Tag Archives: CNS

Philip Merrill College of Journalism: National Mark of Excellence

Montage of SPJ Mark of Excellence winners associated with Merrill College and The Diamondback student newspaper.

Adapted from a Society of Professional Journalists press release.

COLLEGE PARK, Md. (June 1) – The Society of Professional Journalists announced its list of national winners of the 2016 Mark of Excellence Awards in late June, recognizing collegiate work published or broadcast during 2016.

The awards honor the best in student journalism. As such, judges were directed to choose only those entries which they felt were outstanding work worthy of a national honor.

The Philip Merrill College of Journalism figured prominently in those national awards., along with the Diamondback student newspaper.

Sigma Delta Chi award winners will be honored at an awards banquet on June 23 at the National Press Club in Washington, D.C.

Thanks to CNS Digital Bureau Director Sean Mussenden for compiling the following comprehensive list that includes two national winners and six national finalists.

Best Digital-Only Student Publication
(CNS) Winner: CNSMaryland.org – by Capital News Service Staff.

Online In-Depth Reporting
(CNS) Winner: In Poor Health (Freddie Gray’s Neighborhood) – by Capital News Service Staff.

Online In-Depth Reporting
(UMD) Finalist: School takeovers leave parents without a voice in education – by Lily Altavena, Rose Velazquez and Natalie Griffin, Arizona State University. (Natalie Griffin is a former CNSer who represented Merrill College at News21, where she worked on a voting rights investigation.

Breaking News Reporting (Large) 10,000+ Students
(Diamondback) Finalist: A Murder-Suicide Stuns College Park – by Michael Brice-Saddler, Andrew Dunn, Natalie Schwartz, and Mina Haq.

Best Affiliated Web Site
(CNS) Finalist: CNSMaryland.org – by Capital News Service Staff

Best Use of Multimedia
(CNS) Finalist: In Poor Health (Freddie Gray’s Neighborhood) – by Capital News Service Staff.

Online Sports Reporting
(CNS) Finalist: In Football Recruiting Sweepstakes, Maryland Has Fallen Short – by Ryan Connors and Troy Jefferson.

Television Feature Reporting
(CNS) Finalist: Gold Star Mothers – by Maggie Gottlieb.

Merrill Students Win Gracie Awards

Angelo Bavaro and Michelle Chavez.

(Adapted from a press release as published in The Hollywood Reporter.)

COLLEGE PARK, Md. (March 28) – Angelo Bavaro’17 and Michelle Chavez ’16 are  student Gracie Award winners.

Chavez won for her “Behind Closed Doors” Capital News Service story in the hard news category. She won a Gracie last year as well.

Bavaro won in the “soft news” category for his CNS story, “The Business of Moving On.”

The Gracie Awards are given annually by the Alliance for Women in Media Foundation.

Angelo writes, “In the span of 15 years, Teresa Dawkins lost three of her children and watched one get sent to prison for 22 years. After each loss – despite the grief and anger and confusion – she managed to pick herself up and soldier on. When I first met Teresa, she told me all she wanted was the chance to tell her story and the stories of her children. I am incredibly proud to have given Teresa that chance, and I am beyond grateful to have received a Gracie Award for this piece, which I dedicate entirely to her. The Gracies honor stories that celebrate and empower women. Yes, Teresa’s story is one of tragedy, but more than that, it’s one that embodies the resilient and enduring power of strong and tested women.”

The Business of Moving On has already been honored by the White House News Photographers Association as part of its 2017 “Eyes of History®” Student Competition.

Angelo, Michelle and other local and student award winners will be recognized at the Gracie Awards Luncheon on June 27 at Cipriani in New York City.

About the Gracie Awards

The annual Gracie Awards are given by the Alliance for Women in Media Foundation primarily to celebrate “female luminaries by recognizing their outstanding achievements across new and traditional media platforms.” The 2017 gala supports the AWMF’s educational programs and scholarship campaigns that benefit women in media.

This year’s winners include America Ferrera, Drew Barrymore, Samantha Bee, Savannah Guthrie and Mariska Hargitay. They are among the women who will be honored at the 42nd annual Gracie Awards gala Tuesday, June 6 at the Beverly Wilshire Hotel in Beverly Hills, Ca. The release says, “Among the topics that will be addressed at the gala are immigration, reproduction rights, race relations and women in the workforce.”

(The Gracies have two components – Gala award winners, and separate local and student awards.)

Read the full Gracie Awards release via The Hollywood Reporter. See the complete list of award winners on the AWMF website.

Kopen-Katcef and Merrill Students Shine During NATAS Awards Dinner

Merrill College alumnus Adam Longo '00 presents Sue Kopen Katcef with her NATAS Silver Circle Award.

Merrill College alumnus Adam Longo ’00 presents Sue Kopen Katcef with her NATAS Silver Circle Award. Photo: Pablo Roa.

