COLLEGE PARK (2/27/18) — An investigative project produced by Capital News Service students at the University of Maryland Philip Merrill College of Journalism is among the finalists in the community journalism category of the Scripps Howard Awards.

The annual Scripps Howard Awards honor the best journalism from the past year. The CNS project, published as a series of stories called “Home Sick,” investigates the conditions that lead to high rates of asthma in some Baltimore neighborhoods. The reporting was done in partnership with Kaiser Health News.

“Home Sick” was among the finalists named in 15 categories from 900 entries sent by news organizations across the United States. The Scripps Howard Foundation presents more than $170,000 in prize money to winners, who will be announced March 6.

The Bristol Herald Courier (“Addicted at Birth”) and The Frontier (“Shadow Land: How Rape Stays Hidden in Oklahoma”) are the other finalists in the Scripps Howard Awards community journalism category.

Finalists in other categories include The Washington Post, The New York Times, Reuters, CBS News, CNN and other large and small professional news organizations.

For “Home Sick,” CNS student journalists and Kaiser reporters reviewed some 10 million cases of inpatient and emergency room cases in Maryland to show how housing conditions and hospital policies contribute to illness in some communities.

The review revealed that residents in one Baltimore neighborhood — a short distance from world-renowned medical institutions — suffer from asthma at more than four times the rate of people in the city’s wealthier areas.

The project grew out of Abell Professor in Baltimore Journalism Sandy Banisky‘s urban affairs reporting class and CNS director Sean Mussenden‘s data bureau.

Banisky and Mussenden worked with Tom Bettag, the college’s Eleanor Merrill Distinguished Visiting Fellow, and Merrill College students Naema AhmedHelen Lyons (M.J. ’17), Talia Richman  and others.

Part of the project has been published by The Washington Post and The Baltimore Sun.

Capital News Service is the college’s student-powered news organization. CNS has bureaus and news teams in College Park, Annapolis, Baltimore and Washington — all staffed by students and run by professional journalists.

For more information, contact:
Alexander A. Pyles