Tag Archives: Philip Merrill College of Journalism

CNS Broadcast Announces Fall Anchors

COLLEGE PARK, Md. (Sept. 15) – Capital News Service Broadcast Bureau Director Sue Kopen Katcef has announced this fall’s CNS “Maryland Newsline” anchors. The announcement came after a round of try-outs at UMTV with 14 undergraduate and graduate students enrolled in the bureau. Six additional Merrill College students tried out as sports anchors.

Working with Visiting Professor Tom Bettag and Adjunct Lecturer Cindy Wright, an all-star list of Merrill College alumni helped to judge the students.

In an email, Kopen-Katcef announced that students Michelle Chavez, Simone Thomas, Michael Stern and Angelo Bavaro would be lead anchors for the three-night-a-week news program through the fall semester.

The anchor teams will feature Chavez & Stern and Thomas & Bavaro.

Students Craig Weisenfeld and Sarah Dean will be “go-to” subs and will anchor the hour-long “Best of Show” program that is recorded in Studio B at UMTV just before Thanksgiving.

Broadcast Bureau student crew chiefs this year are Becca King, Barrett Goldberg and Jake Britton. Their experience and confidence helped keep the try-outs on track.

Sports anchors will be announced shortly (and we’ll update this release when names are announced.)

Screen Shot 2016-09-15 at 10.29.55 AMThe CNS broadcast program draws volunteers from throughout campus to run cameras and help in many other ways. They were in Studio B in full force Wednesday, as was Student Newsroom Supervisor Al Perry – who helped ensure the technical side of the operation was working smoothly.

The CNS broadcasts are expected to begin in early October. The program will be live at 6:30 p.m. Tuesday through Thursday on UMTV. Watch on campus channel 38 or 78. Comcast customers can watch on Channel 73 in Prince George’s County and on Channel 2 in Montgomery County. On Verizon, UMTV is on channel 40 in both counties. The program is also streamed live in HD via the CNS YouTube page and archived there.


Dalglish Named ASNE Board Member

Dean Lucy Dalglish of the Philip Merrill College of Journalism at the University of Maryland.

Dean Lucy Dalglish of the Philip Merrill College of Journalism at the University of Maryland.

Taken from an Associated Press news release:

COLLEGE PARK, Md. (Sept. 14) – Merrill College Dean Lucy Dalglish has been elected to the American Society of News Editor’s board of directors. She was named to a three year term during the ASNE’s joint conference with the Associated Press Media Editors in Philadelphia. The conference wrapped up Wednesday.


Mizell Stewart III, vice president of news operations at USA Today Network, took over as ASNE president. He succeeds Pam Fine, Knight Chair and professor of journalism at the University of Kansas.

Three new members elected to ASNE’s executive committee, pending the expected approval by the new board, include: Alfredo Carbajal, managing editor, Al Dia (The Dallas Morning News) as vice president; Nancy Barnes, editor and executive vice president of news, Houston Chronicle, as secretary; and Michael Oreskes, senior vice president for news and editorial director at NPR, as treasurer.

Along with Dean Dalglish, the board elected three other directors for three-year terms: Paul Cheung, director of interactive and digital news production at The Associated Press; Karen Magnuson, editor and vice president/news at the Democrat and Chronicle in Rochester, New York; and Hollis R. Towns, executive editor and vice president/news at the Asbury Park Press in New Jersey.

The board also appointed three members for one-year terms: David Haynes, opinions editor, the Milwaukee Journal Sentinel; Mandy Jenkins, head of news at Storyful; and Lauren Williams, managing editor at Vox.com.

The conference, which began Sunday, was the third joint conference held by APME and ASNE, the nation’s leading organizations for news leaders.

Merrill Students Are Already “In The Bubble”

By Simone Thomas ’17

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Chelsea Jones ’17 by Simone Thomas.

COLLEGE PARK, Md. – (Sept. 13)  School is back in session and journalism students are jumping into the semester with positive attitudes and happy spirits. Even though it’s only the third week, the News Bubble in Knight Hall is already full of students tackling their assignments and projects as the semester picks up.

Senior broadcast journalism major Chelsea Jones ’17 is taking Media Law and hopes she will gain a better of understanding of her legal privileges. “I want to learn about my rights as a journalist… when things get a little sticky, I know what the laws are, what I need to do to get the information that I need.”

