Social Justice and Investigative Reporting

Issues of crucial impact in our communities need dedicated storytellers who can shed light on injustice, inequality and discrimination. Specialize in social justice while completing Medill’s MSJ program and learn how to bring attention to important stories that are often left untold.

From Medill’s Chicago newsroom, you can report on urban affairs and attend events outside of the classroom. Our students engage with authors who write about social justice themes. You will learn investigative reporting skills with Pulitzer Prize winner Louise Kiernan and work on projects for the Chicago Tribune. You can also apply to participate in the Medill Justice Project, which has won multiple national awards for exposing wrongful convictions and probing systemic criminal justice issues.

Students in the specialization can take part in a social justice fellowship, where the group reports each year on a significant social problem. Recent coverage has focused on topics like drug policy, mental health services and housing segregation. Fellows meet face-to-face with those most impacted by social justice issues, going into neighborhoods, meeting community leaders and visiting Cook County Jail, to tell important stories.

Social Justice-focused students often see their work published in news outlets like WBEZ and the Chicago Reporter. After graduating, you’ll join the Medill alumni network, which includes Pulitzer winners and some of the best investigative reporters in the industry.

Students in this specialization begin the MSJ program in Summer Quarter. For more information, please contact Professor Jack Doppelt or Lecturer Kari Lydersen.

“Most notably, by fostering a constant conversation among journalists and the community members we write about, the social justice initiative helped me cultivate my ethical compass as a reporter. I now do my job with a heightened, educated awareness of how to report all sides of a complex story with sensitivity and fortitude.”

- Adrienne Hurst (MSJ16), Reporting Fellow, Injustice Watch