Tag Archives: Philip Merrill College of Journalism

Seven Standout Merrill Underclassmen Tell Their Stories

By Amanda Eisenberg ’16

Note: Amanda wrote this article during the spring, 2016 semester. We’ve incorporated some updates to job titles as necessary.

COLLEGE PARK, Md. – At Merrill College, it isn’t hard to get involved right away. These young Terps prove how easy it is to work for a publication or broadcast station, even before they step foot on the campus. Check out mini profiles on these seven freshmen and sophomore standout journalism majors as they share their stories and experiences at the college.

Featured Merrill College students include Michael Brice-Saddler, Samantha Reilly, Scott Gelman, Anna Muckerman, Casey Kammerle and Pablo Roa.

Michael Brice-Saddler.jpg

Photo: LinkedIn

Michael Brice-Saddler, rising junior, assistant news editor at The Diamondback

Michael Brice-Saddler started writing about Dining Services as a staff writer for The Diamondback before covering the crime beat. His crime blotter details some strange happenings that occur in College Park, and students seem to notice. “When people approach me and tell me they read something I wrote, it’s the best feeling ever,” he said.

Brice-Saddler will move into an assistant news editor position at the paper before the end of the semester, and he’s also interning at Streetsense, a street newspaper based in Washington, D.C. “I’m reporting on all types of things related to homelessness like legislation and homeless encampment closures,” he said.

He was referred to his internship by an alumna of the living and learning program CIVICUS, which Brice-Saddler is in. He said his internship “fit right in with the themes of CIVICUS and my goals for journalism, so it was the perfect fit for me.

Although a friend referred him, it was his work at The Diamondback that helped him secure an internship. “I had covered a lot of different things just being at The Diamondback. So I was well rounded already. The person interviewing me basically hired me during the interview so it was really exciting.”

Samantha Reilly

Photo: Law Street Media.

Samantha Reilly, rising junior, co-editor in chief at Unwind magazine

Samantha Reilly has kept busy in her two years on the campus, notably running Unwind magazine as co-editor in chief and also working on staff at The Diamondback. Reilly said she made sure to get involved early. “I think I can attribute a lot of my growth in the journalism school and the journalism atmosphere at Maryland to my first couple weeks on campus,” she said. “As soon as I got on campus, or even before actually, I was eating up journalism list serv emails and looking at all the different opportunities and kind of in a really proactive mode and bouncing on anything I could.”

Reilly said that despite rejections for positions at campus publications, she received a lot of positive feedback from editors and didn’t let her lack of experience deter her; she made sure to work with upperclassmen and eventually joined various staffs. “I think that working with upperclassmen was one of the biggest assets to me,” Reilly said. “They really understood where I was coming from, both before and after I took certain classes, and they were able to tell me how to capitalize on some of the skills I was learning in class and learn how to apply it to outside publications or outside work.”

She attributed her work at both publications to helping her secure jobs and internships because she was “getting in there and doing the work of an actual journalist.” And for incoming freshmen, Reilly encourages them to be brave and reach out to editors. “Now that I’m in a leadership role, I understand that editors and people in leadership positions really appreciate that and appreciate whoever that is reaching out and saying, ‘I want to work for you,’” she said. “That willingness to learn and show that will take you far.”

Scott Gelman

Photo: Scott Gelman

Scott Gelman, rising sophomore, sports writer for The Diamondback

Scott Gelman said he entered Merrill College knowing it was the place for him, especially because he could get involved immediately. “It quickly became clear to me that in some places, getting a gig with the paper as a new student is a function of saying ‘Please’ and ‘Thank You’ enough times,” he said. “That wasn’t the case for me here. I came in with experience, it was valued and I received opportunities.”

