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National Security Journalism Initiative

Unique to Medill, our National Security Journalism Initiative offers you the experiences, connections and training to report on this vital topic.

Studen journalist interviewing a Marine at Twenty-Nine Palms
Students reported from Twentynine Palms  Marine Corps Base as part of our National Security Journalism Initiative.

Prepare to cover national security

Many students in our Politics, Policy and Foreign Affairs master’s specialization participate in the special opportunities offered as part of the National Security Journalism Initiative.

As part of the specialization, you can take several courses on national security reporting and related issues. Outside class, you will learn from mentors who are leading journalists and national security experts. Extracurricular activities have included embedding in a U.S. Army training camp and visiting the National War College, a government-operated institution that offers senior-level courses in national security strategy to civilian and military leaders.  

The initiative also provides scholarships to 10 graduate students, who work in teams to conduct three-month, in-depth investigations with media partner organizations. Past projects have addressed climate change, the military reserves, energy security, food aid programs, the use of landmines and other important topics. NSJI is supported by the Robert R. McCormick Foundation.

“During my time in the program, I was mentored by Pulitzer Prize-winning national security journalists, stood feet from Howitzers during training exercises at Twentynine Palms Marine Corps Base and traveled through the Thai countryside with the country’s leading scientists to report a story on emerging zoonotic diseases,” said Lydia Randall (MSJ16). “The National Security Journalism Initiative not only prepared me to look at every issue with a critical eye, but it drilled in me the value of good research, credible sources and a well-reported story. These are not only the skills of a good national security reporter, but core tenets of solid journalism. They are skills I use every day.”

The Medill National Security Journalism Initiative provided me unparalleled mentorship and concrete experience reporting from a conflict zone. The experience directly led to my current position reporting on military affairs straight out of the gate.” Matthew L. Schehl (MSJ15)

Staff Reporter, Marine Corps Times

Explore the National Security Journalism Initiative website