Medill School of Journalism
|Type||Unit of Northwestern University|
|Campus||Evanston / Chicago (news service)|
The Medill School of Journalism, Media, Integrated Marketing Communications // is a constituent school of Northwestern University that offers both undergraduate and graduate programs. It has consistently been ranked one of the top schools of journalism in the United States. Medill alumni include 38 Pulitzer Prize laureates, numerous national correspondents for major networks, and many well-known reporters and columnists. Northwestern is one of the few schools embracing a technological approach towards journalism. Medill received a Knight Foundation grant to establish the Knight News Innovation Laboratory in 2011. The Knight Lab is a joint initiative of Medill and the McCormick School of Engineering at Northwestern, one of the first to combine journalism and computer science.
The Medill School was founded in 1921, and named after Joseph Medill (1823–1899), owner and editor of the Chicago Tribune, which was then run by his grandsons Robert R. McCormick and Joseph Medill Patterson.
The journalism program offers Bachelor of Science and Master of Science degrees. The undergraduate curriculum requires a broad liberal arts education as well as the study and practice of journalism. The Integrated Marketing Communications program offers a Master of Science degree and Undergraduate Certificate. The graduate level program has full-time, part-time and online options. Full-time students can pursue a specialization, choosing from brand strategy, content marketing, digital and interactive marketing, marketing analytics, strategic communications and media management.
Medill undergraduates participate in a journalism residency for one quarter in their junior or senior year, during which they intern in a professional newsroom or media organization. Media outlets across the United States — and in some cases, overseas — have participated in this program.
Medill is headquartered on the southern end of Northwestern's campus in Evanston, Illinois, but it also opened a program in 2008, at the branch campus Northwestern University in Qatar. In spring 2016, Medill will open a new campus location in San Francisco, in partnership with the McCormick School of Engineering and Applied Science.[needs update] For many years the school's main location was in Fisk Hall. In fall 2002, the school opened the McCormick Foundation Center (formerly the McCormick Tribune Center), which features a professional-grade TV studio and multimedia classrooms for Medill's growing emphasis on new forms of media. It was generally known as the Medill School of Journalism. To reflect the broader focus the faculty approved the expanded name "Medill School of Journalism, Media, Integrated Marketing Communications" in late 2010, and the new name was approved by the university board of trustees in March 2011.
Medill Knight Lab
Medill is known for graduates who "mix high-tech savvy with hard-nosed reporting skills". The Knight Lab is a joint initiative of Northwestern's Medill School of Journalism and the Robert R. McCormick School of Engineering and Applied Science funded by the John S. and James L. Knight Foundation announced in 2011. It combines the disciplines of journalism and computer science together to establish a cutting edge media innovation lab, one of the few of its kind in the country. According to Northwestern's press release:
- "Among the Knight Lab's goals is to maximize use of open-source software already developed through the Knight News Challenge, a $25 million worldwide media innovation contest now in its fifth year, as well as from other grantees from Knight Foundation's $100 million media innovation initiative...Those include projects such as Open Block, an aggregator of public information; Document Cloud, for managing and displaying original documents; Public Insight Journalism, which helps newsrooms tap the wisdom of the community to find better news sources; and Spot.Us, a new way of "crowd-funding" journalism."
Medill Justice Project
The Medill Justice Project, originally known as the Medill Innocence Project, began in 1999, as an effort by Medill faculty and students to reinvestigate murder convictions in Illinois and determine if people were wrongly convicted. This effort has helped to free 11 innocent men, including Anthony Porter. and the Ford Heights Four. Medill Justice Project work is credited with prompting Illinois Governor George Ryan to suspend the death penalty and commute all death sentences in 2003.
In 1999, the project successfully worked to free Anthony Porter, who had been convicted of killing two people. Alstory Simon made a video confession to the crimes, encouraged by the Medill Justice Project and a private investigator. Simon pleaded guilty and was eventually sentenced to 37 years. However, in 2014, authorities exonerated Simon and freed him from prison. Anita Alvarez, of the Cook County State's Attorney's Office, criticized David Protess, the Innocence Project founder and director, and long-time Medill journalism professor. Prosecutors said Protess, private investigator Paul Ciolino, and Medill students manipulated Simon into making the confession. The Innocence Project allegedly told Simon he could be executed, said he could earn money from book deals if he cooperated, and falsely claimed there was a witness who implicated Simon.