Gelman found The Diamondback as an “ideal” place to work, where he worked as a general assignment reporter, a copy editor, a news reporter and now a sports reporter covering women’s lacrosse. He said everyone on staff has been instrumental in improving his writing. Gelman also said he made sure to communicate his interest in journalism to people who could help him. “As soon as I confirmed my admission, I emailed the newspaper’s general address to find out how to get involved,” he said. “That’s just my personality.”

He suggests for incoming freshmen to do the same. “My advice would be to try different things and figure out where you fit,” Gelman said. “It will take time, but you will figure it out. Challenge yourself and get involved. Nobody cares how old you are or how much experience you have here. We are all journalists and are passionate about the same thing.”

Anna Muckerman

Photo: LinkedIn

Anna Muckerman, rising junior, news director for WMUC Radio News

Anna Muckerman confided that she secured the news director position at the campus radio station in an atypical way. “At the end of my freshmen year, the position of news director opened up, and usually people get the position because they’re the smartest or they worked the hardest, and I had worked really hard, but I got the position because no one else wanted it.”

Muckerman went on to “start from scratch,” hiring new producers and reporters and starting new shows, to turn WMUC from a place where “a bunch of people talk with their friends” to an important source of campus news.

“I think because I saw it as an opportunity, I didn’t see it as a burden,” Muckerman said. “A lot of people were like, oh this would be a lot of work, but I saw it as a chance to create something new and meet new people, and leave an impact on campus.”

She urges incoming freshmen to do the same: If you’re the type of person who sits back in class and doesn’t make connections and doesn’t talk to people, then you’re not going to have nearly as much fun or get as far in this journalism school,” Muckerman said. “But if you really want something and go after it, you can accomplish a lot really quickly.”

Casey Kammerle

Photo: LinkedIn

Casey Kammerle, rising junior, managing editor for The Diamondback

Casey Kammerle credits the journalism list serv to helping him climb the ranks at The Diamondback. He saw an email from associate dean Olive Reid and applied to work as a copy editor at the paper. By the end of the semester, he will have been promoted to managing editor for his junior year.

“If you apply … early in your college career, it’s just really easy to get somewhere and work your way up because you have all four years to sort of climb,” Kammerle said. “I know it’s cliche, but get involved early. The earlier you do it, the more likely you’ll get something to stick.”

Carly Kempler

Photo: Bethany Swain

Carly Kempler, sophomore, assistant news editor at The Diamondback

Kempler knew she wanted to get involved early with The Diamondback before she arrived on the campus, and started working as a news blogger for the paper by her freshmen year. She soon applied to work as a news staff writer, and by her second semester of her sophomore year, she was promoted to assistant news editor.

But getting to that position wasn’t the easiest for Kempler, who said she had little experience before college. “I did journalism for four years in high school but it didn’t really prepare me for what this is,” Kempler said. “It was really one class and then you wrote for the paper, which came out, if we were lucky, three times a year.”

It was an upperclassmen on staff who helped Kempler strengthen her writing skills, which ultimately helped her secure an editor position. “It’s so important to work with upperclassmen because honestly, what I’ve been telling to other interviewers, is that I basically learned my writing at The Diamondback,” she said. “I think writing is the most important skill, but it’s a lot easier to learn how to write than it is to learn how to use those giant broadcast cameras, so that’s why I chose to do broadcast so I could get those multimedia skills.”

Pablo Roa.

Photo: Dave Ottalini

Pablo Roa, freshman, volunteer for Capital News Service

Like most underclassmen, Pablo Roa heard about CNS through the student email list serv. “I actually had no expectations of what it could be,” he said. “I never considered broadcast; I was multiplatform when I started. Never touched a camera, never did anything.”

But from there, Roa learned quickly how to work in the studio. He said the best thing was working alongside upperclassmen who “know so much” and were willing to answer any of his questions. “They have this policy that no question is a stupid question and that’s true because I just ask so many questions,” Roa said. “I think that’s one of the biggest reasons why the volunteering system at CNS works great, especially for freshmen who haven’t had the experience.”

