Tag Archives: Leslie Walker

Sandy Banisky, Leslie Walker Promoted to Senior Lecturer

Sandy Banisky (left) and Leslie Walker.

Sandy Banisky (left) and Leslie Walker.

COLLEGE PARK (6/4/18) University of Maryland Philip Merrill College of Journalism faculty members Sandy Banisky and Leslie Walker have been promoted to senior lecturer.

“I’m pleased that our professional track faculty committee and the university have recognized the many accomplishments of these two spectacular faculty members,” Merrill College Dean Lucy A. Dalglish said in an email to faculty and staff. “It shows how much we value our professional faculty members.”

Among other courses, Banisky teaches the Baltimore urban affairs reporting class, which spends a semester working in Baltimore reporting on issues of importance to cities. A class project on how housing conditions contribute to illness in Baltimore — reported and published in partnership with the Capital News Service data lab and Kaiser Health Newswon the 2018 Robert F. Kennedy Journalism Award last month.

Banisky joined the college as Abell Professor in Baltimore Journalism in 2008. Before that, she was deputy managing editor for news at The Baltimore Sun, supervising the metro, foreign, national, sports and business desks.

She also served as The Sun’s deputy managing editor for metro. In 2002, the metro staff’s coverage of the Washington Beltway snipers was a Pulitzer Prize finalist. Previously, she was The Sun’s national editor and before that, a reporter.

Walker, who teaches interactive design and development among other courses, joined the college in 2008 as the Knight Visiting Professor in Digital Innovation.

Before that, she was vice president for news and editor of washingtonpost.com at WashingtonPost.Newsweek Interactive.

She spent 16 years writing and editing for The Washington Post and earlier covered state politics for The (Baltimore) Evening Sun. Her weekly “.com” column in The Post chronicled how the Internet transformed media economics and empowered readers to take a more participatory role in media.

For more information, contact:
Alexander A. Pyles

TERP Magazine: Laughter With a Side of Facts

– Photo by John Consoli.

Is the Next Jon Stewart at UMD?

by Liam Farrell

For students behind the anchor desk in the basement of Tawes Hall this spring, the model for news in the 21st century is less the stern anchor behind the desk than the standup comic behind the microphone.

As journalism idols like Walter Cronkite give way to Samantha Bee, a new course is letting students inject some laughs into their news delivery by producing satirical pilots à la Comedy Central’s “The Daily Show” and HBO’s “Last Week Tonight With John Oliver.”

The course, taught by Tom Bettag, a former executive producer for “ABC News Nightline with Ted Koppel,” is part of an effort at the Philip Merrill College of Journalism to explore new avenues for practicing the craft.

“The evening news is such a tired form,” Bettag says. “[Students] have seen it since they were born, and it’s all so canned and so hyped, it turns them off.”

Read the entire story on the TERP Magazine website.

Broadcast Industry Veteran Larry Patrick Visits Knight Hall

Patrick Communications chief Larry Patrick talks to Leslie Walker's "The Business of News" class in Knight Hall.

Photo by Leslie Walker.

By Leslie Walker
Visiting Professor in Digital Innovation

COLLEGE PARK, Md. (Oct. 13) – National broadcast industry veteran Larry Patrick spoke in Knight Hall this week, sharing his career experience and offering advice to 60 journalism students in “The Business of News” course.

Patrick, who is president and founder of Maryland-based media brokerage firm Patrick Communications, owns a variety of radio and TV stations. He previously was senior vice president of the National Association of Broadcasters (NAB) and a former full-time faculty member and adjunct instructor at the Philip Merrill College of Journalism, where he taught for more than a decade.

Patrick stressed the importance of hard work and focus in developing a career. Noting he always wanted to own radio stations ever since his youth, Patrick recounted how he parlayed his expertise in station management from an early job running Gilmore Broadcasting into his first purchase of radio stations, using venture capital he raised on Wall Street. Patrick went on to own many radio and TV stations and started a company that has brokered the sale of hundreds of other stations.

For students aspiring to report and produce broadcast news, he cautioned that they should be willing to pay their dues and learn the business in mid to small-size markets first, before trying to break into top U.S. markets.


Larry Patrick of Patrick Communications talks to JOUR480 students in Knight Hall. Photo by Leslie Walker.

“You need five years reporting experience in a mid-size TV market before you can become a reporter” in a major market like Philadelphia, he told the class.

Patrick served as chairman of the NAB’s Education Foundation in 2015. Previously, he served as president of the Broadcast Education Association and the National Association of Media Brokers, as well as chairman of the board of the NAB’s Political Action Committee.

Patrick holds a J.D. from Georgetown University Law Center, a Ph.D. in communications and management from Ohio University, an M.S. in communications from the University of Tennessee, and a B.A. in telecommunication from the University of Kentucky.

The Philip Merrill College of Journalism Remembers Ben Bradlee

A Washington Post photo of then-Editor Ben Bradlee.

A Washington Post photo of then-Editor Ben Bradlee.

COLLEGE PARK, Md. – American journalism lost an icon Oct. 21 when former Washington Post Editor Ben Bradlee died at age 93. Bradlee is best known for his tenacious and fearless oversight of the Post’s investigation of Watergate during the Nixon era.

A number of current Merrill College faculty members who worked at the Post remember him fondly.

“I had the good fortune of working for Ben Bradlee for more than 20 years when he was the Executive Editor of the Washington Post and I was his Sports Editor,” said George Solomon, who is now the director of the Shirley Povich Center for Sports Journalism at the Merrill College.

“I tell everyone his greatest asset as an editor and leader was his ability to make your day special with a five-minute conversation at the start of a day. He inspired, cajoled, supported and in many cases hired a great group of journalists because he knew what made us tick and how to best do a difficult job. He knew a story, how to get a story and the importance of supporting his editors and reporters. If you were to ask me — and so many others who worked at The Washington Post – what was the highlight of your career, the answer would be simple: Working with and knowing Ben Bradlee.”

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Bradlee attended the grand opening of the Shirley Povich Center for Sports Journalism in November, 2011. Here is poses with members of the Povich family.

Bradlee attended the grand opening of the Shirley Povich Center for Sports Journalism in November, 2011. Here he poses with members of the Povich family.

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