Merrill College

UMD Student Journalists Win 16 SPJ Mark of Excellence Awards

COLLEGE PARK — The University of Maryland and the Philip Merrill College of Journalism were well-represented as the Society of Professional Journalists recently honored the best collegiate journalism in Region 2 with its 2020 Mark of Excellence Awards winners.

Angela Roberts
Angela Roberts

UMD students won 16 awards and added 22 finalists across 27 categories, spanning print, digital, visual and broadcast media, including for projects published by Capital News Service, The Diamondback and broadcast by CNS TV

The Howard Center for Investigative Journalism’s “Nowhere to Go” project on homelessness was recognized in Region 1 for an entry from Boston University, one of seven schools that collaborated with UMD. The project previously was named a finalist for an IRE Award (Investigative Reporters & Editors) in the Student - Large category.

In SPJ Region 2, Angela Roberts ’21 won three Mark of Excellence awards -- for General News Reporting (Large), In-Depth Reporting (Large) and Online Feature Reporting. She was named a finalist in one other category.

Clara Longo de Freitas ’22 shared the General News Reporting (Large) award with Roberts and also won the COVID-19: Newspaper, Magazine and Online Coverage (Large) award.

Sean McGoey
Sean McGoey

Master’s students Brenda Wintrode ’20 and Sean McGoey ’20 won two awards for their CNS story, “Disconnected: Students struggle with e-learning obstacles, lawmakers earmark solutions.”

Five other students earned multiple honors: Isabel Cleary ’21 (one win, one finalist), Amelia Jarecke ’22 (one win, one finalist), Julia Nikhinson ’21 (three finalists), Joe Ryan ’22 (one win, one finalist) and Morgan Weaver ’21 (one win, three finalists).

SPJ’s Region 2 comprises Delaware, the District of Columbia, Maryland, North Carolina and Virginia. First-place winners will compete at the national level among other regional MOE winners from the 12 SPJ regions.

National winners will be notified in the late spring and will be recognized at SPJ’s national conference. New MOE categories were added this year for COVID-19 and video game reporting.

Here is the full list of UMD winners and finalists:

Newspaper

Breaking News Reporting (Large) 10,000+ Students
Finalist:
UMD lifts at least 10 suspensions after issuing 19 for noncompliance with COVID-19 rules - by Angela Roberts

General News Reporting (Large) 10,000+ Students
Winner:
UMD workers union fights for improved COVID-19 protection - by Angela Roberts, Clara Longo de Freitas
Finalist: UMD students fight for pass/fail grading option amid coronavirus pandemic - by The Diamondback Staff

In-Depth Reporting (Large) 10,000+ Students
Winner: At UMD, doctoral students depend on their advisers. What can happen when things go wrong? - by Angela Roberts

Feature Writing (Large) 10,000+ Students
Finalist:
‘There’s hope’: How one DACA recipient journeyed to UMD and is fighting for a better life - by Amanda Hernández

Sports Writing
Finalist:
Maryland women’s soccer is unapologetically Black, and it wants young Black girls to know - by David Suggs

Editorial Writing
Finalist:
The Diamondback Editorial Board

General Column Writing
Winner:
Malcolm Ferguson
Finalist: Serena Saunders

Best All-Around Student Newspaper (Large) 10,000+ Students
Finalist:
The Diamondback


Arts/Graphics

General News Photography
Finalist:
County pastor leads hundreds in Black Lives Matter protest - by Joe Ryan
Finalist: Prince George’s County’s first female fire chief - by Julia Nikhinson

Feature Photography
Winner:
Lifting the trophy, Maryland men’s basketball celebrates first Big Ten title - by Joe Ryan

Sports Photography
Finalist:
Maryland women's basketball's Taylor Mikesell celebrates yet another three-pointer - by Julia Nikhinson
Finalist: Maryland gymnastics celebrates season-high 196.975 - by Julia Nikhinson

Editorial Cartooning
Winner:
David Brown - by David Brown

Television

Television Breaking News Reporting
Winner:
The Supreme Court is hearing arguments about the constitutionality of the Affordable Care Act - by Isabel Cleary
Finalist: People's vaccine - by Zach Solon

Television General News Reporting
Finalist:
Brandon Scott swearing-in - by Ya-Marie Sesay

Television Feature Reporting
Finalist:
Jake Funk's comeback - by Morgan Weaver

Television Sports Reporting
Winner:
Jake Funk's comeback - by Morgan Weaver
Finalist: Howard is the HBCU making headlines during college basketball's offseason - by Morgan Weaver

Best All-Around Television Newscast
Winner:
Capital News Service Livestream: Election 2020

Online

Online News Reporting
Winner:
Disconnected: Students struggle with e-learning obstacles, lawmakers earmark solutions - by Brenda Wintrode, Sean McGoey
Finalist: Major campaign giving varies widely by race and geography in Maryland - by Gracie Todd, Aneurin Canham-Clyne

Online Feature Reporting
Winner:
Pregnancy in Prince George's County: Women reflect on bringing new life to state COVID-19 epicenter - by Angela Roberts

Online In-Depth Reporting
Finalist:
For those raised in College Park’s Lakeland, the wounds left by its destruction remain - by Clara Niel

Videography

Broadcast News Videography
Winner:
Local artist memorializes lives lost to COVID-19 - by Kelsey Mannix
Finalist: 'Let Them Play' : Dozens rally in Anne Arundel County to push for the return of high school sports - by Morgan Weaver
Finalist: Protesters gathered today to march against Judge Amy Coney Barrett's Supreme Court nomination - by Isabel Cleary

Online/Digital Feature Videography
Winner:
‘Beauty in the Human Spirit’: David C. Driskell’s art legacy - by Amelia Jarecke

Podcast

Podcast
Winner:
Locked in Leonardtown - by The Diamondback Staff

COVID-19

COVID-19: Newspaper, Magazine and Online Coverage (Large) 10,000+ Students
Winner:
‘It feels like a void’: Grief through the eyes of one UMD student in the age of COVID-19 - by Clara Longo de Freitas
Finalist: Residents of UMD sorority house no longer quarantining after COVID-19 test mix-up - by Eric Neugeboren

COVID-19: Newspaper, Magazine and Online Coverage (Small) 1-9,999 Students
Winner:
Disconnected: Students struggle with e-learning obstacles, lawmakers earmark solutions - by Brenda Wintrode, Sean McGoey

COVID-19: Video Coverage
Winner:
With COVID-19 cases on the rise, UMD students are still going to bars - by Kimi Fleming
Finalist: UMD freshmen adapt to college life during the pandemic - by Amelia Jarecke, Matt Perez

COVID-19: Digital (Still) Photography
Finalist:
UMD classroom sanitized after possible coronavirus expose - by Julia Lerner
 

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