Despite only spending a year at the college, Roa said he gained so many experiences just by showing up. He suggests to “make yourself known, and don’t wait.”

CNS Covers the Political Conventions

Merrill College faculty, adjuncts and alumni all weigh in to offer their best suggestions for successfully covering the upcoming Republican and Democratic National Conventions.

COLLEGE PARK, Md. – Capital News Service is sending a total of 14 student journalists to Cleveland and Philadelphia later this month (seven to each) to cover their first national political conventions. It can be intimidating and exhilarating all at the same time. What is the best way to cover these events to ensure Marylanders – and all of CNS’s clients – get the stories that have the most impact?

We’ve reached out to Merrill College faculty and adjuncts, as well as our alumni, to get some of their best suggestions about covering what promises to be two of the more interesting political conventions in many years.

Update: One great tip from a former staffer in the House Radio-TV Gallery: “Guard your credentials.  They can not be replaced and you could lose access to the convention hall and all secure locations. Do not wear them when they are not needed but keep them with you at all times.  If they are yanked off your neck or stolen from your room there is no way to know who might try to use them or what they might try to do.” – Bev Braun


Jim Carroll at the 2012 DNC Convention in Charlotte, NC.

Jim Carroll at the 2012 DNC Convention in Charlotte, NC. Photo: Jim Carroll.

CNS Washington, D.C. Bureau Director Jim Carroll:

Carroll will be heading up the CNS coverage in Cleveland and Philadelphia.  He’s covered every political convention since 1984. He says, “CNS is providing a spectacular opportunity for our students to experience the national political conventions, a chance many veteran reporters would envy. There is no substitute for being there and feeling the excitement, tensions, drama – and the sights, tastes and sounds – of the party gatherings. We look forward to sharing these important events with CNS readers.”

His tips include:

  1. Phone numbers. You can’t have enough phone numbers. Delegates and officials are wandering the convention and the surrounding area constantly. You never find them where they are supposed to be. So you need to be able to reach them.
  2. What happens outside the convention may be just as important as what happens inside. Especially this year, with the possibility of vehement dissent over the nominees in both parties, voices outside the convention halls need to be covered.
  3. More broadly, a journalist covering a convention needs to be flexible and open to anything. A well-planned story may not pan out, while a great story may be right around the corner in the next hallway.

Eaton Broadcast Chair Mark Feldstein:

Obviously, it’s crucial to prepare ahead of time by researching the campaigns’ key political and policy issues (party platform debates, convention procedures, anticipated dissident activity by Sanders/anti-Trump activists, etc.)  Reach out now to DC-area politicians and delegates who you will want to interview at the convention (get their cell phone numbers if you can to text/track down at the convention).  In addition, put together a roster of the faces  of key political players who you will want to interview and memorize these faces ahead of time (and bring your face roster with you); this will help you recognize key players instantaneously and be able to immediately buttonhole them for interviews right on the spot.

Sue Kopen Katcef: here I am standing outside the convention center in Dallas where I was covering the 1984 Republication Convention for WCBM/Metromedia Radio in Baltimore. We were ABC affiliates so I worked out of the ABC Radio network facilities and used their satellite to feed back my stories.

Sue Kopen Katcef at the 1984 Republican Convention in Dallas reporting for WCBM/Metromedia Radio in Baltimore. Photo: Sue Kopen Katcef.

Hone in on groups of reporters interviewing key figures; you have as much right to be there as any other reporter.  Better still, if sources are moving quickly and not holding forth, reach out to shake their hand (no politician refuses that) – and then don’t let go, hold them captive until you can ask a question or two.  Trust me, this works.  Move quickly, don’t linger, don’t be shy – and enjoy the once-in-a-lifetime spectacle of it all!

