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Povich Center

Povich Center Spring Update

Unlevel Playing Fields,” the Povich Center’s report with the Howard Center for Investigative Journalism on Title IX and high school sports, has been awarded first place in a projects category by the Associated Press Sports Editors. APSE announced the April 26.

The recognition from APSE is significant. The contest is one of the most important in sports journalism and includes entries from professional news organizations across the country. The Philip Merrill College of Journalism project was the only winning entry from a university program in this year's contest.

Reporting for “Unlevel Playing Fields” revealed a system that fails to effectively monitor compliance with Title IX, affecting 3.4 million girls who play sports for high school teams. It also showed that critical Title IX data collected by the U.S. Department of Education’s Office for Civil Rights is incomplete and differs substantially from statistics kept by school districts.

The project, published in April 2022, includes 12 text stories, several video pieces and a national poll of high school parents and their student-athletes to measure awareness of Title IX, which turned 50 last June. Nearly two dozen student journalists participated in the project, as well as many Merrill College faculty. More here.

Other updates:

NBA Africa

The Povich Center’s first international course is scheduled for June. Ten students will travel to Senegal for eight days to report on the globalization of sport and the NBA’s plans to develop players in Africa. Gifts designated for scholarships topped $20,000, making the course possible for several students. The class will return with text and video stories that will be published by Capital News Service.

Gambling on Campus 

In February, the Povich and Howard centers collaborated on an investigation, “Gambling on Campus,” which explored how universities are responding to legalized sports betting. PBS NewsHour ran two broadcast segments based on our reporting. Stories by Merrill College students were published by The Washington Post, Seattle Times, San Francisco Chronicle, St. Louis Post Dispatch and Houston Chronicle, among other news organizations. More here.  

Povich Center @ Super Bowl LVII

For the second year, the Povich Center partnered with Sports Business Journal to send a student reporter to the Super Bowl. Varun Shankar, a junior from Sterling, Virginia, wrote several stories for SBJ and penned a full-page article that appeared in SBJ’s print magazine. SBJ’s John Ourand ‘89 has been instrumental in creating the partnership. 

NYC Networking Trip

Last week, six sports journalism students traveled to New York City with assistant director Kaitlyn Wilson and director Mark Hyman on a networking trip. We met with editors, producers and officials at the NBA, HBO Real Sports, SiriusXM and CBS Sports, including Merrill alums Adi Joseph ’09 and Shane Connolly ’11.

Eighth Annual Summer Camp

Planning for summer camp is underway. This year’s camp, which runs from July 10-14, has reached its capacity of 50 campers, with students on a waiting list. Over the years, the camp has introduced high school students to Merrill College and the Povich Center. Many have become Merrill College students.

Visiting Fulbright Scholar

Merrill College and the Povich Center are hosting Aaron Gallagher, a Fulbright Scholar and Ph.D candidate. Aaron, who is completing studies at Dublin City University, will be in residence at the Povich Center for six months pursuing research on relationships between reporters and their sources in the U.S. and Europe.

Reporting in the Field

Students from Professor Kevin Blackistone’s Sports Reporting and Writing Class traveled this semester to Richmond, Virginia, to cover the Toyota Owners 400. Students have also been busy covering Wizards, Nationals and DC United games. 

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