Students awarded McCormick National Security Journalism Scholarships

The Medill School of Journalism, Media, Integrated Marketing Communications has named 10 McCormick National Security Journalism Scholarship recipients to participate in an innovative 11-week reporting program in Fall 2014. Their work in Medill’s Washington bureau will culminate in an enterprise multimedia project on an important and topical national security issue.

The graduate students selected to receive the McCormick scholarships are Cat Boardman, Alexandra Hines, Michelle Kim, Eliza Larson, Rachel Menitoff, Melanie Saltzman, Matthew Schehl, Tammy Thueringer, Chris Walljasper and Kjerstin Wood. Two students have been designated as alternates: Carolyn Freundlich and Matthew McKinney.

The winners of these $7,500 graduate student scholarships will work under the supervision of Josh Meyer, director of education and outreach of the Medill National Security Journalism Initiative, to report on the national security implications of landmines and other “explosive remnants of war.”

“I’m very excited to have the opportunity to work with such a talented and enthusiastic group of student reporters in tackling an issue of such huge national – and international – importance,” said Meyer, a 20-year veteran of the Los Angeles Times who joined Medill in 2010 and who is also the McCormick Lecturer in National Security Studies.

“As armed conflicts rage across the globe and the wars wind down in Afghanistan and Iraq, this topic couldn’t be more timely. We expect to deliver a series of innovative stories of real importance to the American public.”

Ellen Shearer, William F. Thomas Professor of Journalism and co-director of the Medill National Security Journalism Initiative, said she is “thrilled by the possibilities for great reporting and storytelling that this terrific group of students affords us.”

This year’s effort will be the fifth in which Medill collaborates with national media partners to publish a project across all media platforms while emphasizing the use of innovative multimedia and interactive journalistic techniques.

The project, formally known as the National Security Reporting Project, will focus on the deadly legacy of landmines, cluster munitions and other military materiel that have been deployed – and are still being deployed – in more than 65 countries, killing and maiming untold thousands of innocent men, women and children. It will also focus on why the U.S. government has refused to sign landmark treaties governing the use and cleanup of these weapons.

The fifth quarter specialization program in national security reporting is part of Medill’s larger National Security Journalism Initiative, which is funded by the Robert R. McCormick Foundation. The National Security Reporting Project launched in 2010 and its first effort, Global Warning, on the national security implications of climate change, won a prestigious national award from the Online News Association.

The 2011 project on the challenges facing the military reserves, including the National Guard — Hidden Surge — also garnered national attention. Both were published by The Washington Post; the 2010 project also was distributed by McClatchy News Service. The 2012 project on energy security, Oil Change, was published by GlobalPost and featured on The Post’s website, and the 2013 project on global food security was done in conjunction with USA Today.

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