Tag Archives: Journalism

New University of Maryland PSA Features Lorente, Milano

Assistant Dean Rafael Lorente was part of the new UMD PSA video highlighting the theme "Inspiring Maryland Pride."

COLLEGE PARK, Md. – Take a look at the newest University of Maryland video and you’ll see some familiar faces – Associate Dean Rafael Lorente and MJ grad Nicole Milano’15.

The video is part of a year-long university campaign to highlight four areas – Curiosity, Passion, Inspiration and Boldness. From September to November, “Discover New Knowledge” was the theme. Going into January we’re talking about what our students, faculty and staff are doing to “Inspire Maryland Pride.” Then comes “Transforming the Student Experience” and finally, “Turn Imagination to Innovation.”

You’ll see all these themes across a wide range of university publications, videos, public relations stories and more – including schools and colleges on campus.  With the Capital News Service celebrating 25 years this school year, Merrill College is focusing on how CNS “Inspires Maryland Pride” by covering news and sports throughout the state of Maryland.


300 Maryland High School Journalism Students Set for J-Day Events at UMD

Merrill and MDCSPA Logos.

COLLEGE PARK, Md. – The Philip Merrill College of Journalism and the Maryland-DC Scholastic Press Association will welcome some 300 Maryland high school students and their advisers to campus Friday, Nov. 6 for J-Day. The day-long journalism program will take place primarily in Knight Hall and UMTV next door in Tawes Hall, but will also hold sessions in the Grand Ballroom of the Stamp Student Union as well as well as Jull Hall (Mathematics).

The day will start at the Stamp Student Union with a panel of four recent Merrill College graduates who now work in journalism: Dana Amihere ’12 M.J., interactive editor, Dallas Morning News; Morgan Gilliam ’13 M.A., producer of Capital Insider, NewsChannel 8; Jin Kim ’15 B.A., web producer, Baltimore Sun; and Jonas Shaffer ’12 B.A., general editor, sports department, Baltimore Sun. Moderator: Chris Harvey ’80, director of assessments and lecturer, Philip Merrill College of Journalism

Three concurrent sessions led by professional journalists and educators will follow with sessions on yearbook, print, online and social media journalism, and more.

Students and advisers will also be able to take tours of Merrill College, the Diamondback student newspaper and WMUC student radio station, or the Capital News Service broadcast facility (at UMTV/Tawes Hall). Advisers will have a chance to meet to network and discuss press freedom in Maryland and D.C. with Student Press Law Center Executive Director Frank LoMonte during one of the concurrent sessions.

Merrill College students will be part of panel discussions looking at what goes on behind the scenes of a college journalism major and sports journalism:

  • What’s it like to make the jump from high school to college reporting and multi-platform journalism? Panelists include: Maggie Gottlieb ’17, broadcast major; Brittany Cheng ‘17, multiplatform major; Alicia McElhaney ‘15, multiplatform major; and Jessie Karangu ‘16, broadcast major. Moderator: Sue Kopen-Katcef, broadcast bureau director at the Philip Merrill College of Journalism.
  • Four Merrill students describe their experiences covering sports in the Washington, D.C. region:  Michael Stern ‘17, co-founder of The Left Bench and business director, WMUC Sports; Andy Dunn ‘18, editor of The Left Bench, college soccer reporter for SBS, basketball reporter for DC Sports Box and video assistant for Maryland Athletics; Samantha Waldenberg ‘18, intern at Redskins.com, social media manager for TLB and broadcaster for WMUC Sports; and Marissa Morris ‘16, news director, WMUC Sports and staff member, Big Ten Network. Moderator: Beth Mechum, coordinator, The Shirley Povich Center for Sports Journalism, University of Maryland.

Knight Hall, Philip Merrill College of Journalism.Faculty presenters and moderators from the Philip Merrill College of Journalism include Professor Chris Hanson, CNS Broadcast Bureau Director and lecturer Sue Kopen Katcef, Adjunct Lecturer Sharon O’Malley, lecturer Josh Davidsburg, Director of Assessments and Lecturer Chris Harvey, Povich Center Coordinator Beth Mecham, Lecturer Bethany Swain, Ph.D. student April Newton, Ph.D. student and Adjunct Lecturer Rob Wells, and Associate Professor Ron Yaros.

Other sessions will include speakers from across the University of Maryland Campus, as well as from The Baltimore Sun,  Hyattsville Life and Times, Terp Magazine, The Student Press Law Center, Education Week, McClatchy Company, New Jersey Advance Media and Newark Star-Ledger, and The Annapolis Capital.

J-Day Program (PDF)

About the Philip Merrill College of Journalism

The Philip Merrill College of Journalism is one of the world’s leading journalism schools, with a distinguished faculty dedicated to enhancing the news industry and training the next generation of journalists in a state-of-the-art facility near the nation’s capital.

Merrill College educates students at the undergraduate, master’s and doctoral levels within a liberal arts context, preparing them for careers in journalism, media, research, teaching and related fields.  Merrill’s curriculum is one of the few in the nation focused solely on journalism – both broadcast and multiplatform – and its world-class faculty members have won numerous Pulitzer prizes and Emmy awards and conducted important media research.