CNS Broadcast Bureau Director Sue Kopen Katcef:

Wear comfortable shoes and pace yourself – the days/nights are long and often challenging. I know that when I covered the Democrats in 1996 I would go from covering the Maryland delegation’s breakfasts to the events at the nightly session. Then, I’d return to my hotel to start putting together my reports for morning drive, which usually meant I got to bed about the time morning drive started (4:30 a.m. – 5 a.m.). And then start all over again. Never did see a party (or ever go out to dinner or lunch) but DID get to a Cubs game AFTER the convention ended. All of it memorable…

Lecturer Bethany Swain

I covered the 2000, ’04 and ’08 political conventions for CNN.  I was in Boston for Obama’s “Red State, Blue State” speech and watched John McCain’s acceptance speech over dinner with John Oliver and other reporters from the Daily Show at the CNN Grill. I had a range of assignments from early morning live shots for CNN’s affiliate services division, CNN Newsource to anchoring with CNN International’s lead political reporter, Jonathan Mann.

Bethany Swain with her CNN Newsource crew at the 2008 RNC Convention.

Bethany Swain (second from right) with the CNN Newsource crew at the 2008 RNC Convention in St. Paul, Mn. Photo: Bethany Swain.

The big challenges remained the same despite all of the other changes during that time: the security and the noise.  These events were the biggest security headaches of anything I ever covered.  It was significantly easier to get into the White House than into the convention arenas, even with the right credentials.  The logistics are complicated as there are so many journalists, delegates and others who need to get through the layers of security.  And of course all of the protestors.

  1. Best tip: Allow extra time to go through security, and to get anywhere.
  2. Wear good shoes.  This is always important for working long days in the field, but we had to park a significant distance from the security entrance and our live shot position each day. Some locations involved numerous modes of transportation including shuttles, go-carts, and more.
  3. Be prepared to pay extra attention to your audio.  The convention floor is loud with the mix of speeches, reporters and delegates.  The network crews use special microphones during their broadcasts so they can still hear the anchors and reporters during the speeches that are as loud as a sporting event.
  4. There are tons of crews using wireless frequencies, so expect interference and be ready to go hard-wired for audio when necessary.

Have fun.  These only come along every four years.  You can sleep when it is over.


David Lightman (who will be covering his 19th and 20th conventions for McClatchy newspapers.)

  1. Be patient. You’re going to stand out in the heat to get inside. Once you’ve gone through security, to the convention floor, you’re probably going to get a floor pass that allows you only 30 minutes and it may take you 20 to get to the person you want.
  2. Focus. When you go to a convention for the first time, it’s overwhelming. There in front of you in the convention hall is everyone you ever wanted to talk to. You just have to curb your appetite. Know the story you want to do and zero in and do it. Don’t get distracted by 18,000 other stories or rumors.
  3.  Think ahead. Because the actual convention – the Republican Convention – is only four nights. Monday,  they’ll do an afternoon session but generally speaking, you have your entire day free and during that day, there will be delegation meetings, etc. That’s your chance to pursue ideas, get material even write your story at 4 o’clock in the afternoon, but you have to think ahead. Speaking to #1 – you don’t know about security, traffic, etc. so be patient.
  4. Be nimble. You never know what’s going to happen. I don’t care if you want to be first, you want to be right. You want to stand out, but not in the wrong way.
  5. Don’t be afraid to ask dumb questions! You’re going to be with a lot of reporters like me. Don’t be afraid to go to a veteran reporter and ask a question rather than make a mistake. Better to ask a dumb question because I was once in your shoes!

Burns covered the 2000 conventions for Cox Broadcasting. Photo: Alison Burns.

Alison Burns

  1. Show up at the convention as an expert. Know the schedule, key organizers, and speakers and get contact info ahead of time for people you might need to interview once you’re on site (local delegates, campaign spokespeople, political analysts, etc.) You’ll be much more agile as a reporter if you’re not scrambling for basic information.
  2. Get clear guidance from your supervisor about the audience you are serving at the convention and your role in the overall coverage. I was reporting for local TV stations, so we knew the major networks and news services would be providing our stations soundbites from the stage with the big newsmakers of the day. We needed to offer the Cox stations something they couldn’t get from anyone else – including interviews with local members of congress and delegates, behind-the scenes stories about security and logistics, and analysis of convention issues important to those local communities.


