STORY: Non-Profile
Chris Miller
“A look back on the 20th anniversary of Blair Witch in Maryland”

FEATURES-DRIVE MULTIMEDIA STORYTELLING
Alex Mann
“Shell recycling: It’s about the bay”

SPORTS STORY
Josh Schmidt
“New Stephen Curry sneakers may financially boost Under Armour”

SPORTS FEATURE STORY
CNS STAFF
“More than a mascot”

SPORTS MULTIMEDIA STORYTELLING
Chris Rogers-Spatuzzi, Jake Gluck
“Major League Baseball payers prefer hip-hop songs to get pumped up”

GENERAL NEWS VIDEO
Laura Perrot
“9-1-1 Edgewood Shooting”

SPOT NEWS VIDEO
Becca King
“Restaurant Crash”

FEATURES VIDEO
ViewFinder — Henrietta Biayemi
“Fostering New Hope”

SPORTS VIDEO
ViewFinder — Emily Kallmyer, Hannah Burton
“Hoops for Hope”

SPECIAL EVENT VIDEO
ViewFinder Staff
“The Value of a Smile”

GENERAL NEWS STORY
Julie Depenbrock
“How a wrongly accused imprisoned man got his life back”

INVESTIGATIVE REPORTING
CNS STAFF
“Inside Maryland’s Opioid Crisis”

STATE GOVERNMENT
Jake Brodsky
“Maryland has a Budget Problem But No One Can Agree on Why”

SECOND PLACE

NEWS-DRIVEN MULTIMEDIA STORYTELLING
Chris Miller
“Maryland Muslims brace for life under Trump”

BUSINESS REPORTING
Jack Chavez
“Irish firm brings renewable energy to MD poultry industry”

MEDICAL/SCIENCE REPORTING
ViewFinder Staff
“The Value of a Smile”

EDUCATION REPORTING
Georgia Slater
“State legislation to counter opioid epidemic leads panel to revisit recovery schools”

ENVIRONMENTAL REPORTING
Jack Chavez
“Irish firm brings renewable energy to MD poultry industry”

ARTS/ENTERTAINMENT REPORTING
Chris Miller
“A look back on the 20th anniversary of Blair Witch in Maryland”

SPORTS MULTIMEDIA STORYTELLING
Daniel Chavkin
“To build staff, Jay Gruden relied on his NFL coaching social network”

GENERAL NEWS VIDEO
Natalie Grimm
“Animal Abuse”

SPOT NEWS VIDEO
Megan Smedley
“Edgewood Shooting”

FEATURES VIDEO
Alex Flum, Jamal Francis
“Yoyo Master”

SPORTS VIDEO
Alex Flum, Jamal Francis
“Olympic Curling”

BREAKING NEWS
Alex Mann
“As Maryland and other states struggle, Trump declares opioids a public health emergency”

CONTINUING COVERAGE
CNS STAFF
“Pedestrian casualties mount in Maryland town as officials defer action”

INVESTIGATIVE REPORTING
CNS STAFF
“Homesick”

PUBLIC SERVICE
CNS STAFF
“Pedestrian casualties mount in Maryland town as officials defer action”

For more information, contact:
Alexander A. Pyles
aapyles@umd.edu
301-405-1321