Jerry Zremski (Source: Merrill College)

The University of Maryland’s Philip Merrill College of Journalism will launch a local news initiative thanks to an anchor commitment from the Andrew and Julie Klingenstein Family Fund.

Merrill College will create a new local news collaborative and a related internship program to strengthen local newsrooms and increase collaboration among news organizations in Maryland, while providing students with experience in local news reporting.

To lead the initiative, Merrill College hired award-winning reporter Jerry Zremski to its full-time faculty as a lecturer. Zremski, who has been the Washington bureau chief for The Buffalo News since 2007 and a reporter for the publication since 1984, has spent two stints as a Merrill adjunct lecturer, most recently since 2019.

The local news collaborative will team Merrill with news media in Maryland, providing experience for students through a mid-level reporting and writing class focused on local beat reporting, while offering supplemental reporting for news organizations in Maryland. The course will be taught by Zremski.

The internship program will offer stipends for select students each summer to intern at a local news outlets.