Tag Archives: News21

Philip Merrill College of Journalism: National Mark of Excellence

Montage of SPJ Mark of Excellence winners associated with Merrill College and The Diamondback student newspaper.

Adapted from a Society of Professional Journalists press release.

COLLEGE PARK, Md. (June 1) – The Society of Professional Journalists announced its list of national winners of the 2016 Mark of Excellence Awards in late June, recognizing collegiate work published or broadcast during 2016.

The awards honor the best in student journalism. As such, judges were directed to choose only those entries which they felt were outstanding work worthy of a national honor.

The Philip Merrill College of Journalism figured prominently in those national awards., along with the Diamondback student newspaper.

Sigma Delta Chi award winners will be honored at an awards banquet on June 23 at the National Press Club in Washington, D.C.

Thanks to CNS Digital Bureau Director Sean Mussenden for compiling the following comprehensive list that includes two national winners and six national finalists.

Best Digital-Only Student Publication
(CNS) Winner: CNSMaryland.org – by Capital News Service Staff.

Online In-Depth Reporting
(CNS) Winner: In Poor Health (Freddie Gray’s Neighborhood) – by Capital News Service Staff.

Online In-Depth Reporting
(UMD) Finalist: School takeovers leave parents without a voice in education – by Lily Altavena, Rose Velazquez and Natalie Griffin, Arizona State University. (Natalie Griffin is a former CNSer who represented Merrill College at News21, where she worked on a voting rights investigation.

Breaking News Reporting (Large) 10,000+ Students
(Diamondback) Finalist: A Murder-Suicide Stuns College Park – by Michael Brice-Saddler, Andrew Dunn, Natalie Schwartz, and Mina Haq.

Best Affiliated Web Site
(CNS) Finalist: CNSMaryland.org – by Capital News Service Staff

Best Use of Multimedia
(CNS) Finalist: In Poor Health (Freddie Gray’s Neighborhood) – by Capital News Service Staff.

Online Sports Reporting
(CNS) Finalist: In Football Recruiting Sweepstakes, Maryland Has Fallen Short – by Ryan Connors and Troy Jefferson.

Television Feature Reporting
(CNS) Finalist: Gold Star Mothers – by Maggie Gottlieb.

Carnegie-Knight News21 Gun Investigation Wins ONA Journalism Award

Phoenix, Az. – A national gun rights investigation by Carnegie-Knight News21, a multi-university investigative project that included two students from the University of Maryland has captured one of the nation’s top digital journalism awards.

University of Maryland students Marlena Chertock’13 and Justine McDaniel’14 were among 29 students from 16 universities who won the Online News Association award in the student projects pro-am category. The 2014 investigation featured dozens of multimedia stories, videos, databases and photo galleries examining the polarizing issues of gun rights and regulation in America.

“Justine McDaniel and Marlena Chertock were outstanding graduates of Philip Merrill College of Journalism. It has been wonderful to see how their journalism careers have blossomed,” said Merrill College Dean Lucy Dalglish. “Justine wrote the main story for the News21 project and Marlena worked on all digital aspects of the project.” McDaniel is now working as a reporter for the Philadelphia Inquirer and Chertock is working as a digital storyteller for the Society for Science and the Public .

Marlena Chertock'13 and Justine McDaniel14

News21 reporters Marlena Chertock’13 and Justine McDaniel’14

The investigation was led by News21 Executive Editor Jacquee Petchel, a Pulitzer Prize-winning investigative journalist, and Leonard Downie Jr., the former executive editor of The Washington Post and current Weil Family Professor of Journalism at the Walter Cronkite School of Journalism and Mass Communication at Arizona State University, where News21 is based.

“This award is particularly special not only because it recognizes the power of strong journalism, but because it also underscores our efforts to be innovative in our visuals and storytelling about one of the most controversial topics in America,” Petchel said. “We are really proud of these young journalists for their extraordinary and visionary efforts on this project.”

Students analyzed gun laws in all 50 states and compiled the most complete database on gun-related deaths among children in America. They also traveled to more than 28 states interviewing hundreds of individuals and sharing their stories.

The Washington Post, USA Today and NBC News were among the news organizations that published major portions of the investigation.

“The ‘Gun Wars’ project exposed hundreds of thousands of Americans to a more complete picture of gun rights and gun control forces in the United States,” Downie said, “through penetrating stories and powerful multimedia about real people throughout the country — gun enthusiasts and citizen militias, women gun owners and entrepreneurs, teachers who carry concealed guns in their classrooms, the passionate lobbyists and activists on both sides of gun issues and the many inner-city resident and child victims of gun violence.”

In addition to the Online Journalism Award, a Cronkite student working on the project won the very first Edward R. Murrow award honoring a college student for work in video journalism. Erin Patrick O’Connor was the inaugural winner of a Student Edward R. Murrow Award in overall video excellence. “Gun Wars” also received an EPPY Award from Editor & Publisher magazine for best college investigative report.

Carnegie-Knight News21 won an Online Journalism Award last year in the large student reporting category for “Back Home,” a multimedia investigation into the fate of veterans returning home from Iraq and Afghanistan.

The Online News Association is dedicated to inspiring innovation and excellence among journalists to better serve the public. Membership includes news writers, producers, designers, editors, bloggers, technologists, photographers, academics, students and others who produce and distribute news for digital delivery systems.

Carnegie-Knight News21 is a multimedia investigative reporting initiative established by the Carnegie Corporation of New York and the John S. and James L. Knight Foundation. The “Gun Wars” project was also supported by the Miami Foundation, the Ethics and Excellence in Journalism Foundation, the Hearst Foundations, the Donald W. Reynolds Foundation, the Peter Kiewit Foundation and Louis A. “Chip” Weil.

