Howard Center students reporting in Baltimore.

Howard Center For Investigative Journalism

The Howard Center, funded by the Scripps Howard Foundation, collaborates with professionals and students at Maryland and around the country to publish impactful journalism.

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Howard Center

Dive deep into data. Investigate the issues. Shine light on society's injustices. Partner with professionals. Produce stories with impact.

Howard Center Projects

Nowhere To Go, the Myers family
Nowhere To Go, with the Howard Consortium (Above: The Myers family, of Tulsa, Oklahoma)

Nowhere To Go - Evictions

For the last year, the Howard Center for Investigative Journalism has collaborated with universities from coast to coast to examine the impact of homelessness.

In the summer of 2020, the Howard Center expanded its reporting to include those who could join the ranks of the homeless after the arrival of the coronavirus caused millions of people to lose their jobs.

The latest package in the series uses court records, eviction data, public records and interviews with landlords, tenants and housing experts to assess how the CARES Act eviction moratorium played out on the ground. The Howard Center found confusion at every level, which led to selective enforcement of the law and unequal treatment for renters.

Nowhere To Go, with the Howard Consortium
Nowhere To Go, with the Howard Consortium

Nowhere To Go - Criminalization, Encampments

Homelessness. It plagues every corner of the country, driving political debate from city halls to the White House as elected leaders try to figure out what to do about the half-million Americans living on our streets.

The Howard Center for Investigative Journalism wanted to take a nationwide snapshot of how homeless people are being treated in America, particularly those living outside, with nowhere to go.

To do that, the Howard Center created an unprecedented collaboration among seven university journalism programs spanning the country.

Growing Up Behind Bars, with PBS
Growing Up Behind Bars, with PBS

Growing Up Behind Bars

The United States was the only country to condemn minors to life in prison with no chance for parole. In recent years the Supreme Court has ruled this unconstitutional.

Yet more than 2,000 so-called juvenile lifers remain in prison in what the court says is cruel and unusual punishment.

This work is a collaboration among the University of Maryland's Howard Center for Investigative Journalism and Capital News Service and the PBS NewsHour.

Code Red: Baltimore's Climate Divide, with NPR
Code Red: Baltimore's Climate Divide, with NPR

Code Red: Baltimore's Climate Divide

Urban heat islands vividly illustrate the price humans will pay in the world’s growing climate crisis. With an abundance of concrete and little shade, they get hotter faster and stay hotter longer.

Rising temperatures in these neighborhoods will mean more trips to the hospital for heart, kidney and lung ailments. Drugs to treat mental illness and diabetes won’t work as well. Pregnant women will give birth to children with more medical problems.

Solutions exist, the Howard Center and NPR found. But growing more trees, repairing the frayed social fabric of a neighborhood or rebuilding streets and sidewalks to reflect heat are expensive — and take time. For cities like Baltimore, the clock is ticking. The project 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
  • National Institute for Health Care Management Foundation, Digital Media Award

About The Center

The Howard Center for Investigative Journalism, launched in 2019, gives University of Maryland Philip Merrill College of Journalism students the opportunity to work with news organizations across the country to report stories of national or international importance to the public.

The multidisciplinary program is focused on training the next generation of reporters through hands-on investigative journalism projects. Students will learn to dive deep into data, ask tough questions of those in power and tell the stories they uncover in new and compelling ways.

The center is directed by Kathy Best, whose long career in journalism includes leading The Seattle Times to two Pulitzer Prizes.

The Howard Center is generously funded by $3 million from the Scripps Howard Foundation and honors the legacy of Roy W. Howard, former chairman of the Scripps-Howard newspaper chain and a pioneering news reporter.

Howard was one of the newspaper world’s most dynamic personalities. He became president of the United Press when he was 29 and 10 years later was named chairman of the board of Scripps Howard. He retired in 1953 but remained active in the company until his death at age 81 in 1964.

Fellowships and aid are available for graduate students interested in working with the Howard Center. Undergraduate students will also have opportunities to work with the Howard Center. Howard fellows also can compete for post-graduation fellowships that place them on investigative teams in nonprofit newsrooms.

Howard Center Faculty & Staff

Portrait of Kathy Best

Kathy Best

Director, Howard Center for Investigative Journalism
Portrait of Sean Mussenden

Sean Mussenden

Data Editor, Howard Center for Investigative Journalism; Senior Lecturer
Portrait of Maria Lee

Maria Lee

Program Coordinator, Howard Center for Investigative Journalism
The Howard Center is a proud member of the
Global Investigative Journalism Network



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