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Angelo Bavaro ’17 by Simone Thomas.

Angelo Bavaro ’17, who’s also a senior broadcast journalism major, plans to use his knowledge from Media Law as a guide during his semester as a reporter for CNS – Maryland Capital News Service. Bavaro wants his experience at CNS to prepare him for his future as a working journalist. “I’m entering my professional career next year, so just getting fully trained in how to be a real journalist, a well-rounded journalist and just getting all the skills for that,” he said.

With many more weeks ahead to learn and develop new skills this semester, students will fill the halls of Knight Hall, including the News Bubble, which will be home to budding journalists claiming success.

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The Merrill College News Bubble – by Simone Thomas.


What Hacking Taught Journalists About Cybersecurity

Hannah Yasharoff '19 is a #fearlessjournalist at the University of Maryland's Philip Merrill College of Journalism.

Hannah Yasharoff ’19

By Hannah Yasharoff ’19

Originally published on the William and Flora Hewett Foundation Website and reprinted with permission.

Hannah Yasharoff is a student at the University of Maryland’s Philip Merrill College of Journalism. She participated in a cybersecurity workshop at the college that was supported by the Hewlett Foundation.

COLLEGE PARK, Md. (Sept. 7) -With the help of a hacker, reporters and editors inside a computer lab at the University of Maryland this summer witnessed for themselves just how easy it is to break into an insecure website.

By deleting one backslash from a line of code and replacing it with two other characters, participants in a “Cybersecurity for Journalists” workshop were able to remove each other’s posts, see each other’s passwords and ultimately, upload a file to destroy a website altogether.

“Do not do this outside this classroom,” admonished Craig Stevenson, the lead instructor of the Cyber Exploitation Unit of Raytheon Solipsys.

The workshop, funded by the Hewlett Foundation’s Cyber Initiative and co-hosted by the University of Maryland’s Philip Merrill College of Journalism and the American Society of Newspaper Editors, drew 35 journalists from around the country. It was designed to give journalists first-hand experience of critical – but often little understood – cybersecurity issues, as well as giving them a chance to develop sources and come up with story ideas.

Washington Post reporter Dana Priest, the conference organizer and the Knight Chair in Public Affairs Journalism at the school, spoke about the importance of developing cybersecurity reporting skills: “There are many, many obstacles set in your way… but the American people – even though they keep saying how much they hate you – the American people depend on you to tell them what is happening.”

The hacking exercise “took the mystery out of it,” said Kimberly Pierceall, a business reporter at the Virginian Pilot who says she writes often about cyberattacks but had never seen one from the inside. “It was nice to do it ourselves… It isn’t magic, it’s knowing some semblance of coding.”

Cybersecurity for journalists montage.

Michel Cukier, associate director of UMD’s undergraduate cybersecurity honors program, explained that when the internet was created, no one worried about security. Only decades later are governments, businesses, free speech proponents and policymakers trying to retrofit changes onto what has become an unparalleled global cyber infrastructure.

“It’s like you figured out how to design and build the first car and someone then asked you to turn the car into a boat,” he said. “And then turn the boat into a plane.”

Michael Hamilton, the former Chief Information Officer of Seattle and currently CEO of Critical Informatics, gave reporters a rapid-fire briefing on the vulnerability of local governments’ critical infrastructure, 85 percent of which, he said, is owned by industry.

To find sources, Hamilton suggested that reporters visit industry trade shows and hacking conferences, begin relationships with local FBI offices responsible for investigating larger breaches, and get to know leaders at cyber security firms, cyber fusion centers, and the cyber units at the state National Guard.

While understanding journalists’ fondness for the Freedom of Information Act, which allows reporters and the public to file requests to obtain public documents, he lamented what he called “public disclosure trolls,” individuals who file hundreds of FOIA requests as a hobby. These requests clog up resource-strained cities and state government bureaucracies.

Hamilton urged journalists to find a way to limit what he described as “nuisance filings.”

Stanford University cyber scholar Herb Lin walked through the many unanswered questions about cyber warfare. The first and most important question is attribution — who attacked whom?

But attribution is just the beginning, he said. What were the motives of the attacker? Was miscommunication a factor? What will be the intended and unintended consequences of responding militarily to a state-sponsored attack? Can the consequences be contained? What are the different levels of appropriate response?

