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Students standing outside at Standing Rock Dakota Access Pipeline.

Social Justice News Nexus

If you are passionate about social justice and urban affairs, you can explore Medill’s Social Justice News Nexus, which brings together students, Chicago journalists and media activists to produce journalism that probes these issues.

Master’s students pursuing Medill’s Social Justice specialization who participate in SJNN reporting projects gain real-world reporting experience, network with professional journalists covering these issues and see their work published in our partner media outlets.

June Leffler (MSJ17)
“SJNN awarded me a grant to cover the Dakota access pipeline protest camps for a weekend. I personally gained a great reporting experience and was able to contribute quality multimedia pieces on this historic occurrence.” June Leffler (MSJ17)

Investigations from the program have been published in Chicago media outlets, including the Chicago Tribune, Crain’s Chicago Business, the Chicago Reader, The Chicago Reporter, the Spanish-language newspaper Hoy and Chicago’s National Public Radio affiliate, as well as national and international news organizations such as New American Media and The Guardian.

These multimedia stories have focused on police brutality, the link between mental health and urban violence, homelessness and housing insecurity in Chicago, the European refugee crisis, coal mining in downstate Illinois, the Puerto Rican statehood movement and the Dakota access pipeline protests, among other topics, all with student journalists reporting from the field.

SJNN leaders impart ethical standards for newsgathering and interacting with sources, who often are feeling vulnerable or oppressed. Students learn to report with empathy and respect for multiple viewpoints.

Social Justice News Nexus is supported by the Robert R. McCormick Foundation, which awards $5,000 stipends to fellows. Graduates have gone on to full-time and freelance reporting positions covering inequality and justice across the globe.

Explore SJNN