Tag Archives: Media

A Capital News Service / Kaiser Health Investigation: Baltimore – In Poor Health

In Poor Health CNS/Kaiser Health News Investigation. Photo by Iman Smith/Capital News Service.

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.

Kaiser Health News

Baltimore Sun Editorial: “The health care gap” cites the CNS series and gives it an “A” grade.
Washington Post – provided a link to the blood pressure cuff story in its health pages.

The PBS Newshour produced a news story broadcast Monday, Feb. 15 based on a story by Kaiser Heath News reporter Jay Hancock:

WBUR-FM (Boston NPR) conducted a “Here and Now” interview with Kaiser Health’s Jay Hancock on Tuesday, Feb. 16:


Merrill College Welcomes Recruiting Coordinator Shelby Gluck

Shelby Gluck is the new Merrill College undergraduate recruiting manager

Shelby Gluck by Amanda Eisenberg.

By Amanda Eisenberg’16

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.

Why Merrill?

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 sgluck@umd.edu.

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.

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!