Medill sees 24 percent increase in undergraduate applications


Daily file photo by Alec Carroll

Fisk Hall. A search committee has been formed to find the next dean for Medill School of Journalism.

Alexis White, Assistant Campus Editor

The Medill School of Journalism, Media, Integrated Marketing Communications received about 24 percent more undergraduate journalism applications for the 2018-19 school year than from the year before, said Jon Yates, the University’s director of media relations, in an email to The Daily.

University President Morton Schapiro said he was excited to hear about the increase and that he hopes the trend continues.

“Journalism is … such an important part of the legacy, the future of Northwestern,” Schapiro told The Daily on Thursday. “We have a lot of jewels in the crown, and one of them is Medill.”

Medill assistant dean Beth Bennett told The Daily in an email that Medill is “pleased” to see an increase in applications and is “excited to welcome the class of 2022.”

“Medill is the only journalism school at a top-15 university,” Bennett said. “And the programs we offer — including Journalism Residency, chances to study in San Francisco and Washington, D.C., and many opportunities to travel and report from abroad — give our students the experiences that lead to successful careers in journalism, media, marketing and beyond.”

Medill Prof. emeritus Roger Boye told The Daily there could be a combination of reasons for the jump, such as increased marketing and the rise of Northwestern in national rankings.

Boye directs the Medill-Northwestern Journalism Institute, a program through which rising high school seniors can come to Medill and study journalism over the summer. He said he noticed a shift in tone with last year’s applicants to the program, who would now be seniors and may have applied to Medill.

“Last March, as I was reading Cherub applications, a number of the Cherub applicants talked about the media being the enemy and so forth,” Boye told The Daily, referring to the program. “The kinds of things that we hear from Washington. And they said that has increased their desire to study journalism, that they want to help defend democracy.”

President Donald Trump — who has made many negative comments about the media — was two months into his presidency last year at this time, Boye pointed out.

One of last year’s applicants said people “scream” fake news about news organizations and that she “felt obliged to clear (journalism’s) name.” Other applicants said they want to ensure accountability and report the truth.

“I am armed with a pen, paper and computer,” one application obtained by The Daily said, “ready to join the battle between harsh legitimacy and cushioned lies, regardless of whether I become the good guy or the bad guy.”

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