Medill announces new McCormick National Security Reporting Fellowship

A new McCormick National Security Reporting Fellowship will be offered by the Center for Public Integrity (CPI) in Washington, D.C. in partnership with the Medill National Security Journalism Initiative and the Robert R. McCormick Foundation.

This highly selective program allows one graduating or recent Medill journalism graduate student to spend five months starting June 24 working for the award-winning CPI and its national security staff, researching and reporting on critically important issues. The purpose of this unique fellowship is to select a promising early-career journalist from the McCormick-funded National Security Journalism Initiative at Medill, and to pay him or her $3,000 a month to help them join the next generation of national security journalists working in Washington, D.C., and elsewhere.

The recipient of the McCormick National Security Reporting Fellowship will be part of a sophisticated team of reporters producing engaging, attention-getting and newsworthy articles on important national security topics. He or she will work under the guidance of R. Jeffrey Smith, an award-winning former reporter and editor at The Washington Post who now heads CPI’s National Security Program. 

CPI has a longstanding history of reporting on national security and defense, and created a National Security desk in 2011 under Smith’s leadership. It has produced widely-read investigations on nuclear proliferation and on numerous defense issues, including the process of military budgeting and the soundness of specific military programs.

In addition, the fellow will benefit from proximity to some of the best journalists in Washington with related expertise, such as computer-assisted reporting, editing and fact-checking. The fellow’s work will be published through CPI’s award-winning website as well as with media outlets with whom CPI has established partnerships.

This fellowship is a high-profile, superb opportunity for a promising Medill journalist early in his or her career, according to Josh Meyer, lecturer and director of education and outreach for Medill's National Security Journalism Initiative. 

"We’re thrilled to be able to give one of our students the opportunity to work with the Center for Public Integrity in a partnership like this,’’ Meyer said. "They’ll get invaluable experience, and CPI will get a fantastic and promising young journalist.’’

A 2012 CPI intern did groundbreaking work on topics such as U.S. arms sales to foreign rights abusers, defects in the missile defense program, waste in U.S. aid to the Iraq and Afghanistan governments, and the illegal export of U.S. military helicopter technology to China, Meyer added. His articles were co-published with, among others, Foreign Policy, The Atlantic and Mother Jones.

Although output will be determined in part by the flow of news itself, the fellow will undertake one to three major investigations and approximately 15 briefer ones. 

The national security portfolio has a column called “Up in Arms” that tracks closely the flow of national security, defense policy, and military budgeting news in Washington. The fellow will be expected to produce a regular flow of copy for this column. Articles appearing in the “Up in Arms” column will count toward the approximately 15 briefer stories.

"This is exactly the kind of reporting opportunity that the Medill National Security Journalism Initiative is aimed at training students for," said Ellen Shearer, professor and co-director of the Medill National Security Journalism Initiative.

Only Medill graduates with master’s degrees or current graduate students who have completed at least three quarters of study are eligible to apply. Graduates should have been out of school no more than six months. For more information, contact Josh Meyer at