About the Maryland-DC Scholastic Press Association

The Maryland-D.C. Scholastic Press Association is a non-profit organization that offers opportunities for advisers and students who wish to continue the tradition of journalistic excellence in Maryland and the Washington, D.C. area schools.

MDCSPA has a strong interest in scholastic free press issues, in supporting the rejuvenation of defunct journalism programs, in encouraging the creation of new programs, and in strengthening existing programs at area middle and high schools. Membership is free and available to all teachers and student staffs.

Through sponsorship and co-sponsorship, the Association works to provide professional development and training opportunities for students and media/journalism advisers, including conventions, contests, and summer programs. The Association works to develop and delivers opportunities in media/journalism education throughout the District of Columbia and Maryland while encouraging  schools from outside its region to participate as well.

Humans vs. Algorithms at Mashable

Mashable wall logo in NYC by Rosemary Ostmann.

by Rosemary Ostmann’93
Originally posted on the rosecomm.com website.
Used with permission.
Photos: Rosemary Ostmann

NEW YORK, NY, Oct. 28 – Last night, I attended a panel discussion on “Algorithms and Automation in Journalism” hosted by my alma mater, the Merrill College of Journalism at the University of Maryland. My fellow alum Adam Ostrow’04, chief strategy officer at Mashable, moderated the discussion, which included Nick Diakopolous, UMD assistant professor, and Mashable’s Megan Specia, assistant real-time news editor.

Adam and Megan provided a lens into how they balance the power of algorithms against the need for human judgment when it comes to making news decisions at Mashable. Here are the take-aways:

  • About four years ago, Mashable developed its own predictive analytics tool called Velocity to forecast which news stories will trend, but they also rely on third-party tools, like Dataminr (an “initial signal”) and Storyful (“for user-generated content and to verify stories”).
  • Some advertisers and ad agencies are using Velocity for real-time branded content creation and distribution.
  • “Data frees us to do real journalism,” said Specia. “Making the phone calls, doing the research … access to data takes out the time-consuming act of filtering all the noise.”
  • Mashable gets 55% of its traffic from social channels, but those who come directly to the site are offered top picks, which are selected by people (“prescriptive”) while algorithms drive the others.
  • NickD

    Mashable’s Megan Specia and Adam Ostrow join Merrill College Assistant Professor Nick Diakopoulos talking “Algorithms and Automation in Journalism” during an alumni event in New York City hosted at Mashable headquarters.

    Diakopolous suggested third-party services could do more to allow news organizations to plug in the characteristics they care about in order to yield richer data and ensure a “diverse media ecology.”

  • Perhaps the most intriguing part of the conversation, which Diakopolous called “the question of our time,” is whether news organizations should be more transparent about how/when/where they’re using algorithms for editorial judgment. Where did the data come from, was it clean, will you disclose errors in the data that are discovered later?

At a minimum, Diakopolous suggested news outlets should write a blog post explaining how they use data. Event guest Jay Kernis, of CBS Sunday Morning, wondered if the use of algorithms would lead to a new type of ombudsman to respond to audience questions about the data that led to a particular story.

What role do algorithms play in what appears in your news feeds every day? Would knowing which content is 100% automated change your media diet?

Story-Building Workshop Packs Eaton Theater

Award-winninger videographer and Merrill College adjunct Scott Rensberger during his workshop in Knight Hall. Photo by Luke Rollins.

Award-winninger videographer and Merrill College adjunct Scott Rensberger during his workshop in Knight Hall. Photo by Luke Rollins.

By Kristine Auble

COLLEGE PARK, Md. – Taking his audience on a trip through time, adjunct lecturer Scott Rensberger gave Merrill College students a tour of his successful career as a journalist and showed them a glimpse into the future of television news. Rensberger has trained thousands of journalists how to build compelling stories in more than 35 countries, and Tuesday evening in Knight Hall’s Eaton Theater, he demonstrated his extensive teaching skills with a National Press Photographers Association (student group)-sponsored workshop.

Now one of the most awarded television news journalists, Rensberger explained how he started out as a novice television photographer searching for stories. He presented his early work to students to show how he developed a knack for developing interesting stories. Rensberger emphasized to students that creating a story with a hard-hitting ending is of the utmost importance in the television news world. Without a strong ending, he explained, viewers are left wanting more.

After discussing his extensive career, Rensberger showed his audience videos shot on iPhones and news stories compiled by civilians to demonstrate how journalism is becoming a more inclusive field with less expensive and bulky equipment.

Rensberger explained that when he started going freelance, his equipment cost an estimated $300,000. But in today’s television news world, everyone is walking around with a $500 camera in their pocket.

Rensberger’s explanation of the past, present, and future of television news gave students of the Merrill College an appreciation for television’s earlier days and crucial advice for what they might encounter ahead.

New “Discover the Philip Merrill College of Journalism” Video Released

COLLEGE PARK, Md. – A new video by Merrill alumna Alanna Delfino’15 looks at all the Philip Merrill College of Journalism at the University of Maryland has to offer.  Our location near Washington, D.C. Annapolis and Baltimore, internships, award-winning faculty, focus on public affairs and sports journalism and real-world hands-on experiences prepares students for the real world. Join us!