In partnership with the McCormick Foundation,Northwestern University’s Medill School of Journalism, Media, Integrated Media Communications created the Medill National Security Journalism Initiative in January 2009 to provide journalists-in-training and working journalists with the knowledge and skills necessary to report accurately, completely and with context on events and issues related to defense, security and civil liberties.
Covering Conflicts and Terrorism: Starting in 2003, Medill teaches Covering Conflicts and Terrorism, with Centurion providing HEFAT training, three times a year.
Security Journalism Education: A graduate program, that has a concentration just for national security students. Half of their courses are in that field. In addition it includes 2-3 days of HEFAT with Global Journalists Security, a one-week embed in a military training exercise (most recently 29 Palms), an annual two-day embed at the National War College and other activities. In Chicago, the students take a basic national security survey-type seminar, an overview and then do some reporting around homeland security. They spend six months in Washington, Three months reporting on National Security on the Hill, Pentagon, Congress, etc for our media partners and taking a seminar called Covering Conflicts, Terrorism and National Security. The final three months taking a Cybersecurity seminar and doing an in-depth reporting project as a team — topics have been national security implications of climate change, the U.S. role in reducing land mines, energy security and, in 2015 the national security implications of the next pandemic. Partners have been The Washington Post, USA Today, GlobalPost and McClatchy newspapers.
- Medill School of Journalism/Northwestern University: A sequence of courses that equip graduate and undergraduate journalism students with the knowledge and skills to report on national security issues in ways that have relevance and meaning to a variety of audiences. Courses include the Pentagon, the Press and the People, Covering Privacy and Civil Liberties Post-9/11, U.S. Securities and Civil Liberties Reporting, Covering Conflicts Terrorism and National Security, and Washington national security reporting.
- Medill National Security Journalism Initiative: The National Security Reporting Project, launched in 2010, that provides scholarships to 10 Medill graduate students who have completed or are near completion of the master’s program to focus their reporting for three on one topic and present their investigative work in ways that model new ideas on engaging audiences. The first effort, Global Warning, on the national security implications of climate change, won a prestigious national award from the Online News Association. The 2011 project on the challenges facing the military reserve component, Hidden Surge, also garnered national attention.
- In-service training for working journalists and others working in the national security/communications field: Connects journalists with the latest research and expertise and facilitates networking. Medill takes advantage of its Chicago, Washington and Qatar locations and distance learning technology to enable wide participation. Over the past several years Medill has offered single courses – some multiple times – on covering conflicts and terrorism; how to court courts martial; and many others. In 2013, the Initiative has begun offering Webinars; the first one was on covering whistleblowers and leaks. It also is co-sponsoring webinars with the Poynter Institute.