Updated: March 13, 2017

COLLEGE PARK, Md. (Feb. 23) – A gala event at the Riggs Alumni Center honored professional and student award winners during the NATAS (National Capital Chesapeake Bay Chapter) Gold and Silver Circle Awards Dinner and Ceremony March 4.

The ceremony followed the annual student broadcast seminar Face Time with the Pros hosted by Merrill College earlier that day.

Pillars and certificates for “Outstanding Achievement in Student Production” winners  were awarded during the program in between Gold and Silver Circle Award winners. There were Merrill College winners throughout.


The highlight of the event for Merrill College was the awarding of a Silver Circle Award to CNS Broadcast Bureau Director Sue Kopen Katcef.

Lecturer Josh Davidsburg and senior Michael Stern put together a wonderful video highlighting Sue’s Career:

Sue’s speech was heartwarming and down-to-earth:

A complete list of NATAS Student Award winners:


Maryland Newsline, 11/30/16

News: General Assignment – Serious News:

CNS-Chicken Wars
Sara Dignan

CNS-Baltimore Deconstruction
Alex Pacinda

News: General Assignment – Light News

CNS-Bikes and Burden
Angelo Bavaro

CNS-Survivor Quilt
Michelle Chavez ’16

Video Innovation Class -The Fight for Ferrets in Washington, D.C.
Anna Muckerman

Video Innovation Class – Mission Muffins
Anna Muckerman

Video Innovation Class – Growing Together
Becca King

Public Affairs/Community Service

ViewFinder Team: Fall ’16 Strength and Shame


ViewFinder – The Southern Barnyard Runners
Mackenzie Happe and Hannah Burton


ViewFinder Team: Fall ’16: Faces of the Fair

Non-Fiction: Long Form category

UMD Rival News-the rival news episode
(Rival News is produced by a UMD student group.)



Kopen Katcef Named Silver Circle Honoree by NATAS

Sue Kopen Katcef by Francis Abbey

Sue Kopen Katcef by Francis Abbey

– Adapted from a National Academy of Television Arts and Sciences news release.

COLLEGE PARK, Md.  – Sue Kopen Katcef will be a Silver Circle honoree next March 4 during the National Academy of Television Arts and Sciences (NATAS) annual dinner. Kopen Katcef is the long-time broadcast bureau director for Merrill College’s Capital News Service.

A NATAS media release says that Kopen Katcef and the other honorees “join an impressive group of industry professionals who have helped shape the broadcast industry and continue to influence its future. These leaders have inspired excellence and innovations in every communications discipline. Devoting a quarter-century or more to the broadcast industry, these remarkable media professionals have made significant contributions to the National Capital Chesapeake Bay community.

Kopen Katcef said on Facebook, “I am incredibly honored to have been selected for induction into the Silver Circle of the National Capital Chesapeake Chapter of NATAS.”

The Gold & Silver Circle reception (5 pm), dinner (6 pm), and ceremony (7 pm) will be held on Saturday, March 4, 2017 at the Samuel Riggs IV Alumni Center on campus. To purchase tickets online, go to www.capitalemmys.tv and click Gold & Silver Circle. You may also contact the Chapter office at (703) 234-4055 or AMcKeithan@capitalemmys.org.

NATAS Gold-Silver-Circle-News-Release (PDF)

CNS Will Contribute News Stories to the Associated Press

CNS will now contribute stories to the Associated Press.

COLLEGE PARK, Md. (Jan. 27) – The University of Maryland’s Philip Merrill College of Journalism announced today that Capital News Service (CNS) will contribute news stories to The Associated Press.

CNS is the 26-year-old, student-powered and professionally edited news service of Merrill College, with bureaus in Washington, Annapolis and College Park. CNS delivers public affairs news about Maryland via partner news organizations, a destination website, a nightly on-air television newscast and affiliated social media channels. CNS routinely wins awards from major journalism organizations, including the Society of Professional Journalists, the National Press Photographers Association and others.

“Since its earliest days, CNS has strived to provide the kind of unbiased and accurate news that is the hallmark of The Associated Press,” said Lucy Dalglish, dean of the Merrill College. “Distributing CNS through the AP is another indication of the professionalism of our student journalists.”

“This collaboration with CNS will give more quality content to AP’s customers in Maryland even as it furthers the students’ experience,” said Ravi Nessman, AP’s interim South Region Editor.

The AP, founded in 1846, is the essential global news network, with teams in more than 260 locations in over 100 countries. On any given day, more than half the world’s population sees news from AP.

Under the new agreement, which cements a trial arrangement started last year, the AP will move select stories produced by Capital News Service to its global clients. Already, CNS stories have appeared on the websites of news organizations across the country.

AP: www.ap.org

CNS: www.cnsmaryland.org