COLLEGE PARK, Md. – The newest PSA promoting the “Fearless Ideas” campaign of the University of Maryland makes good use of the resources of the Philip Merrill College of Journalism. The video, from University Video on campus, begins in a Knight Hall classroom with lecturer Chris Harvey teaching a class. Sociology major Rhys Hall is in the class and takes viewers through the PSA discussing how the university is “transforming the student experience.” One of the highlights is Merrill student Hayley Fixler’16 – who is interning at NBC News in Washington, D.C. this semester.
COLLEGE PARK, Md. – Why is Baltimore’s world-renowned health system struggling to keep Freddie Gray’s neighbors – some of the city’s poorest residents – from getting sick?
The question is central to a new investigation by the Philip Merrill College of Journalism’s student-powered news service, the Capital News Service, in collaboration with Kaiser Health News, a national health policy news service that is part of the nonpartisan Henry J. Kaiser Family Foundation.
The ongoing collaborative investigation began during the fall, 2015 semester and involved Merrill College students in a number of classes:
Abell Professor Sandy Banisky’s Baltimore Urban Reporting Class;
Adjunct Rob Wells’ JOUR328R/JOUR628R Special Topics in News Writing and Reporting; Business Reporting class;
The CNS Online Bureau and Bureau Director Sean Mussenden – which developed the In Poor Health website and created the graphics that are being used along with the stories and
Students Nate Kresh and Micha Green produced videos and conducted taped interviews in support of the series under the direction of Eleanor Merrill Distinguished Visiting Fellow Tom Bettag:
Professor Banisky said, “What surprised me was that people in West Baltimore, people all over the city, know there’s better health care available and they know they deserve better health care and it makes them really angry to understand that the system is not set up to help them more easily.”
Merrill College students who took part in the investigative series included: Ellie Silverman, Matt Present, Jamie Rapp, Carrie Snurr, Christopher Cox, Jake Bacher, Madeleine Deason, Joey Trull, Rose Creasman Welcome, Jordan Branch, Auburn Mann, Naema Ahmed, Marina di Marzo, Catherine Sheffo, Alex Bayline, Nate Kresh, Rachel Bluth, Rachel Greenwald, Micha Green, Brittany Britto, Lauren Burns, Nora Tarabishi, Iman Smith, Ellie Silverman and Amanda Eisenberg.
For Eisenberg, the stories really emphasized how difficult it can be to get basic health services when you’re poor:
“The problems with health care seem like they have easy solutions,” she said. “Get an annual checkup, don’t eat fried food, try to walk outside. Easy, simple things. As I immersed myself in the community to work on this project, I learned that something as easy as going to your doctor isn’t so easy for many people. You might have to wait hours before you are seen, only to have the doctor brush you off or talk down to you. If you have a minimum-wage job, you can’t take off work to go see a doctor. You might not be able to afford the co-pay or have the means to get to the office; just getting to the doctor might take two hours on three separate buses. I hope our stories shed light on the hurdles Baltimore residents regularly deal with.”
Wide Ranging Coverage
A list of some of the major news outlets covering the “In Poor Health” series.
Merrill College student Zoe Sagalow with SABEW 2016 Goldschmidt Data Immersion Workshop co-organizers Marty Steffens and Kevin Hall. – Photo: Kathleen Graham
By Zoe Sagalow
In January, I was a student fellow in the Society of American Business Editors and Writers’ 2016 Goldschmidt Data Immersion Workshop. I was one of four students learning alongside 21 professional journalists. Over the course of the week, we learned about economic, investment and labor data – visiting the Federal Reserve, FDIC, U.S. Bureau of Economic Analysis, U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics, U.S. Census Bureau, Council of Economic Advisors and Investment Company Institute. (More information.)
I learned a lot and took as many notes as I could! It was an exciting and enjoyable week visiting government agencies and talking with the professional journalist fellows.
This spring, I will use what we learned in the Census Bureau sessions and the Bureau of Labor Statistics sessions because those have data at the zip code level — I’m working on a project for Capital News Service, in Rob Wells’ business reporting capstone class, analyzing Baltimore’s economic and business climate.
COLLEGE PARK, Md. – Merrill College doctoral students Karin Assmann, Prashanth Bhat, Alex Quinones, Denitsa Yotova, and Rob Wells, have received acceptances for presentations of their papers at the 2016 Joint Journalism and Communication History Conference at New York University’s Arthur L. Carter Journalism Institute this March.
This is the second year in a row that every Merrill doctoral student from Eaton Chair Mark Feldstein’s JOUR610 class who submitted to this conference received an acceptance.
Here is a list of their work:
Karin Assmann (top left): “Covering Government Surveillance in the late 1960’s and early 1970’s: Who really broke the domestic surveillance scandal and why nobody noticed”
Prashanth Bhat (bottom right): “The Forgotten Genocide: New York Times’ Coverage of the Bengali Struggle and Indo-Pakistan War (1971)”
Alex Quinones (top right): “The Washburn Trial: The First Trial Televised Live in the United States”
Denitsa Yotova (center): “Urban Journalism as the Antecedent of Muckraking: George G. Foster and the Antebellum New York Press, 1840-1860”
Rob Wells (bottom left): “Commercialism and Business Journalism: The Debate Over Independence”
COLLEGE PARK, Md. – Merrill journalist Amanda Eisenberg’16 recently sat down with the college’s new recruitment coordinator Shelby Gluck to talk about her new job and undergraduate recruiting efforts going forward:
Tell us about yourself
I went to school here and I was actually a journalism major as a freshman but I left the college. I just liked writing, and I wasn’t prepared for all the multi-platform work, wasn’t really interested in it. So I switched to secondary ed, and graduated as a certified social studies teacher for high school. Then I moved to Austin, Texas, and I bartended for a while, worked at a staffing agency in D.C. recruiting, and now I’m here as the recruitment coordinator for Merrill, which is awesome because the college really supports this position. The college has competitive graduates, but to keep that up and to keep up Merrill’s recognition as a great J-school, you need to have a feed of qualified high school students coming in.
I think why Merrill is so unique comes down to a couple tenets of the program: faculty, location, internships our students are getting, our building, (and) the hands-on technical training our students are getting. So you can sell Merrill as just a good J-school, but there are several things that make us unique.
What struck you the most about the journalism school when you arrived?
As a freshman, I remember the grammar course. I remembered it being really rigorous and it just emphasized to me the kind of graduate and job candidate that the school has to be producing with those classes. It was hard for me – maybe I wasn’t cut out to be a Maryland journalist. Now that I’m back as staff, what I like most is the integration of the whole community. I’ve been meeting staff and faculty and students and every single person is dedicated to helping me in any way get students involved. People here love the program and want it to succeed because they know it’s good, and I think that’s very cool.
Does your job extend to recent graduates as well?
I think the end goal would be me seeing students from entering the program to leaving the program. Those lasting connections would be great, because we’re trying to really give Merrill a competitive name so that when recruiters and staffing managers see Merrill students, they know what they’re getting.
What’s some things we can look forward to?
We’re going to be promoting our national presence, but on the other side we’re going to be pushing local interaction with Merrill College, whether that’s bringing high school students here for field trips or promoting professional development for advisers in the area. We’re going to see a lot more interaction with high school journalists in several ways.
Want to learn more? Shelby can be found in the Merrill College student services office, or can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org.