National Security Journalism Initiative


With the assistance of generous Robert R. McCormick Foundation grants, Medill is offering students the opportunity to take classes or specialize in national security reporting.

The Medill National Security Journalism Initiative offers these graduate courses: U.S. Security and Civil Liberties Reporting, with a focus on homeland security ; Covering Conflicts, Terrorism and National Security; CyberSecurity; and Washington national security beat reporting.

The Initiative also offers two unique opportunities for graduate students.

  1. The National Security Specialization Program offers the opportunity to develop the skills, knowledge and hands-on reporting expertise needed to excel in covering some of the most crucial stories of our times – those affecting the national security of our country. It capitalizes on the teaching and training already being done by faculty affiliated with the Medill National Security Journalism Initiative in Evanston, Chicago and Washington as well as existing reporting classes, the Global seminar and a select number of security-related non-Medill classes. To complete the specialization, students are required to take 4 units of national security classes from among the classes noted above and select NU classes. They are given opportunities to outside of the classes to meet with leading journalists and experts on a variety of national security topics; past speakers have included Al Jazeera English’s John Hendren, The New York Times’ Elisabeth Bumiller  and Geoffrey Stone, a leading member of the privacy commission created in the wake of the NSA spying scandal.
  2. The National Security Reporting Project, launched in 2010, provides scholarships to 10 Medill graduate students who report on one topic and present their investigative work in ways that engage audiences innovatively. Past projects have addressed climate change, the challenges facing the military reserves, energy security, food aid programs and the use of landmines. Our media partners have included The Washington Post, McClatchy News Service, GlobalPost and USA TODAY

Global National Security Journalism Initiative 

Through the Politics and National Security Specialization, Medill graduate journalism students travel globally for a three-month reporting project to report on issues ranging from the polio war in Pakistan to Bangladesh’s efforts to reduce the effects of climate change.  

 Previous projects include: