- Northwestern University: The Daily Nothwestern
|Peter Kotecki, editor-in-chief of The Daily Northwestern, shared the importance of engaging with the public, from consistency to new ideas. Photo provided by Ewha Weekly.|
One of the most renowned journalism schools, the Medill School of Journalism, Northwestern University, has an extensive curriculum and renowned alumni including the Pulitzer Prize winning editor, R. Bruce Dold, at Chicago Tribune, and Sheinelle Jones, a weekend anchor for NBC’s Today Show.
Located in Evanston, an hour from Chicago, Medill provides various practical programs for aspiring journalists. Rather than a single curriculum, Medill separates journalism education into three levels.
First, the freshman core curriculum covers journalism theory, such as ethics, writing, and legal concepts. These skills form the foundation of students’ journalistic professionalism, which later is applied to more demanding courses.
Medill also requires students to choose an elective from another academic area to add broader knowledge to their reporting.
“Though it is very demanding to study both journalism and economics at the same time, the requirement actually helps students to better perform in researching and reporting,” said Ju Seung-yun, a Korean student studying at Medill.
Finally, the school’s journalism electives allows students to pursue their passions through more specific topics such as digital news audience data analysis, or the Medill Justice Project, which is focused on investigating potentially wrongful criminal convictions.
The Daily Northwestern
Having won the Pacemaker award in 2016, the “Pulitzer of college papers,” The Daily Northwestern (The Daily) is considered the best daily student newspaper in the U.S. As the only daily newspaper covering both the campus and Evanston, it is sold in newsstands alongside major regional newspapers, such as the Chicago Tribune.
Since 1881, The Daily Northwestern has printed five days a week during the semester, and also publishes online during the summer. Although the decline in print journalism in the U.S. is prevalent, The Daily has not witnessed a decline in readership and prints 5,000 papers each weekday.
“We haven’t changed how many papers we make,” commented Peter Kotecki, the editor-in-chief. “I know [circulation] is a problem everywhere. But I think we do our best to put out the best paper we can every day.”
Around 100 students work for the paper, most of them as reporters. Many of them are Medill students, but applications are open to all. The paper’s two main desks are Campus and City, which is focused on Evanston. Sports is another important area, as the paper covers all 19 varsity sports played at Northwestern University. The Daily also has Opinion, and Arts & Entertainment sections.
Although The Daily covers campus news, it is independent from the university. Operating under the Students Publishing Company since 1923, the newspaper is financed through advertisements and fundraisers.
The Daily’s dedicated and consistent coverage helps it engage with readers on campus and in the community, helping to maintain the paper’s relevance. Reporters are given different beats to help them better understand specific areas.
“[the reporters] are not taking a different random topic every time,” Kotecki said. “They’re trying to focus on consistency and interviewing the same sources, for example, or staying on top of the same story if it is something that has been going on for a while.”
In addition, The Daily also partners with organizations and host events within campus and the regional community, interconnecting themselves into many major topics.
“When we had our election for student body president, me and a couple editors partnered with a student forum for the presidential candidate’s talk,” Kotecki said. The Daily also hosted candidate debates during the Evanston mayoral election. Such events helped the newspaper engage with the community and maintain its readership.
Despite maintaining strong circulation and readership, The Daily also acknowledges the importance of strong online presence for the newspaper. On its website, The Daily has separate tabs for photo and video journalism and the contents vary in its independence, sometimes complementing corresponding articles, and sometimes with its own different topic and story. In the same context, The Daily also runs its own podcasts and social media accounts, all of which are very active online.
In addition, The Daily has also started a monthly entertainment magazine, starting from this year. Consisted mainly of Arts & Entertainment articles, the magazine tries to engage readers with light yet informative pieces.
“Our goal is to be as accurate as possible,” Kotecki said. “Do our best job we can both in print and online. To reach as many people as we can, we try to find new ways to explore multimedia.”
|The Daily Northwestern's news stand (lower left) is positioned alongside other well-known regional newspapers including the Chicago Tribune (top middle) and Chicago Sun-Times (top left) in front of a busy grocery store located near the campus. Photo provided by Ewha Weekly.|
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