Tag Archives: Mark of Excellence Awards

Merrill College Students Win 4 National Awards in Society of Professional Journalists’ Mark of Excellence Contest


COLLEGE PARK (5/21/18) — Four projects by University of Maryland Philip Merrill College of Journalism students were named national winners and seven others were finalists in the Society of Professional Journalists’ Mark of Excellence Awards.

The awards, announced Monday, recognize work by college students that was published or broadcast in 2017.

Merrill College winners and finalists had their work published by the college’s nonprofit Capital News Service; the service’s visual storytelling team, ViewFinder; or The Diamondback, the university’s student-run newspaper.

National winners will be recognized in September at the Excellence in Journalism 2018 conference in Baltimore.



  • Capital News Service‘s Julianne Maxwell was a finalist in Television Feature Reporting for “Bob Benson: The 87-Year-Old Mirror Artist.”
  • The Diamondback‘s Hallie Miller and Ellie Silverman were finalists in Online News Reporting for “On Her Own,” part of the “It’s Real” series.
  • ViewFinder’s Emily Olsen was a finalist in Broadcast News Videography for “On the call.”
  • ViewFinder’s Jay Reed was a finalist in Broadcast Feature Videography for “Take You There.”
  • Capital News Service’s Evan J. Berkowitz and Gabe Fernandez were finalists in Online/Digital Sports Videography for “Beating the buzzer: Wizards keep games tight to the end.”
  • ViewFinder’s Tina Vo and Pearl Mak were finalists in Online/Digital Feature Videography for “Going home.”
  • The Diamondback‘s Eva Shen was a finalist in Editorial Cartooning.

The national winners and finalists were selected from the college’s 21 winners in the regional contest.

Merrill College students have won numerous journalism awards this month in college and professional competitions.

On Tuesday, students and faculty members will be presented with the 2018 Robert F. Kennedy Journalism Award for “Home Sick,” a CNS project in which student journalists spent more than a year analyzing millions of medical records and conducting dozens of interviews with Baltimore health officials, community leaders and residents to show how housing conditions contribute to illness in one of the city’s poorest neighborhoods.

Earlier this month, Merrill College students — competing against professionals in Maryland, Delaware and Washington, D.C. — won six Best in Show awards and CNS was named online-only News Organization of the Year by the MDDC Press Association. On top of that, 20 student submissions won their categories and 15 more took second place in the association’s annual Editorial, Design and Revenue Contest.

Merrill College students were also recognized in several other contests this year. For example:

For more information, contact:
Alexander A. Pyles

CNS, Viewfinder, Diamondback Take National SPJ Awards


Adapted from an SPJ News Release.

COLLEGE PARK, Md. – The results are in and Merrill College’s Capital News Service and Viewfinder program, along with The Diamondback student newspaper, have won national SPJ Mark of Excellence Awards for 2015. The MOE Awards honor the best of collegiate journalism within a calendar year.

National Mark of Excellence Award winners are chosen from the category winners in each of SPJ’s 12 regions, and the awards are judged by journalism professionals with at least three years of experience.

SPJ will recognize first-place national winners at the Student Union event during Excellence in Journalism 2016, Sept. 18-20 in New Orleans.

Judges were directed to choose only those entries they considered outstanding work worthy of a national honor. If the judges determined none of the entries rose to this level of excellence, no award was given. Any category not listed has no winner.

School divisions are based on student enrollment, which includes both graduate and undergraduate enrollment: Large schools have 10,000+ students and small have fewer than 10,000 students.

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SPJ Mark of Excellence 2015.Philip Merrill College of Journalism and Diamondback Winners

In-Depth Reporting (Large) 10,000+ Students
Winner: The Brothel Next Door – by CNS Staff.

Best Digital-Only Student Publication
Finalist: Capital News Service | CNSMaryland.org – by CNS Staff.

Television Sports Photography
Winner: ViewFinder: Troops Deploy Game Ball – by Ricky Lasser and Karen Tang.

Television News and Feature Photography
Finalist: ViewFinder: Ballet for Disabled Children – by Karen Tang.

General Column Writing (Large) 10,000+ Students
Finalist: For the love of God, there was Satan, Letter from an Op-editor, The Perfect Human Can’t be Designed – by Yi “Patrick” An, The Diamondback student newspaper.

Sports Column Writing
Finalist: Sports columns – by Ryan Baillargeon and Daniel Popper, The Diamondback student newspaper.

SPJ Mark of Excellence: Merrill College and Diamondback Set for Regional Awards

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COLLEGE PARK, Md. – The Society of Professional Journalists “Mark of Excellence 2014” regional student awards will be announced March 28 during the Region 2 Conference at the Philip Merrill College of Journalism. Today, SPJ announced whose entries have placed in the regional awards. The list includes submissions from Merrill College’s Capital News Service and ViewFinder programs, as well as entries from the Diamondback student newspaper. Winners will be entered into the national SPJ Mark of Excellence awards contest.

