Tag Archives: Terp Magazine

TERP Magazine: Laughter With a Side of Facts

– Photo by John Consoli.

Is the Next Jon Stewart at UMD?

by Liam Farrell

For students behind the anchor desk in the basement of Tawes Hall this spring, the model for news in the 21st century is less the stern anchor behind the desk than the standup comic behind the microphone.

As journalism idols like Walter Cronkite give way to Samantha Bee, a new course is letting students inject some laughs into their news delivery by producing satirical pilots à la Comedy Central’s “The Daily Show” and HBO’s “Last Week Tonight With John Oliver.”

The course, taught by Tom Bettag, a former executive producer for “ABC News Nightline with Ted Koppel,” is part of an effort at the Philip Merrill College of Journalism to explore new avenues for practicing the craft.

“The evening news is such a tired form,” Bettag says. “[Students] have seen it since they were born, and it’s all so canned and so hyped, it turns them off.”

Read the entire story on the TERP Magazine website.

Journalism Researchers Scrutinize Search Results

Maryland researchers scrutinize search results...

From Terp Magazine – Spring 2006 Issue

by Karen Shih ’09 | illustration by Hailey Hwa Shin

“Google” might be synonymous with “online search”—but don’t blindly trust its results this presidential election season, say UMD journalism researchers.

“People question stories they hear about in the media, they question television advertisements and things the candidates themselves say,” says lecturer Sean Mussenden M.Jour. ’00. “But there’s a perception that Google is likely to deliver less biased information when that’s not the case.”

He’s working with Daniel Trielli M.J. ’16 on a team led by Assistant Professor Nicholas Diakopoulos to analyze Google’s search results (favored by more than two-thirds of Americans, according to comScore) for the candidates running in the 2016 primary races.

Read the entire story on the Terp Magazine website.

Terp Magazine Interviews Humphrey Fellow and Pakistani Reporter Said Nazir Afridi

Said-Illustration-Feature1By Liam Farrell

COLLEGE PARK, Md. – Reporting the local news in America is rarely steeped in mortal danger. Politicians may obfuscate, police departments may withhold information and crime-ridden neighborhoods may be intimidating, but these are roadblocks of a subtler nature.


Afridi hosts a show on religious harmony at a radio station in FATA, a portion of Pakistan that has been rocked by violence and clashes between the Taliban and government forces. Photo courtesy of Said Nazir Afridi

Not so in Pakistan, where journalist Said Nazir Afridi runs a radio news service in unstable tribal areas. In a country roiled by conflicts between the Taliban, military leaders and dozens of traditional tribes, reporting any kind of news can be dangerous.

When he mentioned that the militant group running a local cricket tournament had used American funds for the event, Afridi was promptly accused of being a CIA agent. “It means …” he says, running his hand across his throat.

When Afridi reported that a local doctor had been arrested, he dared to write that government security forces, not unidentified armed men, seized him. (It turned out that the doctor, Shakeel Afridi, had helped the CIA run a fake vaccination program aiming to collect DNA samples from people in the suspected Abbottabad compound of al-Qaida leader Osama bin Laden.) If he hadn’t identified Shakeel’s captors, Afridi says, the doctor “would have been missing or killed.”

Read the entire article online.

TERP Magazine: Alumna Documents the Brew Boom


Irvin thanks Kickstarter supporters through Facebook posts.

Journalism Alum Launches Kickstarter for “Blood, Sweat, and Beer”

by Karen Shih ’09

For the past 15 months, Alexis Irvin ’09 and her boyfriend, Chip Hiden, immersed themselves in the yeasty aromas and hoppy flavors of the booming craft beer industry. But all the documentary filmmakers were bingeing on was research on what it takes to create those unique brews.

The ales and lagers and casks, they expected. A prolonged legal battle and a “post-apocalyptic” town with trees growing through the roofs of abandoned houses, they didn’t.

“Blood, Sweat, and Beer” tells the stories of two breweries in Maryland and Pennsylvania as they struggle to get off the ground during their first year. To finalize the film, which is 90 percent complete, Irvin, a journalism graduate, and Hiden, a history graduate from Washington College, launched a Kickstarter campaign to raise $12,000. With just a week and a half left to go, the project still needs about $6,000 to be fully funded.

“It’s been challenging and stressful, but pretty fun,” Irvin says. “We’ve thrived working together in this more entrepreneurial, creative setting. That’s why we were attracted to these startup stories.”

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TERP Magazine: Alumna Leads Major Miami Newspaper

Myriam Marquez ’83 is the editor of Miami's el Nuevo Herald

Myriam Marquez ’83 is the editor of Miami’s el Nuevo Herald.
Photo: El Nuevo Herald.

By Karen Shih ’09

COLLEGE PARK, Md. – Myriam Marquez ’83 might run a major U.S. newspaper, but her readership spans the globe.

She’s the editor of el Nuevo Herald, the largest Spanish-language daily newspaper in the country, based in Miami. The veteran Florida journalist and columnist last October became the first woman to be named its executive editor. Now she oversees a publication that reaches more than 1.7 million readers online monthly and nearly 64,000 in print each Sunday.

“It’s really dynamic and so different from English-language newspapers,” says Marquez. “In a community like ours, many people go back and forth because they have a lot of money in business, global trade. That brings a whole different audience.”

Nearly half of her readers come from Europe and South America, and the paper’s coverage reflects that global perspective: Reporters cover Spain, Cuba, Venezuela and more, even bringing in Venezuelan opposition leaders to Miami in July for a forum on the country’s political future. At the same time, she’s careful to strike a balance to engage a large local population of blue-collar workers—an audience she knows well.

Read the entire story on the TERP website.