From 2009 to 2011, the project was involved in a dispute with the Cook County, Illinois state's attorney over the handling of the Anthony McKinney case. The university claimed reporter's privilege in resisting a subpoena for Justice Project records of the case, while the state claimed the project had been acting as investigators in behalf of McKinney's counsel. Medill faculty member David Protess was suspended during this dispute. In 2011, Protess left to found the Chicago Innocence Project and blog for the Huffington Post while the school gave up the records.
In February 2018, Medill Justice Project Director Alec Klein was accused of bullying and sexual harassment by multiple former students and employees. Klein "categorically" denied the allegations and took a leave of absence during the university's investigation. Klein resigned from his position and left the university in August.
Spiegel Research Center
The Medill IMC Spiegel Digital & Database Research Center is the first research center at Medill. Founded in 2011, it is funded by a gift from the late Ted Spiegel, Medill professor emeritus and member of the family who founded the Spiegel (catalog), and his wife Audrey. The center focuses on evidence-based, data driven analysis to prove the connection between customer engagement and purchase behavior.
Medill News Service - Chicago
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Medill Chicago is a working news bureau in downtown Chicago that operates as part of the graduate journalism program.
Medill graduate students have been providing news coverage to client newspapers since 1995. Each quarter, graduate students are assigned to cover stories about city and county government, the events in state and federal courts, business and economic development, health and science issues and the arts and sports.
Medill News Service - Washington, DC
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Every Medill News Service journalist has the opportunity to spend a quarter in a Washington, DC covering breaking news as well as in-depth, enterprise stories on politics, civil rights, energy, technology or education. Medill journalists attend congressional proceedings, press conferences, conventions and congressional hearings and connect those stories to the communities they cover—not an insider audience.
The Medill News Service serves newspapers, Web sites, television stations and radio stations, which all pay a quarterly fee to help cover production and communications costs. Print correspondents transmit stories electronically every day. Television stories are sent by network feed or satellite, or shipped overnight, as each station requires.
In a February 11, 2008 column written for the Daily Northwestern, Medill senior David Spett questioned the use of anonymous sources by Dean John Lavine in a letter Lavine wrote for Medill's alumni magazine. Lavine attributed a quote praising a Medill marketing class to "a Medill junior" in the class. Spett reportedly called all 29 students enrolled in the class, including all five Medill juniors, and according to Spett, all denied saying the quote. Lavine denied fabricating the quote in a February 20 email to students, but expressed regret for what he called "poor judgment" in not keeping his notes.
The so-called "Quotegate" controversy was the focus of stories, columns and editorials in local and national media, including the Chicago Tribune, the Chicago Sun-Times, The Washington Post and Editor & Publisher.
Medill alumni have won:
- 38 Pulitzer Awards'
- 6 American Business Media Jesse H. Neal Awards
- 71 National Academy of Television Arts and Sciences Emmy Awards (NATAS)
- 5 Public Relations Society of America Anvil Awards
- 9 University of Georgia George Foster Peabody Awards
- 11 American Society of Magazine Editors' National Magazine Awards
- 2 International Association of Business Communicators Gold Quill Awards
- 7 Columbia University Alfred I. duPont Awards
- 1 Academy (Oscar) Award
The school recognizes alumni "whose distinctive careers have had positive impacts on their fields" with its Hall of Achievement award, as well as alumni who have been awarded a Pulitzer Prize.
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Their work also is credited with prompting then-Gov. George Ryan to empty the state's death row in 2003, re-igniting a national debate on the death penalty and leading to the end of capital punishment in Illinois.
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- Official website
- Medill News Service Chicago
- Medill News Service DC
- Medill Innocence Project
- Media Management Center: Northwestern University's Media Research and Education Center
- Media Info Center Presented by the Northwestern University Media Management Center