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MDDC Welcomes 3 into Hall of Fame, Awards DSA to Quine

Melamed, Keat, Marquardt and Quine earn honors
By T.C. Cameron

Carol Melamed, Jim Keat and Tom Marquardt fought to see open government laws adopted and adhered to during their careers in the newspaper industry. Therefore, it was fitting the three were inducted on the same night into the MDDC Press Association’s Newspaper Hall of Fame last Thursday at the Philip Merrill College of Journalism at the University of Maryland College Park.

The association also awarded longtime University of Maryland dean Frank Quine with the Distinguished Service Award. It was Quine who worked diligently to ensure the association’s Hall of Fame is displayed prominently at the journalism school’s crown jewel, the recently opened Knight Hall. Framed pictures of every inductee adorn a first-floor classroom named for MDDC, a room affectionately nicknamed “The Fishbowl” by students.

Past presidents in attendance last Thursday included Karen Acton (Gazette and Southern Maryland newspapers), John League (Hagerstown Herald-Mail), Melamed (The Washington Post), Gertrude Poe (Laurel Leader), Pat Richardson (Annapolis Capital/Carroll County Times) and Peggy Schiff (The Washington Post) .

In his opening remarks, MDDC president Paul Milton of the Baltimore Sun explained that, while Melamed, Keat and Marquardt were inducted for their individual achievements, it was appropriate that the trio entered the hall as a group because they had worked so closely together -- “for the way they preserved, protected and strengthened our Open Meetings and Freedom of Information Act laws.”

Former Baltimore Sun editorial page editor Joe Sterne – himself a member of the Hall of Fame -- introduced Keat.

“My admiration for this man as a newspaper man is unlimited,” Sterne said. “He’s a loyalist to the entire atmosphere of the newspaper business as we knew it when we got into it. He believed as an absolute instinct that it was the newspaper’s job to look behind the big leaders of the city and find out what the hell they were really doing.”

Sterne described Keat as a do-it-all kind of guy at the Sun.

“Jim Keat did everything at the Baltimore Sun except clean out the latrines,” Sterne said. “He took the lead on behalf of the Baltimore Sun and advocated open government. This wasn’t just a First Amendment parade – this had to do with what meetings would be open to the press.”

Keat recall the unique relationship between the three inductees.

“There have been a lot of people who paved the way for what Tom and Carol and I did,” Keat said. “We were a strange trio back in those days, because all three of us were competitive, but I think we have a bond of friendship that superseded everything else.”

Richardson introduced Marquardt, her predecessor at the Annapolis Capital.

“Inside the walls of the Capital building, he served as a role model, a mentor and a coach for a generation of our reporters,” Richardson said. “Outside the building, he made the newspaper a respected voice in Annapolis and beyond.”

Marquardt said his career accomplishments were all part of his daily routine and hoped editors and publishers would continue to embrace the rights afforded by the work of the trio.

“It doesn’t seem like we did all this, but when we were in the throes of the legislature fighting for things like this, it seemed like it was part of our daily job,” Marquardt said. “The only words I’ll leave with you are: Stand behind the Open Meetings Act. Pay some money to go fight for those documents, because that’s what we fought to build.”

Former Washington Post general counsel Eric Lieberman was scheduled to introduce Melamed, whom he called his mentor. Due to work-related circumstances, he was unable to attend. MDDC executive director Jack Murphy instead read Lieberman’s comments, which cited Melamed’s dogged pursuit of the best interests of the newspaper industry.

“She approached every issue facing the newspaper industry with the same degree of care, whether it was as minor as the placement of a newspaper rack in Annapolis or as significant as the Maryland rules on public access to court records,” wrote Lieberman. “Her biggest accomplishment was to convince the Maryland Court of Appeals to adopt rules to maximize public access to court records after it issued an administrative order which would have done exactly the opposite … her memo stopped a runaway train dead in its tracks. Every reporter and editor in Maryland has benefited from Carol’s work, and by turn the public as well.”

Murphy called Melamed, “One of my heroes.” Melamed offered warm-hearted thanks and advice for the future.

“I can’t believe I’m a lawyer and in the neighborhood of these journalists. It really, really profoundly touches my heart,” Melamed said. “(MDDC’s contract lobbyists) Jim Doyle and Ellen Valentino have been absolutely essential in what we’ve done in Annapolis. Alone, we just can’t do it, but if all newspapers can see their way to getting together and working through a press association, you really can have an effective voice in open government in Annapolis.”

The final presentation of the evening was for Quine, who was introduced by Milton.

“You’ve been such a great help to us, and I hope this isn’t the end of your help to us, because we’d love to keep you around here,” Milton said. “I really appreciate your work and I congratulate you.”

Quine described the unique synergy between Maryland’s flagship university and the state’s press association.

“We were maybe the only journalism college in America that ran and helped administer a state press association,” Quine said.

“We liked (the press association) for a lot of reasons,” Quine said. “There were workshops and training programs held here at the University of Maryland, bringing lots of your editors and reporters to campus. Internships and jobs for students were also a great part of that relationship.”

Quine encouraged the relationship between the college and the association to continue.

“I’m glad to see the college of journalism and its terrific new dean, Lucy Dalglish, continue this great partnership with MDDC,” Quine said. “There’s some terrific history in the room which houses the MDDC Hall of Fame. The MDDC is in good hands with Paul Milton, because he’s a Terrapin and a graduate of this fine college.”

A complete transcription of Quine’s comments can be found on the Philip Merrill College of Journalism website.

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