Also see:

News21 Experience Boosted Potential As Digital Leader
Merrill Journalists Selected for News21 Summer Program

Merrill Alumni Are ONA ’15 Finalists

COLLEGE PARK, Md. – The Online News Association’s awards finalists are out – and they include a number of Merrill College of Journalism alumni.

Greg Kohn - Baltimore Sun


Web Producer Greg Kohn ’13 with Baltimore Sun staff for “The 45 Minute Mystery of Freddie Gray’s Death” (Graphic: Website screenshot.)



20432fe3ca426d* STUDENT PROJECTS, PRO-AM

Justine McDaniel ’14 and Marlena Chertock ’13 and student investigators for Gun Wars: A News21 Investigation of Rights and Regulations in America (Arizona State University hosts News21)(Justine led the investigation and Marlena handled the design and coding of the website.) (Graphic: Website screenshot.)


Screen Shot 2015-08-11 at 4.27.57 PM

Wall Street Journal Reporter Christopher Weaver (MJ) '08 (Photo: Twitter)* UNIVERSITY OF FLORIDA AWARD IN INVESTIGATIVE DATA JOURNALISM, LARGE

Chris Weaver ’08 and the team from the Wall Street Journal for their Pulitzer prize-winning investigation called “Medicare Unmasked.” (Check out this Global Editors Network summary with links. (Graphic: Wall Street Journal)

The winners will be announced at the 2015 ONA Conference and Online Journalism Awards Banquet on Saturday, Sept. 26, in Los Angeles.

Merrill Senior Karen Mawdsley Named News 21 Fellow

Screen Shot 2015-04-14 at 10.44.17 AMCOLLEGE PARK, Md. – Senior journalism major Karen Mawdsley has been named a News21 Fellow as part of the 2015 Carnegie-Knight News21 national multimedia investigative reporting initiative.

“I’m proud to be part of the News21 team, and I’m grateful for this unique opportunity,” said Mawdsley. “Through the seminar portion of the fellowship, I’ve learned a lot about accountability journalism and investigative reporting, so I’m looking forward to putting those skills more into practice this summer.”

Mawdsley will receive her B.A. in Multi-Platform Journalism this May with a minor in Spanish Languages and Cultures. She’s enrolled in Maryland’s Honors and Beyond the Classroom programs, worked at the Diamondback student newspaper and completed a number of journalism internships.

“Karen is just the latest outstanding Merrill College student to participate in News21,” said Dean Lucy Dalglish. “We know her experience at the Sun, McClatchy-Tribune wire and the Diamondback will come in very handy on the marijuana project.”

Read more ...

News21 Experience Boosted Potential As Digital Leader

Marlena Chertock '14 (right) gathers audio during an interview at an outdoor shooting range in Tuscon, Arizona. Photo provided by Marlena Chertock.

Marlena Chertock ’13 (right) gathers audio during an interview at an outdoor shooting range in Tuscon, Arizona. Photo provided by Marlena Chertock.

By Marlena Chertock ‘13

COLLEGE PARK, Md. – This summer I lived in cactus territory, reporting on guns. The desert was everywhere; I’d left my Maryland greenery behind.

I was chosen to participate in the 2014 Carnegie-Knight News21 Fellowship at the Walter Cronkite School of Journalism in Phoenix, Arizona. News21 is an eight-month journalism reporting initiative. During the program, nominated university students and recent graduates from across the country reported on the national issue of guns in America. The culminating investigation on gun rights and regulations in the country was released at the end of August as Gun Wars.

During the fellowship, I wore several hats. I traveled to Maryland and Delaware with a video journalist to interview sheriffs in rural counties about their views on gun control laws like Maryland’s Firearms Safety Act, which passed last year. These sheriffs believe these laws are unconstitutional and many refuse to enforce them. News21 and NBC News published the story.

During the summer, I was a digital leader in the newsroom. I led workshops to make the newsroom more familiar with digital tools. I worked with reporters to incorporate tools and graphics into their stories. Some of these tools are embeddable inline audio clips called SoundCite, interactive maps and timelines called StoryMap.JS and Timeline.JS, infographic creators called Piktochart, infogr.am and easel.ly, charting tools called Canvas.JS and more. In this role, I served as a liaison between reporters and the graphics team. I worked one-on-one with reporters to determine what graphic we would make for their story. I created graphics templates for the website developers and designed and coded maps, charts and infographics.

I furthered my web design skills by working as a lead designer and coder on the project website. With another student designer, I designed and coded the website from scratch. There were weekend design overhauls and 15-hour coding sprees. I established color themes and the design of the home page and story pages. I wrote code for data graphics, infographics and a background check quiz. I also designed the Americans and their Guns section of the site, which offers a portrait of a nation and its love of guns with large photo and video elements.

I am so grateful for the opportunity I had to work with editors Leonard Downie, Jacqueline Petchel, Peter Bhatia, Brandon Quester, Retha Hill and Evan Wyloge. They offered invaluable feedback on my writing, design and interactive work. They pushed me to write clearer stories with characters, not sources, lead innovation in the newsroom and produce an extensive multimedia website. Reporting under their watch was a challenging and worthwhile experience.

After the fellowship, I began an internship with Marketplace in Washington, D.C. At Marketplace, I conduct research for reporters and pitch visual and digital ideas for stories. I believe participating in News21 boosted my potential to be recognized as a digital leader in the media world. I am excited for my future in the intersection of tech and journalism. You can read the full News21 Gun Wars report, watch videos, view photo galleries and explore datasets and interactives at gunwars.news21.com.