Dave Ottalini covered many conventions with Skip Loescher for CNN Newsource.

Dave Ottalini covered a number of conventions with Correspondent Skip Loescher for CNN Newsource. Photo: Dave Ottalini.

Dave Ottalini – Sr. Communications Manager

  1. Although you’ll have power in your workspace, be sure to bring an external power charger for your cell phone. You will need it.
  2. Broadcast students – be sure you have extra camera batteries and make sure they are charged. Have extra batteries for your wireless mics in your kit. Travel as lightly as you can as there are events where you will cover a lot of space.
  3. Seems silly, but check the weather, have a poncho ready if the weather dictates (there was a hurricane four years ago). Have that camera cover ready to protect your gear if going outside.
  4. Keep a compilation of the best video and soundbites for use later and for your reel. It will make a difference at crunch time when you need “that shot.”
  5. Have fun! These events – and the experiences you will take away from them – will stay with you for a lifetime.
Scott Kornberg at the 2012 DNC Convention in Charlotte, NC.

CNS Photo.


Scott Kornberg ’13 (Covered the 2012 DNC Convention in Charlotte, NC.)

I would (say) to not be intimidated and to make the most of your visit! This is a remarkable opportunity, one that nearly every other school in America does NOT offer. So take advantage of your trip, try to meet some different people you can network with and keep an eye out for a different story.  For me, that meant a story on a vendor who was really interesting outside the DNC in Charlotte. And try to enjoy the city too, and all your travels in journalism. It’s a great job because it can take you many places, so even if it’s just lunch at a special place, make sure to soak in where you are because you’re lucky to be there and you never know when you might go back.

Josh Fendrick '13

CNS Photo

Josh Fendrick ’13 (Covered the 2012 DNC Convention in Charlotte, NC.)

Experience as much as you possibly can. You’re one of a handful of college students with the chance to cover a convention. Don’t forget that! It is such an amazing opportunity to put your skills into action while also observing and networking with the professionals. Talk to as many people as you possibly can. Go to as many events as you possibly can. Work harder than you’ve ever worked to produce amazing content. In a few years, you’ll look back on the Convention as one of the truly defining moments of your college career, so my advice is really do everything you can to make it count.

Rob Wells, Ph.D. ’16

Rob Wells covered the DNC Convention for the Wall Street Journal in 2004 in Boston.

Rob Wells covered the DNC Convention for the Wall Street Journal in 2004 in Boston. Photo: Rob Wells.

  1. Get a bicycle. Traffic around the convention sites is awful, and even more so when street protests emerge. I had a bike to cover the street protests in Philadelphia in the 2000 Republican convention and in Boston to cover the 2004 Democratic convention. It allowed me to cover a lot of ground, especially when the vandals began busting up downtown Philly.
  2. Know the delegate hotels. Each state delegation will stay in a specific hotel, and knowing which hotels are hosting the specific delegation can enable you to run down top politicians on deadline. In Los Angeles in 2000, I covered the New York delegation and got most of my interviews just by getting to the lobby before breakfast and catching politicians as they left the elevators.
  3. Follow the money. Find out a list of the major “receptions” (fund raisers) and follow the corporate executives as they write the checks and schmooze with potential cabinet secretaries.
  4. Memorabilia. Save your cash and pick up free memorabilia in the convention hall after the final speeches. People leave behind some cool signs and banners. The cleaning crew will be grateful for your dumpster-diving services.
  5. Talk to the locals. Meet the small business people and the people living nearby the convention sites. They have great stories and will provide some offbeat material that no one else will have.

