COLLEGE PARK (11/12/18) — There’s no excuse for revoking the press credential of a White House correspondent, University of Maryland Philip Merrill College of Journalism associate dean Rafael Lorente told WUSA 9 this past weekend.
Lorente (M.A. ’98), during a conversation about President Donald Trump’s treatment of journalists and the news organizations they represent, said it’s a reporter’s job to ask tough questions — especially when the questions are directed toward powerful people.
“It’s incredible to watch the president of the United States attack journalists, attack journalism, attack one of the very foundations of our democracy,” Lorente told WUSA 9. “I think we talk a lot about freedom of the press, this is about democracy. We don’t have democracy without freedom of the press.”
Before being named associate dean for academic affairs, Lorente was director of Merrill College’s Capital News Service bureaus in Washington and Annapolis.
He is a former reporter with the South Florida Sun-Sentinel and Miami Herald.
Associate dean for academic affairs Rafael Lorente.
Associate Dean Rafael Lorente highlighted a partnership between the Philip Merrill College of Journalism and College of Information Sciences at the University of Maryland in The Atlantic this past weekend.
The article, published Sunday, demonstrates ways in which libraries in small towns across the United States are stepping in to fill the void created by shuttered local news operations.
“New librarians may need to reinforce information-science skills with journalistic tools in gathering and editing groups of citizen writers or hunting volunteers for news or event gathering,” the article says.
Lorente explains the opportunity for such learning is already available at the University of Maryland.
Several journalism graduate students are taking courses at the information science school, Lorente says. And the colleges are working together to hire — and share — a faculty member who specializes in computational analysis.
A job description posted on the Merrill College website tells job applicants they should have “a passion for journalism and the watchdog role it should play in a democratic society” and have interests including “data analytics as applied to journalism and/or social media; fairness, accountability and transparency in algorithms; news automation; audience analytics and engagement, including those illuminating trends in politics, society or sports; data visualization; social networks; and/or digital innovation.”
The Washington-based ABC affiliate sought Lorente to comment on a story about ABC News’ decision to suspend reporter Brian Ross.
The decision came after the network retracted a story Ross reported after former Trump administration National Security Adviser Michael Flynn pleaded guilty in federal court to lying to the FBI about his contact with Russians.
Ross’ story erroneously detailed what Flynn was prepared to say in federal court, citing an unnamed source.
“We tell our students: stop, take a breath and check it again,” Lorente told WJLA. “If you end up being second and right, that’s better than being first and wrong.”
Lorente said getting it right — and being honest about making mistakes — is critical to earning public trust.
“The media is the enemy of liars and despots; it’s not the enemy of the people,” Lorente told WJLA.
COLLEGE PARK, Md. (March 14) – When I speak to prospective and incoming Merrill College students I always tell them, “If there is something you want to do at school and you don’t see a way to do it, then start it yourself.”
When I came into the school my freshman year I started getting involved with as many activities as possible, but it wasn’t until Justin Meyer, Kofie Yeboah and myself teamed up to start The Left Bench that I really began to find my place at Merrill. It started as a place to write about our opinions, but it has transformed into a home for more than 80 sports journalists at Maryland.
Nothing that we have accomplished at Maryland could have been done without the support of the Merrill College. Without George Solomon, we never would have branched out past the three co-founders. Without Dave Ottalini, chances are our name would not have gotten out there. Without Associate Dean Lorente, TLBTV would not be a reality. The support from the faculty of Merrill has been overwhelming.
Since coming to Maryland I’ve had the opportunity to watch multiple publications launch or expand. Whether it be the start of satirical news publications, the growth of digital publications such as Stories Beneath the Shell, Plex and Writers Bloc or the innovation of existing publications like the Diamondback, the entrepreneurial nature Merrill College encourages inspires me to continue to innovate. Because of this encouragement, with one semester left at Merrill, I launched a new political publication (Beltway Bulletin).
I tell young students, “Never stop.” In my four years, I have been able to innovate with fellow students and I truly believe we have been able to change Merrill for the better. During a time when it seems like being a journalist is a dismal lifestyle, it’s up to us young journalists to keep pushing forward.
Never stop believing in the power of young minds. That’s what I’ve learned at Merrill.
COLLEGE PARK, Md. – Take a look at the newest University of Maryland video and you’ll see some familiar faces – Associate Dean Rafael Lorente and MJ grad Nicole Milano’15.
The video is part of a year-long university campaign to highlight four areas – Curiosity, Passion, Inspiration and Boldness. From September to November, “Discover New Knowledge” was the theme. Going into January we’re talking about what our students, faculty and staff are doing to “Inspire Maryland Pride.” Then comes “Transforming the Student Experience” and finally, “Turn Imagination to Innovation.”
You’ll see all these themes across a wide range of university publications, videos, public relations stories and more – including schools and colleges on campus. With the Capital News Service celebrating 25 years this school year, Merrill College is focusing on how CNS “Inspires Maryland Pride” by covering news and sports throughout the state of Maryland.