The Diamondback

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The Diamondback is the award-winning independent student newspaper of the University of Maryland, College Park. It was founded in 1910 as The Triangle and renamed in 1921 in honor of a local reptile, the Diamondback terrapin (the terrapin became the official school mascot in 1933). The print edition of the newspaper is published once a week on Monday, with a print circulation of 8,000,[1] down from a high of more than 21,000, and what used to be annual advertising revenues of more than $1 million. It is usually twelve to sixteen pages.[2] The Diamondback publishes a daily digital edition during the school year which can be found at

The paper's current independent status was originally intended as punishment—the Board of Regents cut off student funding after The Diamondback's actions in 1971, when it ran two pages blank in protest of campus censorship and placed tombstones on its editorial page in protest of the Vietnam War.[3]

The paper's offices are located on the third floor of the South Campus Dining Hall, across from the WMUC-FM radio station and the University of Maryland's Residence Hall Association office. [4]

The Diamondback
The front page of The Diamondback on Sept. 24, 2012
Type Weekly newspaper
Format Broadsheet
Owner(s) Maryland Media, Inc.
Founded 1909
Language English
Headquarters College Park, Maryland, United States
Circulation 9,000


The Diamondback is split into four sections:

  • News - The news section covers both on- and off-campus news, specifically in the region of College Park, Maryland, but also expands coverage to Annapolis, Maryland, when the state's legislature is in session.
  • Opinion - The editorial section contains The Diamondback's editorial, op-eds and letters to the editor, and editorial cartoons.
  • Diversions - The entertainment section contains reviews of movies and music, as well as concerts and plays around the College Park region.
  • Sports - The sports section covers University of Maryland athletics, including men's basketball and football. This section often has a combination of news and opinion articles.


The Diamondback has received many awards throughout its history for categories including photography, news writing and cartoons, especially from the Society of Professional Journalists.

For the 2012-2013, 2015 and 2016 school years, The Diamondback was named the Best All-Around Daily Student Newspaper in Region 2 of the Society of Professional Journalists.[5]

For the 2010-2011 school year, The Diamondback received a first-place Mark of Excellence award for its region, and saw several of its journalists go on to win individual national awards from the Society of Professional Journalists, including for column writing and sports reporting. [6][7]

For the 2008-2009 school year, The Diamondback placed second in the national Society of Professional Journalists Mark of Excellence Awards ranking of daily student newspapers. It received the first-place award for its region.[8]

For the 2005-2006 school year, The Diamondback received a Mark of Excellence award, placing 3rd nationally for Best All-Around Daily Student Newspaper and placing first in its region in the same category.



Notable journalists who worked at The Diamondback include:

  • Jayson Blair (editor-in-chief in 1996), former journalist for The New York Times. Blair achieved nationwide notoriety as a journalist at the Times for serious reporting errors, fabrication of facts, and plagiarism. A letter signed by 30 former Diamondback staffers regarding the situation with Blair also complained about the lack of involvement by the board that owns the paper.[9]
  • Norman Chad (editor-in-chief in 1978), an ESPN columnist and World Series of Poker commentator.
  • Brian Crecente (reporter 1993–1994), editor-in-chief of Gawker Media website Kotaku named one of the 20 most influential people in the video game industry over the past 20 years.
  • Jack Kelley, former USA Today international correspondent who resigned after fabricating major stories and plagiarizing on at least two dozen occasions[10]
  • David Mills, a former features writer for The Washington Times and The Washington Post. Mills also found success in Hollywood. He was a television writer for NYPD Blue from 1995 to 1997. He also wrote several episodes of Homicide: Life on the Street and ER. In 2003, he created Kingpin, an NBC miniseries. He won two Emmy Awards.
  • Michael Olesker, former columnist for the Baltimore Sun, commentator for WJZ-TV and writer for the Baltimore Examiner. He resigned from the Sun after accusations of plagiarism.
  • David Simon, author of Homicide: A Year on the Killing Streets and The Corner. Based on his books, Simon later created the TV series Homicide: Life on the Street and The Wire, as well as the mini-series, The Corner.
  • Mi-Ai Parrish (editor-in-chief 1991-1992) is president and publisher of the Arizona Republic and Previously publisher of The Kansas City Star and Idaho Statesman. Journalist at Minneapolis Star Tribune, San Francisco Chronicle, Chicago Sun-Times.




External links

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