Skip to main content
Howard Center

Scripps Howard Extends Howard Centers for Investigative Journalism for Another Three Years

Foundation Invests $3 Million in Center at University of Maryland

Howard Center logo

CINCINNATI -- The Scripps Howard Foundation, the philanthropic arm of The E.W. Scripps Company, will extend its support for the Howard Centers for Investigative Journalism at the University of Maryland and Arizona State University for another three years. 

The new agreement is part of the Scripps Howard Foundation’s commitment to developing the next generation of journalists through programs that bridge the classroom and the newsroom. 

Established in 2018, the Howard Centers honor the legacy of Roy W. Howard, former chairman of the Scripps-Howard newspaper chain and a pioneering news reporter. 

“These two programs are now the gold standard for preparing future investigative journalists through hands-on learning from some of the top investigative journalists in the country,” said Mike Canan, director of journalism strategies for the Scripps Howard Foundation. 

Since the programs launched, student journalists have produced numerous investigations, such as "Printing Hate," a thorough exploration of the racist pasts of some newspapers, and "COVID’s Invisible Victims," exploring the pandemic’s impact on America’s homeless residents. The student journalists’ work has been recognized with nearly a dozen national journalism awards.

Investigations by students at the Howard Center at UMD have been cited by a Congressional committee on climate change and by the HBO news show, “Last Week Tonight with John Oliver.” 

“The Howard Centers have released a series of impactful stories that have been published by the country’s most well-known news outlets,” said Arizona State University’s Walter Cronkite School of Journalism and Mass Communication Dean Battinto L. Batts Jr., the former Scripps Howard Foundation director of journalism strategies.

The Howard Center at ASU has placed 18 student journalists in prestigious yearlong Roy W. Howard fellowships in professional newsrooms. Graduates of both Howard Centers have since been hired by some of the top professional newsrooms in the country, including The Associated Press, The Wall Street Journal and National Public Radio.

Each university will receive $3 million from the Scripps Howard Foundation to continue teaching graduate and undergraduate students the skills needed to become top investigative journalists.

“The renewed funding for the Howard Center for Investigative Journalism will allow our students, faculty and staff to expand upon their extraordinary work over the past three years,” University of Maryland’s Philip Merrill College of Journalism Dean Lucy Dalglish said.

The Howard Center for Investigative Journalism, led by Director Kathy Best and Data Editor Sean Mussenden, collaborates with professionals and students at Maryland and around the country to publish impactful journalism.

It has produced such projects as:

  • Printing Hate (Fall 2021), which examined the racist pasts of white-owned newspapers in America, bringing together student journalists from Merrill College, Hampton University, Howard University, Morehouse College, Morgan State University, North Carolina Agricultural & Technical State University and the University of Arkansas. The project was named a finalist for the prestigious Punch Sulzberger Innovator of the Year Award. It was published by Word in Black, a collection of the nation's top Black publishers.
  • Pushed Too Far (August 2021), which investigated the 22 Division I college football player deaths from exertion-related illnesses since 2000. It was the first collaboration between the Howard Center and Merrill College’s Shirley Povich Center for Sports Journalism. It was published by USA TODAY.
  • Essential and Exposed (May 2021), which showed how the Occupational Safety and Health Administration failed to protect essential workers amid the pandemic. One story used Walmart, the nation’s largest private employer, to examine OSHA’s performance during the pandemic. One looked at how migrant seafood-processing workers in Maryland, Virginia and North Carolina, who are legally hired and transported to the U.S. each season through the federal H-2B visa program, face heightened risks of catching COVID-19. The project brought together student journalists from Merrill College, the University of Arkansas, Boston University and Stanford University. It was published by The Associated Press.
  • Nowhere To Go (2020), which took a nationwide snapshot of how homeless people are being treated in America, and looked at those in danger of becoming homeless. The Howard Center created what the Center for Cooperative Media called "one of the largest college journalism collaborations ever,” bringing together students from seven university journalism programs spanning the country: Merrill College, the University of Oregon, Boston University, Stanford University, the University of Arkansas, the University of Florida and Arizona State University. The project won the Society of Professional Journalists' Sigma Delta Chi Award for Collaborative Journalism as well as multiple regional awards, and was a finalist for an Investigative Reporters & Editors Award in the Student - Large category. It was also cited by the HBO show, "Last Week Tonight with John Oliver" and was published by The Associated Press.
  • Code Red: Baltimore's Climate Divide (September 2019), which used innovative techniques to examine climate change inequity through the lens of Baltimore. The Howard Center partnered with NPR on the project, with NPR looking at the issue from a more national perspective. Code Red won six major professional national awards: Scripps Howard Award, Topic of the Year category; National Press Foundation, Innovative Storytelling Award; News Leaders Association, Punch Sulzberger Award for Innovative Storytelling; Society of Professional Journalists, Sigma Delta Chi Award for Collaborative Journalism; Philip Meyer Journalism Award competition, Honorable Mention; and National Institute for Health Care Management Foundation, Digital Media Award. The project was cited by a Congressional committee on climate change. It was published by The Associated Press and several other professional partners.

Media contact: Michael Perry, The E.W. Scripps Company, 513-259-4718,

About the Scripps Howard Foundation
The Scripps Howard Foundation supports philanthropic causes important to The E.W. Scripps Company (NASDAQ: SSP) and the communities it serves, with a special emphasis on journalism education, excellence in journalism and childhood literacy. At the crossroads of the classroom and the newsroom, the Foundation is a leader in supporting journalism through scholarships, internships, minority recruitment and development and First Amendment causes. The Scripps Howard Awards stand as one of the industry’s top honors for outstanding journalism, and the Foundation’s annual “If You Give a Child a Book …” childhood literacy campaign has distributed more than 500,000 new books to children in need across the nation since 2017. In support of its mission to create a better-informed world, the Foundation also partners with Scripps brands to create awareness of local issues and support impactful organizations to drive solutions that help build thriving communities. 

Back to Top