Launching the Next Era of News, Reporting on a Changing America

Teams of students at the Philip Merrill College of Journalism spend an intense semester of in-depth study on a particular topic and then participate in the News21 (for news in the 21st century) summer newsroom program that is held at Merrill and seven other top journalism schools, in partnership with the Carnegie Corporation of New York and the John S. and James L. Knight Foundation.

In addition to reporting heavily researched and compelling stories, their goal is to experiment with innovative ways of presenting them. They are guided and edited by a team of experienced faculty and consultants.

Here are their projects:

2010 - Chesapeake: Bay on the Brink

Chesapeake: Bay on the Brink is a multimedia journalism project investigating federal-state efforts to clean up North America’s largest estuary through reporting, informing and engaging people on the fate of the bay.

For the summer of 2010, the University of Maryland team chose to investigate the long-running effort to restore the Chesapeake Bay to health, a major environmental challenge being closely watched across the United States and other parts of the world. More than $6 billion has been spent to clean up North America’s largest estuary, yet much of the bay remains in as bad or worse shape today than before the federal-state cleanup began in 1983. After the Gulf of Mexico and Lake Erie, the Chesapeake has the third largest fish-killing “dead zone” in the nation.
Follow the reporting as it unfolds during the summer of 2010

2009 - The New Voters

The New Voters: Just 40 years after rioters took to the streets of Chicago displaying their anger over the death of Martin Luther King Jr., Barack Hussein Obama stood before thousands of jubilant supporters in the city’s Grant Park and became the first non-white male to claim victory in a U.S. presidential election.

The country had changed. In the summer of 2009, 12 University of Maryland journalism fellows probed what they came to see as the fastest-growing and least understood sets of voters -- Latinos, mixed-race and youth -- to find out how. Their work is the story of these new voters, and how they’ll transform American politics.

About News21

A national initiative led by 12 of America’s leading research universities with the support of two major foundations will advance the U.S. news business by helping revitalize schools of journalism.

The universities will take advantage of the riches of their institutions by integrating the schools of journalism more closely with the entire campus in an effort to better teach, challenge and prepare the next generation of news industry leaders for an increasingly complex world. The initiative will experiment with curriculum and hands-on experience with the hope of creating a national conversation with other schools across the country.