Brian Schwartz ’93

Check out the mobile journalism conference group (it is called mojocon) on FB and journalismtools.com (I am not affiliated with it) for inspiration on gear and tips for mobile storytelling which could be useful at this year’s conventions.

Covering the Conventions: The 2008 RNC Convention

Bethany with the rest of the CNN photojournalists at the 2008 RNC Convention in St. Paul, Mn.

Bethany Swain poses with her fellow photojournalists at the RNC Convention in St. Paul, Mn. in 2008.

Note: Merrill College Lecturer Bethany Swain covered a number of political conventions over the years for CNN and other news organizations. For many, she would write narratives to family and friends about her experiences. In this note, she talks about the 2008 RNC Convention in St. Paul Mn. Photos: Bethany Swain.

By Bethany Swain
Sept. 1, 2008

When we arrived on site near the Excel Center at 3 a.m. today it was quiet, as Hurricane Gustov has taken away the usual convention energy. I’m working with CNN Newsource doing live shots for our affiliates with Sandra Endo. A line from her package really sums it up, “It was supposed to be a party for the Grand Old Party.”

Last night there were a dozen CNN photojournalists that collected in the hotel lounge to watch our colleagues covering the storm (photo – right). It was rare for all of us to be around and at the same time on the eve of an event like the convention. If it weren’t for the RNC, many of us would be in the Gulf Coast, too.

The group included Mark Biello, an Atlanta-based photojournalist who’s phone updates during the first hours of Katrina no doubt contributed to CNN’s Peabody award for breaking news coverage.

Our location on top of a parking garage overlooks the Excel center and the CNN Grill, a restaurant CNN took over with a special menu and CNN branded beer.

As the morning progresses, there are none of the lines and mobs of people I remember from the ’00 and ’04 conventions. Even some of the reporter live shot positions that would be busy previewing President Bush’s speech are empty as he canceled his visit to Minnesota because of the storm.

Our engineer set up a big TV this morning so we can watch the network report on the storm as we do our live shots on the scale back of the convention. If there is anything we do better than “CNN = Politics” is being “Hurricane Headquarters.”

A lot of planning went into this week here in the Twin Cities, but I don’t think anyone planned for this.

Montage of photos from Bethany Swain at the 2008 RNC Convention in St. Paul, Mn.


Covering the Conventions: The 1980 DNC Convention

Adjunct Lecturer and alumnus Mitchell Tropin '73 at the DNC Convention in 1980.

By Mitchell Tropin ’73

I covered the 1980 Democratic convention held in New York City. I was a reporter for the Bureau of National Affairs, a Washington based news organization that is presently owned by Bloomberg News. The convention was the last largely unscripted convention and it was a wild affair. President Jimmy Carter was the incumbent but he was challenged by Sen. Edward Kennedy (D-Mass).

Carter was unpopular because he tended to blame the public for the country’s economic problems, saying Americans were suffering from a general “crisis of confidence.” There also was the Iranian hostage crisis where American embassy employees were held captive by Iranian revolutionaries.

The convention was held at Madison Square Garden and celebrities of every stripe from Willie Nelson to Christine Hefner to Arthur Ashe to Gloria Steinem were there. If you hung out in the lobby of the hotel adjacent to the Garden, you could meet dozens of famous people who were more than eager to speak to you if you had convention credentials. Wearing the large rectangular ID card gave reporters access to people who otherwise would not speak to a reporter. It was like a large party at a club where everybody was a member.

The convention initially seemed like it was going to be dull. During the first night. Kennedy gave an emotional speech in which he withdrew from the presidential race. The fight was over. However, the anger toward Carter erupted the next night when the platform came up for ratification. Several unions, led by the International Machinists Union, which was huge and very radical, began pressing for a platform plank re-establishing wage and price controls. The U.S. had experienced wage and price controls under President Nixon and hated the experience.

