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Long-form magazine journalism has a storied history especially at Medill. From politics to fashion to finance, the topics are endless and the need for talented storytellers is great. There’s a growing demand for journalists who can tell complex, narrative stories in multimedia formats.

About the Magazine specialization

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You don’t need to set your sights on a career in traditional magazine journalism to pursue this specialization. What you do need is the drive to spend a lot of time on a single story or specific angle, exploring its nuances and writing a cohesive long-form piece.

The Magazine specialization starts in the fall quarter.

Why magazine journalism?

In-depth, long-form narrative journalism is nuanced and complex. Although it takes time and dedication to master, the best pieces have the ability to stir emotions and transport the reader or viewer to the scene or into the shoes of your main character. Digital tools can further enhance the stories you tell.

Audiences are hungry for this type in-depth journalism. Opportunities have expanded at niche publications, digital-native news sites and even Fortune 500 companies that are embracing brand journalism.

What will I learn?

In this specialization, you’ll learn the ins and outs of print and digital magazine publishing, from pitch development to writing to production. You’ll take a deep dive into a newsworthy topic or topics, investing time to learn about a controversy, location, character or issue; you’ll have the freedom to pursue whatever interests you. Your writing might take the form of a personality profile, explainer piece, analysis, op-ed or memoir. You’ll learn the nuances of each style and begin developing your own personal voice.

In addition, you’ll learn how to produce a multimedia piece that incorporates video, audio, photography and graphic elements. Our experienced faculty have experience at top-tier news magazines; our Chicago space offers the latest cameras and equipment.

When your pieces are published via Medill News Service, you’ll gain clips for your professional portfolio to showcase the depth and breadth of your work.

Our Faculty

Patti Wolter

Patti Wolter

Wolter has deep experience in the magazine industry. Now an associate professor, Wolter was the senior features editor at Self magazine, and was interim editor of Mother Jones magazine.

Charles Whitaker

Charles Whitaker

An expert in magazine journalism, Whitaker has won numerous awards for his teaching. Prior to serving as interim dean and professor, Whitaker was a senior editor at Ebony magazine, where he covered two U.S. presidential campaigns. 

Douglas Foster

Douglas Foster

Foster is a former newspaper reporter, magazine editor, television correspondent and documentary producer who now teaches feature writing. Before joining Medill, he was editor of Mother Jones magazine for five years. Foster is an associate professor and continues to write freelance articles.

Your Medill Experience

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Choose from courses in freelancing, business-to-business media, news graphics and design, narrative structure and magazine editing. We also offer an innovation project that allows you to develop and launch a new magazine or work with an existing company to create a new product or re-imagine an existing publication.

Learn about the curriculum
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Chicago is a writer’s city, where opportunities for magazine-style writing abound. Prominent top-tier magazines were developed and published in Chicago, including Ebony and Jet. Our downtown Chicago space features sweeping views of Lake Michigan and the latest technology—the perfect setting for you to learn the craft of magazine writing and improve your techniques.

Learn about Medill's Chicago campus
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Medill Explores

Immerse yourself in a magazine journalism project by participating in Medill Explores. Led by faculty and staff, Medill Explores features week-long trips and programs that can take you to national or international locations. You can design your own experience, from visiting magazine publishing houses in Manhattan to reporting on the arts and entertainment from Hollywood.

Learn about Medill Explores
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Medill Fridays

Broaden your learning beyond the classroom during Medill Fridays, where magazine writers and freelancers provide honest insight into their careers and about the future of the industry.

Learn about Medill Fridays
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Career Services

Our Career Services team can connect you with alumni and industry partners working for top-tier magazines as well as companies outside the media world that are embracing long-form storytelling as a way to connect with customers. Knowing how to create and curate meaningful content can open doors at prominent organizations.

Learn about Career Services

Our Alumni

Erica Duecy (MSJ03)

Erica Duecy
SevenFifty Daily

Clara Jeffery (MSJ93)

Clara Jeffery
Mother Jones magazine

Katherine LaGrave (MSJ11)

Katherine LaGrave
Senior Digital Editor
Condé Nast Traveler

Evan Smith (MSJ88)

Evan Smith
CEO and Editor in Chief
The Texas Tribune

Laura Schocker (BSJ08, MSJ09)

Laura Schocker
Digital Director
Real Simple

Gillian B. White (MSJ13)

Gillian B. White
Senior Associate Editor
The Atlantic