Tag Archives: Media

Merrill Journalists Celebrate BEA Awards

Screen Shot 2015-02-16 at 10.27.13 AMCOLLEGE PARK, Md. – The word is out and the Broadcast Education Association has announced a number of honors for Merrill College students as part of the organization’s “Festival of Media Arts” awards program for 2015. Congratulations to our student winners and faculty members Sue Kopen Katcef (CNS Broadcast Bureau director) and Bethany Swain (who oversees ViewFinder as part of her Advanced Video Storytelling class.)

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Television Hard News Reporting

1st Place (tie): Jatara McGee & Joyce Koh, University of Maryland; DC Ferguson: Protestors Respond to Decision in Ferguson

1st Place (tie): Marissa Parra, University of Maryland; Explosive Findings: Rosedale Train Derailment

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Terp Magazine Interviews Humphrey Fellow and Pakistani Reporter Said Nazir Afridi

Said-Illustration-Feature1By Liam Farrell

COLLEGE PARK, Md. – Reporting the local news in America is rarely steeped in mortal danger. Politicians may obfuscate, police departments may withhold information and crime-ridden neighborhoods may be intimidating, but these are roadblocks of a subtler nature.


Afridi hosts a show on religious harmony at a radio station in FATA, a portion of Pakistan that has been rocked by violence and clashes between the Taliban and government forces. Photo courtesy of Said Nazir Afridi

Not so in Pakistan, where journalist Said Nazir Afridi runs a radio news service in unstable tribal areas. In a country roiled by conflicts between the Taliban, military leaders and dozens of traditional tribes, reporting any kind of news can be dangerous.

When he mentioned that the militant group running a local cricket tournament had used American funds for the event, Afridi was promptly accused of being a CIA agent. “It means …” he says, running his hand across his throat.

When Afridi reported that a local doctor had been arrested, he dared to write that government security forces, not unidentified armed men, seized him. (It turned out that the doctor, Shakeel Afridi, had helped the CIA run a fake vaccination program aiming to collect DNA samples from people in the suspected Abbottabad compound of al-Qaida leader Osama bin Laden.) If he hadn’t identified Shakeel’s captors, Afridi says, the doctor “would have been missing or killed.”

Read the entire article online.

David Carr: Investigating His Own Dark Story

Professor Carl Sessions Stepp is a long-time contributor to AJR.

Professor Carl Sessions Stepp is a long-time contributor to AJR.

COLLEGE PARK, Md. – The tragic news that Journalism lost New York Times reporter and columnist David Carr this week takes us back to the American Journalism Review archives for  a review of his 2008 memoir by Merrill College Professor Carl Sessions Stepp.

The LA Times says the book “bared the ugly details of his addiction to drugs and alcohol, and described his eventual recovery.” Professor Stepp called it “messy but unforgettable.”

From AJR,   August/September 2008 Edition:

Screen Shot 2015-02-13 at 3.19.55 PMFor most journalists, the route to the New York Times doesn’t generally include crack smoking, drug dealing, spouse beating and jail time. But all those activities preceded David Carr’s arrival in the big time.

Both enthralling and appalling, “The Night of the Gun” lays out in merciless detail Carr’s rise from Minnesota’s alternative papers to Times media columnist while wallowing in a dangerous double life.

Beyond the sensational story, fellow journalists will find something even more beneficial. Carr’s method – the re-reporting of his own life – provides a humbling study of the fallibility of memory, the elusiveness of truth and the futility of ever assuming you really know what’s going on. This should be eye-opening not just to memoir writers but to reporters investigating, say, the justification for a war.

Carr takes his title from an unsettling incident. One day in 1987 he gets fired from a Minnesota business magazine over his drinking and cocaine use. Carr pops some pills and meets a friend at a bar. They end up fighting. The friend goes home, but Carr calls and insists on coming over. The friend orders him to stay away, saying he has a gun. Carr shows up anyway. The friend comes to the door with the gun and calls the police, and Carr flees.

Read the entire review.


Merrill Alumna’s Transfer to Maryland “Laid the Foundation for a Very Successful Career.”

WPLG Anchor/Reporter Neki Mohan

Neki Mohan ’92 is a popular anchor/reporter for WPLG TV in South Florida.

By Neki Mohan ’92
Anchor/Reporter WPLG-TV

I came to University of Maryland in 1989 as a transfer student from a community college in New York. I enrolled in the journalism school junior year. My years at Maryland set my foundation for my career, and connected me to people who would impact my career for life.

I was supposed to go to Syracuse University, but I received a late admission letter for Maryland so I decided to visit. The moment I landed at the DC Airport, I was sold! I could live close to the nation’s capital?  It blew my mind. As a journalism major, I knew that I would have to be able to cover government effectively to be good at my job. At the time I was living in Long Island, New York but I had recently moved from Trinidad and Tobago where I graduated high school and lived for 14 years. I am a first generation American to Caribbean parents. I loved the diversity of Washington D.C., something upstate NY could never offer. I was also surprised to see that UMD had a Caribbean Student’s Association which I quickly connected with. I was also part of the inaugural chapter of the National Association of Black Journalists’ student chapter, we won chapter of the year while I was there and hosted a regional conference.

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Merrill Journalists Take Top WHNPA Awards

COLLEGE PARK, Md. – The White House News Photographers Association released its list of professional and student winners for the 2015 “Eyes of History” contest Sunday. Merrill College students were winners and runners-up in two major categories – Sports and “Package with reporter narration.” Adjunct Professor Chris Schlemon of ITN Channel 4 News also won a WHNPA award as Editor of the Year.

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Category Name Story Slug
Sports Winner Tim Drummond ViewFinder: Paralympic Recovery
Sports Runner Up Alanna Delfino Little Miss Oriole
Package with reporter narration Winner Raecine Williams We’re Still Here
Package with
reporter narration
Runner-Up Joyce Koh Art Home With Deeper Roots

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