Carter’s supporters knew that any endorsement of price or wage controls would have doomed his election chances. That did not phase the union members and others who took over the convention discussions. Carter sent his people to negotiate a compromise but the Machinists refused to meet with them. So a top Carter adviser, Stuart Eizenstat, went to the convention floor to speak directly with the president of the Machinists union. It was great political drama and reporters followed the Carter aide wherever he went, an entourage with pens and paper.

There was a draft deal but no reporter could get a copy of the tentative agreement. However, I got a lucky break. I went past the Maryland delegation and noticed a guy from the teachers union. He gestured for a handful of us to come over. When we got close, he flashed a copy of the draft deal. We started writing furiously because there was only one copy. There were no xerox machines at the Garden and no cell phones, computers, tablets or anything that could take a picture of the document.

I got my big story for the my news organization. But as soon as the deal was made pubic, Carter disavowed it by saying he would not sign a pledge that he would support the party’s platform. The next evening when Carter accepted the nomination, dozens of delegates walked out on him. Carter also had to endure being humiliated by Kennedy who was suppose to stand at the platform with Carter in a sign of solidarity. Kennedy arrived that last evening about 30 minutes late for the closing ceremony and then walked right past Carter, who was standing on the stage, waiting for the chance to shake hands with Kennedy. The two men never embraced or shook hands.

Unlike today where every minute is planned or choreographed for television, debates and speeches went on forever. Convention sessions started around noon and would not finish until past 1 am. No one cared that crucial discussions were outside of prime television time–something that would never happen today.

Reporters were so wired from the excitement that we stayed up for hours after the end of the day’s session, closing down bars and restaurants. It was an incredible place to be. You just never knew what was going to happen.

In terms of technology, it was a much simpler time. Most of the reporters phoned in their stories. The larger news organizations, like the Washington Post, had dozens of reporters who brought manual typewriters to the Garden. Managing Editor Ben Bradley would direct reporters to either start typing their stories or run with their copy to the Western Union office. Acting like the conductor of an orchestra, Bradley would wave his hands, pointing to different reporters. Meanwhile, Western Union hired a dozen attractive models who walked around the garden in fancy dresses, offering to take reporters copy to Western Union. The young women also were nice to reporters, often waking reporters who had dozed off from exhaustion caused by the long hours of excitement.

Carter lost that November to Ronald Reagan. The convention certainly did not help Carter’s chances. On the other hand. I had the time of my life and remember that wild week very fondly.

Mitchell Tropin ’73 is an adjunct lecturer for Merrill College. He’ll be teaching JOUR200 – Journalism History, Roles and Structures – during the Fall, 2016 semester.

Merrill College: Fearless Journalism

COLLEGE PARK, Md. – What does Fearless Journalism mean at the Philip Merrill College of Journalism? We’ve given that a lot of thought – and we think that for our potential – and current – Merrill journalists, there’s a lot to say about what we will teach you and ultimately, how you will practice as a working journalist going into the future. Never has there been a time that required more from journalists. The training you will receive here – everything from investigative journalism to sports –  will make a difference. It will make you a fearless journalist.

Here’s what Fearless Journalism means:

  • The relentless search for what is true and meaningful;
  • The willingness to question conventional wisdom;
  • The courage to ask tough but fair questions;
  • The ability to set our own news agenda, and not follow that of others;
  • The perseverance to not give up when there are those who would deter you from pursuing a story;
  • The spirit to experiment with various modes of storytelling on many platforms;
  • The independence to hold the powerful accountable;
  • The wisdom to give voice to the powerless;
  • The vision to shape the agenda.

(Thanks to Jay Kernis ’74 and Chris Frates ’00)

There’s more!

Watch our new Fearless Journalism video that explains all the great classes, tools, experiences – in and out of class – that you’ll have here at the Philip Merrill College of Journalism:


Thanks to Ralph Crosby ’46 , John Seng ’79, David Butler (Butler Films) and Alanna Delfino ’14 for making this video possible.