Features Medill News

Medill News Highlights – May 2020

Northwestern’s 2020 Commencement will be Virtual with Student Option to Return for On-Site Ceremony Next Year

Read the announcement by President Schapiro.

Presentation of the John Bartlow Martin award for public interest magazine journalism and conversation with winner

Join us as Medill’s Helen Gurley Brown Magazine Professor Patti Wolter presents the 2020 John Bartlow Martin Award to Lizzie Presser  of ProPublica for her story “The Dispossessed.” A conversation with Presser will follow. Presser is a journalist writing about inequality and how social policy is experienced. She was previously a contributing writer at The California Sunday Magazine. “The Dispossessed,” published in partnership with ProPublica and The New Yorker, is an investigation into the unjust repossession of African American-owned property through three different legal mechanisms in North Carolina. It won a George Polk Award for Magazine Reporting in 2020. Presser has twice been a finalist for a National Magazine Award and a Livingston Award.

Register for the 5/27 Zoom presentation.

Medill team wins Best Article Award from American Academy of Advertising

Online retailers must strike a balance between recommending relevant items to users and providing sponsored recommendations from advertisers. Recognizing this problem, a team at Medill IMC’s Spiegel Research Center developed an algorithm that improves user utility while reducing ad revenue by a small amount. The team consisting of Professor Ed Malthouse, postdoctoral fellows Khadija Ali Vakeel and Yasaman Kamyab Hessary, research fellow Morana Fudurić and Professor Robin Burke from University of Colorado Boulder were recently recognized for their work, receiving the 2019 Best Article Award in the Journal of Advertising from the American Academy of Advertising. The award was instituted in 1988 to honor the best article published each year.

Read the abstract

NNN Wins SPJ Award

The Northwestern News Network (NNN)  took first place in Best Newscast category of the Region 5 SPJ student contest and will now move on to the national SPJ competition. Joey took first place General News Reporting category for a story she did as a reporter, not as an intern,  for the NBC affiliate in Bakersfield, California last summer. Region 5 comprises chapters in Illinois, Indiana and Kentucky.

Prof. Jack Doppelt Co-Produces Election Report

What began as “Can American Democracy Survive the 2020 Elections? The Role of Media, Law, Norms, and Technology in Assuring Acceptance of Election Results,” evolved to “Fair Elections During a Crisis: Urgent Recommendations in Law, Media, Politics and Tech to Advance the Legitimacy of, and the Public’s Confidence in, the November 2020 U.S. Elections.  Read a New Yorker article about the report. Read the report.

Participate in the Medill Centennial Alumni Photo Gallery          

We plan to feature testimonials and photos from 100+ alumni on our Centennial website, launching this summer.  If you want to participate, please submit your quote and photo using this form! We would love to include you.

Lightfoot photo: WBEZ 

2010s Books

The Red Movement

Shadan Kapri (MSJ13)

THE RED MOVEMENT provides a new perspective on how to combat modern-day slavery while protecting the environment.

The reality is impossible to deny any longer. Modern-day slavery is more widespread now than during the transatlantic slave trade with more people living in slave-like conditions than ever before in history. At the same time, the environment is being harmed at an unprecedented pace. These harsh realities have led to igniting THE RED MOVEMENT around the world.

The RED MOVEMENT is a global call to action of focused and deliberate change to end all forms of modern-day slavery and stop the destruction of the environment. The stunning truth is that slavery never really ended; it just changed form. People are still bought and sold in public auctions, forced to sell their bodies to survive, or work in hidden factories under unbearable conditions. Some toil away on farms and even on construction sites of some of the world’s most famous sporting events.

The forced labor of slaves can be linked back to certain toys we buy, clothes we wear, and even foods we eat. Slave labor is used in mining, and too often those basic raw materials find their way into electronics, computers, smartphones, cars, cosmetics, and even jewelry.

Slavery never stopped. It just expanded to include innocent men, women, and children from every nationality and race. Modern-day slavery, in all its various forms, is more profitable now than ever before, and its connection to the environment has remained a mystery for far too long.

We are in the midst of the greatest human rights and environmental crisis in history, and most people are completely unaware until now. Until THE RED MOVEMENT.


The Talking Drum

Lisa Braxton-Reid (MSJ94)

Lisa Braxton’s debut novel has been published by Inanna Publications. The story is about three young couples and how they’re affected when an urban redevelopment project comes to their city and takes over an immigrant neighborhood in the process. The story takes place in the fictional city of Bellport, Massachusetts, on the eastern seaboard about 20 minutes north of Boston. The Talking Drum explores intra-racial, class, and cross-cultural tensions, along with the meaning of community and belonging. Examining the profound impact gentrification has on people in many neighborhoods, and the way in which being uprooted affects the fabric of their families, friendships, and emotional well-being, the novel not only focuses on the immigrant experience, but the way in which the immigrant/African American neighborhood interface leads to friction and tension.

2000s Class Notes Featured Class Notes

Bill Healy (MSJ09)

Bill Healy (MSJ09) and Alison Flowers (MSJ09) met while studying at Medill. They recently co-produced a 7-part investigative podcast called “Somebody” for the Invisible Institute, The Intercept, Topic Studios and iHeartMedia. The podcast follows the story of Courtney Copeland, who was shot and killed in Chicago in 2016. “Somebody” is narrated by Copeland’s mother, who believes police are hiding something about his death. The series explores questions of police accountability and public trust.

1970s Class Notes

Joe Robinowitz (BSJ73)

Joe Robinowitz, whose career spanned 47 years with News Corp, the last 25 as Managing Editor of The New York Post, retired on April 30, 2020. During his career with News Corp, Joe served as Editor of The Boston Herald, Editor of TV Guide magazine and Vice President / General Manager of WFXT-TV, Boston. In announcing Joe’s retirement, Rupert Murdoch, Executive Chairman of News Corp, said, “His work ethic, great judgment and skill have been crucial to The Post expanding into one of the most recognized and influential media brands in America.”