For more information on the Region 2 Conference and to register, please visit: http://www.eventbrite.com/e/2015-region-2-conference-tickets-15737073009.

Entrants being honored include:

ViewFinder: Spring and Fall 2014 classes:

Dani Shae Thompson for Viewfinder: Cystic Fibrosis
Bradleigh Chance, Tim Drummond, Phil Staiman, Drew Snadecki, Chloe Leshner, Shannon Atran, Megan Rufty,  for Viewfinder: A Free Smile
Alex Glass, Dani Thompson, Amanda Salvucci, Alanna Delfino, Stephanie Martinez, Ben Susman, Kara Dixon, Shannon Clash, Taylor Lewis, Alexandria Benford  for Viewfinder: Overcoming Obstacles
Phil Staiman for Viewfinder: Greener Goats
Tim Drummond for Viewfinder: Weekend Warriors
Amanda Salvucci for Viewfinder: Underwater Hockey
Tim Drummond for Viewfinder: Swimmer Overcomes Spinal Injury

Capital News Service

CNS Staff for Capital News Service | CNSMaryland.org
Maryland Newsline December 4, 2014
Taylor Cairns, Joyce Koh
for Pregnancy Discrimination Heads to the Supreme Court
Marissa Parra for Explosive Findings: Rosedale Train Derailment
Nick Munson for Suns Down
Alanna Delfino for Veteran Kitchen
Alanna Delfino for Fan of the Game: Two year old girl is the biggest Orioles fan
Brett Hall for Philadelphia Kidnapping: A Woman Kidnapped is Found
Brett Hall for The Gift of Life: Maryland Alum Gets A Third Chance of Life
Joyce Koh for An Outlandish Home Built from Deeper Roots

CNS Staff for Baltimore’s Forgotten Champions: An Oral History of the Baltimore Stallions
Idrees Ali & CNS Staff for Maryland’s International Relationships
Lyle Kendrick, Justine McDaniel, Amirah Al Idrus & Hyon-Young Kim for Cove Point Liquified Natural Gas Controversy

Diamondback Student Newspaper

Danielle Ohl for Post-Classical
Sung-Min Kim for Black lives matter
The Diamondback Editorial Board for The Diamondback selected editorials
Erik Shell, Caroline Carlson, Matt Schnabel for Selected Diamondback columns
Christian Jenkins for Brown wins democratic nomination, faces Larry Hogan in general election
Talia Richman for Marylanders fight for rights to die after national attention drawn to ‘death with dignity’
Laura Blasey, Mike King and Joe Antoshak for University data breach exposes 300,000 student, faculty SSNs
Quinn Kelley for THE ART OF GETTING BY: life as a transgender student at the University of Maryland
Robert Cobb, Ben Stryker, Eric Bricker for Selected Diamondback columns
Daniel Popper for Breaking down Urban Meyer’s offense
Daniel Gallen  and Aaron Kasinitz for Selected Diamondback sports columns
Chester Lam for Ohio State Quaterback Cardale Jones hurdles safety Anthony Nixon


Merrill College Students Win Big at SPJ Mark of Excellence Awards

Adapted from a Society of Professional Journalists News Release

WASHINGTON, D.C. – Student journalists from the Philip Merrill College of Journalism and the student Diamondback Newspaper showed they had “the right stuff” this weekend during the Society of Professional Journalist’s Region 2 Mark of Excellence awards at Georgetown University.

  • Maryland Newsline – the Capital News Service’s student broadcast, won for Best All-Around TV Newscast;
  • Merrill students who took part in last year’s Advanced Storytelling Class won numerous awards for stories they produced for their ViewFinder program;
  • Merrill’s CNS Online Bureau (working collaboratively in some cases with Professor Sandy Banisky’s Urban Affairs Reporting Class, Senior Lecturer Deborah Nelson’s investigative reporting class, and Lecturer Bethany Swain’s Advanced Storytelling Class) – won for best Online News Reporting, in-depth reporting and online sports reporting as well as best use of multimedia;
  • CNS also won for Best Affiliated Website and Best Student Digital Publication.

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Merrill College Students Honored as SPJ “Mark of Excellence” Finalists



COLLEGE PARK, Md. – The Society of Professional Journalists has honored Merrill College students working for the Capital News Service as finalists in four categories for its “Mark of Excellence” awards for 2012. More than 4600 entries were submitted this year by colleges and universities across the United States.

A complete list of all award winners and finalists can be found on the SPJ Mark of Excellence website.

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