Lin and others also lamented the lack of knowledge on the part of policymakers. “Technology leads policy by a lot,” he said. “At the federal level, there are maybe two people in Congress who understand this technology… law enforcement doesn’t really understand their role yet.”


Ellen Nakashima, one of the nation’s top cyber reporters and part of the Washington Post team that produced a Pulitzer Prize series based on documents leaked by Edward Snowden, urged reporters to develop sources by cultivating cyber experts in academia who can go in and out of government. “Formers, formers, formers,” she said, referring to former government employees who are more free to speak to journalists after leaving government positions.

Both of them recommended attending hacker conferences such as Defcon, Black Hat, ShmooCon, and DerbyCon. Hackers, Lin said, love to brag and share their accomplishments.

Two presentations offered reporters examples for turning the complexities of cybersecurity into effective storytelling. Bruce Auster, a senior editor at NPR, walked participants through the production of a story dubbed “Project Eavesdrop,” meant to show listeners how much personal data their cell phones and computers send out without their knowledge.

NPR hacked into reporter Steven Henn’s home office, with his knowledge and permission. Even though Henn believed he had set up good security measures, basic skill-level hacking was able to access his Google search data, locations visited, email addresses and telephone numbers through always open, data-trolling apps.

“Your phone is a promiscuous device,” explained Auster. “We’re willing to make a deal with the devil for the convenience of the society that we’re living in.”

Also presenting was visual artist Hasan Elahi, who recently was awarded a Guggenheim Fellowship for his surveillance-themed art projects. The project began shortly after the terrorist attacks of 9/11 when he was mistakenly added to the U.S. government’s watch list and spent six months being questioned by the FBI.

The FBI agent assigned to his case told him the best way to avoid questioning was to share his whereabouts with him. Elahi took the instruction literally and began an open-ended art project in which he revealed every aspect of his life to the agent, from the food he was in the process of eating, to bathroom toilets he visited.

Elahi photographed and uploaded plane tickets, road signs and everyday shopping trips. He has posted thousands upon thousands of images to his webpage for his agent and anyone else to see.

The result? “All my data is out there,” he said.

In the world we live in, cyber threats are more prominent than ever. The Internet has forced reporters to reinvent the way news is produced and shared. It’s also making them realize that understanding cybersecurity – a topic that still puzzles even top government officials – is increasingly important on a whole host of beats around the newsroom, from health care and business to national security and now, even domestic politics.

“I know some stuff just because I’m a computer nerd,” said Matt Dempsey, data reporter for the Houston Chronicle. “This cyber workshop has been a lot of information to take in, but it’s been helpful, really helpful.”

Former Dean Thomas Kunkel Wins Sperber Prize

Tom Kunkel

– Photo courtesy St. Norbert College.

Edited from a Fordham University News Release:

(BRONX, NY.)(Sept. 1) –  Thomas Kunkel’s elegant profile of journalist Joseph Mitchell was awarded the 2016 Ann M. Sperber Prize by Fordham University, located in the Bronx, New York.

The Sperber Prize is given in honor of Ann M. Sperber, the author of Murrow: His Life and Times, the critically acclaimed biography of Edward R. Murrow. Through the generous support of Ann’s mother Lisette, the $1,000 prize was established to promote and encourage other biographical works that focus on a media professional, and has been presented annually by Fordham University’s Department of Communication and Media Studies since 1999.

Professor Brian Rose, director of the Sperber Prizes, praised Man in Profile as “an extraordinary biography of an extraordinary writer whose poetic insights and graceful style revolutionized literary journalism in America.”  The book was published by Random House.

Thomas Kunkel is the president of St. Norbert College in De Pere, Wis. and the former dean of the Philip Merrill College of Journalism at the University of Maryland. He is the author of Genius in Disguise: Harold Ross of the New Yorker (1995) and Enormous Prayers: A Journey into the Priesthood (1998).

Previous winners of the Ann M. Sperber Prize include Fire Shut Up in My Bones by Charles M. Blow, Cronkite by Douglas Brinkley, Lives of Margaret Fuller by John Matteson,  The Publisher: Henry Luce and His American Century by Alan Brinkley, and American Radical: The Life and Times of I.F. Stone by D.D. Guttenplan.

For more information, please contact Brian Rose at rose@fordham.edu or 212.636.6277.