By Jay P. Goldman

An array of Merrill College faculty, students and alumni contributed to the 2019 National High School Journalism Convention from Nov. 21-24 in Washington, which attracted a record 6,200 scholastic journalists and more than 500 student newspaper and yearbook advisers from across the country.

The Merrill participants served as presenters, panelists and on-site writing contest judges. They also hosted students in small-group professional chats.

Faculty members Kevin Blackistone and Dana Priest served as featured speakers, addressing “Sports and Politics” and “Student Investigations,” respectively.

George Solomon, director of The Shirley Povich Center for Sports Journalism, moderated a panel called “Sports Journalism on the Collegiate Level” with four current Merrill College students: Lila Bromberg ’21, MacKaiya Cherry ’20, Andy Kostka ’20 and Paige Leckie ’20.

Administrators Rafael Lorente and Kathy Best collaborated for a program session on “University-Based Investigative Centers.” Faculty member Bethany Swain led a session on using videos in the coverage of school affairs. Hallie Miller ’18 of The Baltimore Sun led “Newspapering in the Digital Age.” David Oliver ’14 of USA Today presented on social media use in journalism.

Nine others, including five recent Merrill graduates, participated in Break with a Pro, a networking event that enabled small groups of student journalists to sit at roundtables for 50 minutes with a professional in a field of interest. The alumni participants were Emily Yahr ’08 of The Washington Post; Sammi Silber ’19 of Sporting News Canada; Alexandra Miller ’13 of NewsyUlysses Munoz ’15 of The Baltimore SunJon Forsythe ’01 of McClatchy NewsKate Yanchulis ’10, a graduate student with the Povich Center, as well as current and former adjunct faculty members Brian Cleveland of The Washington PostHalimah Abdullah of NBC News and Madeline Marshall ’12 of Politico also met with students at the networking event.

Three others with ties to the college served as judges for the on-site writing and reporting competition: retired faculty member Maurine Beasley, Jacqueline Hyman ’18 of Washington Jewish Week and Carly Haynes ’20, vice president of the Society of Professional Journalists chapter at Merrill.

Admissions recruiter Terrence Britt staffed the college’s table in the exhibit hall.

The national convention, held each spring and fall in different halves of the country, is run by the Journalism Education Association and the National Scholastic Press Association. It is conducted in Washington every five years.

Jay P. Goldman, a Maryland adjunct faculty member in journalism since 1989, served on the national convention’s local organizing committee and recruited many of the Merrill participants. He is also a board member of the Maryland-D.C. Scholastic Press Association, which has had a lengthy affiliation with Merrill College.