CINCINNATI – Members of the Scripps Howard Foundation’s spring class of Roy W. Howard fellows began their yearlong fellowships this month at nonprofit newsrooms, with a commitment to investigative journalism.
The Scripps Howard Foundation established the fellowship program in 2020 in honor of Roy W. Howard, legendary journalist and news executive of The E.W. Scripps Company (NASDAQ: SSP). The Foundation, the longtime philanthropic arm of the company, is now an affiliate of the newly created public-facing Scripps Howard Fund.
The five Roy W. Howard fellows are all graduates of the Howard Centers for Investigative Journalism at the University of Maryland and Arizona State University, which are funded by the Scripps Howard Foundation.
Fellowships are awarded in two annual cycles, January through December and July through June.
The spring 2023 class of Roy W. Howard fellows:
Jonmaesha Beltran — Howard Center for Investigative Journalism, Arizona State University
Beltran graduated with master’s and bachelor’s degrees from Arizona State University’s Walter Cronkite School of Journalism and Mass Communication. While completing her degrees, Beltran was a social justice reporter for Cronkite News, an investigative reporter for the Howard Center for Investigative Journalism and a Pulliam Fellow for The Arizona Republic. She won an Arizona Press Club Award and a Society of Professional Journalists 2020 Mark of Excellence Award for her reporting on the experiences of street medics during the Black Lives Matter protests in Phoenix. Beltran began her fellowship at Wisconsin Watch in January.
Tirzah Christopher — Howard Center for Investigative Journalism, Arizona State University
Christopher graduated with a master’s degree in investigative journalism from Arizona State University’s Walter Cronkite School of Journalism and Mass Communication. An investigative journalist, Christopher grew up speaking English, Tamil and Hindi in her native India and learned Arabic and Malayalam in the United Arab Emirates, where she lived prior to moving to the United States. She has reported on international immigration in Mexico, housing in Arizona and was a Howard G. Buffett fellow, covering police reform for News21, a Cronkite-run national reporting program. Christopher also reported on state politics for The Arizona Republic. She has an interest in data, audio and documentary storytelling. She began her fellowship at National Public Radio in January.
Wyatt Myskow — Howard Center for Investigative Journalism, Arizona State University
Myskow earned a bachelor’s degree from Arizona State University’s Walter Cronkite School of Journalism and Mass Communication. He has previously reported for The Arizona Republic, The Chronicle of Higher Education and The State Press, the student newspaper at ASU, which was named Best Independent Online Student Publication in the 2021 Mark of Excellence Awards by the Society of Professional Journalists. He co-bylined an investigation on how ASU handles sexual assault cases, which won the Arizona Press Club student investigative reporting award. He was also a finalist for both Investigative Reporters and Editors’ 2021 student-small category and SPJ’s 2021 Regional 11 Mark of Excellence Award for online in-depth reporting.
Kate Seltzer — Howard Center for Investigative Journalism, University of Maryland
Seltzer received her master’s degree in journalism at the University of Maryland’s Philip Merrill College of Journalism. While at UMD, Seltzer worked as a reporter for Capital News Service, where she co-created, produced and hosted “Takeover,” a podcast exploring the Supreme Court’s evolution and future. She also contributed to the Howard Center for Investigative Journalism’s investigation “Mega billions: The great lottery wealth transfer” and was part of an ongoing Associated Press investigation into law enforcement practices. Seltzer earned her bachelor’s degree in political science and communication from the University of Mary Washington, where she served as editor-in-chief of the schools’ undergraduate newspaper. Her work has been featured in RVA Magazine, Virginia Public Media and The Montgomery County Sentinel. In January, Seltzer joined the Accountability Project team at Connecticut Public.
Abby Zimmardi — Howard Center for Investigative Journalism, University of Maryland
Zimmardi received her master’s degree from the University of Maryland’s Philip Merrill College of Journalism. At UMD, Zimmardi reported for the Howard Center for Investigative Journalism’s project on state lotteries and covered the Maryland gubernatorial race for the Capital News Service Annapolis Bureau. She earned a bachelor’s degree in journalism from the University of Arkansas, where she worked as a data reporter for a statewide news site, ArkansasCovid.com, and as the multimedia editor for the Arkansas Traveler, the school’s newspaper. She also reported on two Howard Center investigations: “Nowhere To Go – Evictions” and “Essential and Exposed.” Zimmardi’s reporting and data visualizations have won regional and national awards. She joined The Baltimore Banner as a Roy W. Howard fellow in January.
Media contact: Molly Miossi, The E.W. Scripps Company, 513-977-3713, firstname.lastname@example.org.
About the Cronkite School
The Walter Cronkite School of Journalism and Mass Communication at Arizona State University is widely recognized as one of the nation’s premier professional journalism programs and has received international acclaim for its innovative use of the “teaching hospital” model. Rooted in the time-honored values that characterize its namesake — accuracy, responsibility, objectivity, integrity — the school fosters journalistic excellence and ethics in both the classroom and in its 13 professional programs that fully immerse students in the practice of journalism and related fields. Arizona PBS, one of the nation’s largest public television stations, is part of Cronkite, making it the largest media outlet operated by a journalism school in the world. Learn more at cronkite.asu.edu.
About the Scripps Howard Fund
The Scripps Howard Fund is a public charity that supports philanthropic causes important to The E.W. Scripps Company (NASDAQ: SSP) and the communities it serves, with a special emphasis on journalism education, excellence in journalism and childhood literacy. At the crossroads of the classroom and the newsroom, the Fund is a leader in supporting journalism through scholarships, internships, minority recruitment and development and First Amendment causes. The Scripps Howard Awards stand as one of the industry’s top honors for outstanding journalism, and the Fund’s annual “If You Give a Child a Book …” childhood literacy campaign has distributed thousands of new books to children in need across the nation. In support of its mission to create a better-informed world, the Fund also partners with Scripps brands to create awareness of local issues and support organizations that help build thriving communities.The Scripps Howard Foundation, an affiliated organization with the Scripps Howard Fund, supports Scripps’ charitable efforts through its endowment, key assets and major donations.