MedillTalks: The Best Ideas in Journalism

‘MedillTalks’ Discusses the Best Ideas in Journalism

 “MedillTalks: Where Great Ideas Take The Lede” was the first event of its kind for the Medill School of Journalism, Media, Integrated Marketing Communications at Northwestern University. Seven Medill faculty members offered their insights on topics such as fake science in journalism, do-it-yourself classes, sojo journalists, audience needs and diversity as a business model. The live talks before an audience of students, faculty, journalists and community members focused on how to complete the sentence, “The best ideas in journalism…”

 Broadcast journalist Randi Belisomo, (MSJ 05), served as host. The co-founder of Life Matters Media, Belisomo is a general assignment reporter at WGN-TV in Chicago and contributor to Chicago Public Radio. She is an EMMY Nominee and a 2012 Peter Lisagor Award winner, serving on the boards of the Chicago Headline Club, the Association of Women Journalists-Chicago and other organizations. She is a Chairperson of the Carlos Hernandez Award in Meritorious Journalism at DePaul University.

  1. “Your Brain on Story.” Following an introduction to the event by Randi Belisomo, Michele Weldon comments on the latest neuroscience regarding the physiological effects of narrative and a journalist’s responsibility. Weldon is assistant professor emerita in service, director of Medill Public Thought Leaders and also director of the NU Public Voices Fellowship. She is a senior leader with The OpEd Project, author of several books, former editor and writes for New York Times, CNN, Christian Science Monitor, Chicago Tribune, Guardian,  Slate and dozens more sites. She was also co-director of TEDx      NorthwesternU 2014. View an article in the Pacific Standard and watch the video here.
  2. The Frankenstein Factor: How journalism can take a leading role to reverse assaults on science.”      Abigail Foerstner discusses the urgent need for journalists to investigate  scientific stories and not misreport them. Foerstner is assistant professor and managing editor of Medill’s Chicago newsroom. She is an author and      journalist writing for the Chicago Tribune, CityTalk, Pioneer Press, Detroit News, North Shore  magazine and other publications. Watch the video here.
  3. “Mojos and Sojos Still Need to Get Their Group On.” Caryn Ward Brooks claims the best journalism does not come from one backpack as collaboration is key. Brooks is an assistant professor who spent 25 years in television newsrooms as  producer, executive producer, news director, managing editor and reporter. She has won five EMMY awards and writes about media issues. Watch the video here.
  4. “Image Maker: Mobile devices, better stories and the end of TV.” Craig Duff  speaks on how advancements in video technology can help journalists tell better stories, but will mean big changes for television news. Duff is a      professor, EMMY award-winning video journalist and documentary television director. He has worked at CNN, made television documentaries with the New York Times, and was director of multimedia at TIME. Watch the video here.
  5. “What's in it for me? Understanding The Needs Of Your Audience." Jazmin Beltran discusses why journalists must decide how a story is relevant in order to better inform the community it serves. Beltran is an adjunct lecturer and publisher for Univision Interactive Media. She also reports for WGBO, and is a co-host for La Tremenda 1200 AM. She has worked as a reporter and editor for the Journal Times in Racine, Wis. Watch the video here.
  6. “Diversity as A Business Model for Media.” Michael Deas suggests diverse newsrooms and media companies will enhance content, build audiences and increase revenue. Deas  is a lecturer teaching graduate and undergraduate editing and multimedia reporting. He has worked at the Chicago Tribune as an editor on the national-foreign and news-editing      staffs. View his oped in Al Jazeera and watch the video here.
  7. When Students Write The Syllabus.” Emily Withrow talks about disrupting the  curriculum to create innovative journalism in a DIY course. Withrow is an assistant professor, teaching online publishing and interactive narrative.  She was an editor at The A.V. Club, the arts/entertainment arm of The Onion, and has worked at McKinsey Quarterly, Associated Press and CBS. Watch the video here.