Tag Archives: Philip Merrill College of Journalism

Merrill Students Take First Place in Broadcast Education Association Contest

Merrill College students were recently honored with first place awards in the Broadcast Education Association’s Festival of Media Arts, which featured a record number of student and faculty entries from colleges across the country this year.

Terp Weekly Edition, a radio news show produced by students in the college’s radio broadcasting class, won first place in the radio newscast contest category for a show produced last fall that included reports on use of security cameras in dining halls, a Veterans Day commemoration and a story on breast cancer and how it affects both women and men.

Journalism student Amanda Gaines was honored individually with a first place in the radio hard news category for her election night reporting. Journalism lecturer Sue Kopen Katcef, who teaches the radio class, called the two national first-place finishes “incredible and a real testament to the terrific work of our students.”

The news division also had a record number of entries this year and officials of the contest, which was judged by professionals from across the country, said that finishing in the top of any category is a recognition that the students are truly among the best in the nation.

The BEA Festival of Media Arts is an international exhibition of award-wining faculty and student works chosen in the audio, documentary, interactive multimedia, news, scriptwriting and video categories. A record 878 entries were submitted this year across the 13 faculty and student competitions.

Festival winners will receive recognition and exhibition of their works during BEA’s annual convention in Las Vegas, April 22-25.

CNS Reporter Is Investigative Reporting Finalist

The 2007 CNS D.C. bureau staff, (from left): Michael Walsh, Bobby Carmichael, Danielle Ulman, Rob Tricchinelli, Bureau Director Adrianne Flynn, Dan Lamothe and Anju Kaur. (Newsline photo by Raechal Leone).

The 2007 CNS D.C. bureau staff, (from left): Michael Walsh, Bobby Carmichael, Danielle Ulman, Rob Tricchinelli, Bureau Director Adrianne Flynn, Dan Lamothe and Anju Kaur. (Newsline photo by Raechal Leone).

Anju Kaur, a reporter in the Philip Merrill College of Journalism’s Capital News Service, has been named a finalist in the 2007 Investigative Reporters and Editors contest for her stories on the state’s abysmal record of disciplining attorneys.

Kaur becomes the seventh CNS reporter since 2000 to win a finalist spot in the student category of the annual IRE contest, which is open to students nationwide.

Kaur’s stories, more than a year in the making, showed that while the state’s Attorney Grievance Commission swiftly disbarred attorneys faced with the most grievous complaints, overall disciplinary actions were small and falling fast.

Her reporting also showed that many attorneys who repeatedly cheated, lied, stole or abandoned their clients did so for years without suffering any real consequence. Even a man who killed his client’s wife’s kitten in a microwave was still allowed to practice.

Kaur spent almost a year getting the attorney discipline data from the commission, which initially denied keeping such records and then admitted it had the data but claimed it was private and confidential.

After repeated conversations, Public Information Act requests and meetings, the commission finally agreed to release a copy of its file of sanctioned attorneys, which Kaur was able to turn into the heart of her stories.

She found that a profession that polices itself does very little disciplining of its own people. Kaur reported that the number of lawyers sanctioned by the state has fallen sharply in the last decade, with only 57 of the state’s 33,018 lawyers disbarred, suspended or reprimanded in the last fiscal year.

Her data also showed that less than a quarter of all complaints against lawyers were even investigated. Nearly half of the investigated complaints were “closed administratively” and only a third of the remaining cases received any kind of discipline.

After fighting Kaur for months over access to its records, the commission’s data custodian ultimately asked Kaur for a copy of her database and told her it would be used as the commission’s new internal database.

Kaur was a reporter last fall in the Washington, D.C., bureau of Capital News Service, the College’s student-staffed wire service with bureaus in Washington and Annapolis that feed a daily digest of news to clients around the state. She earned her master’s degree in journalism in December, and returned to edit SikhNN.com, a Sikh-oriented news site that she founded.