Staff of the Medill 2020 Online Workshop.

Medill Online Workshop

The Medill 2020 Online Workshop was a four-week series of classes and talks by Medill School of Journalism faculty and other accomplished journalists focused on all aspects of the profession. Classes met an average of 20 hours a week with topics ranging from reporting, writing and editing for multiple media platforms (digital, print, video, audio) to interviewing techniques, feature and descriptive writing, investigative reporting, photography, personal narrative, resumes, digital design, leadership techniques, ethics and libel.

The 103 students (from 22 U.S. states as well as from China, Canada, Ireland and South Korea) were subdivided into seven groups, each headed by an instructor, all veterans of the on-campus Medill-Northwestern Journalism Institute. Among other things, instructors led discussion sessions and critiqued a variety of writing assignments. 

Guest speakers from outside the University included some of the country’s most distinguished journalists. In all, students heard from about 30 people over the four weeks.

If the coronavirus forces the University to cancel the 2021 on-campus Medill-Northwestern Journalism Institute, the Medill Online Workshop will be offered again between June 28 and July 23, 2021. Invited to participate will be all the students who were admitted to the Institute.


Here is what some Medill 2020 Online Workshop students had to say about the program:

“I loved all the staff. The camaraderie between the staff members was refreshing and comforting.”

 “The academic schedule was absolutely phenomenal. Every day was chock full of interesting classes that made me excited to wake up in the morning. From the breaking news conferences to the seminars from experts in their fields, there was almost never a dull moment in class.”

“The caliber of the students’ intelligence, passion for journalism, curiosity and even humor all exceeded my (already high) expectations.”

“Having attended previous summer programs, I believe that the staff of the Medill 2020 Workshop is absolutely the best. All of the instructors were extremely informative, personal and kind.”

 “I absolutely benefitted from the feedback I got on my assignments. Everything I submitted came back to me with edits head to toe. While in any other class that would have been heartbreaking, I actually really appreciated this. Being able to see all the little things I could change about my writing style to improve it really inspired me to do better.”

“The schedule for the program had a perfect blend of all aspects of journalism. I was impressed by the variety of lectures. The program had something for everybody.”

“I just wanted to thank you for all the invaluable instruction this summer at the online workshop, specifically … in broadcast. While I had basic editing experience going into the program, I learned so much more about blocking, shot types and script writing that have all proved helpful this year.”

“I am so grateful for the friends that I made, even online. I was shocked that even online I was able to still get a sense of the community and I truly did meet friends that will last a lifetime.”

 “The diverse arrangement, like lectures, discussions, talks by guest speakers and showcases, provided students abundant opportunities to practice their writing, photography and audio skills.” 

“I expected the other students in the program to be the top high school journalists in the nation and I was correct in thinking that. Everyone was a leader of their programs across the United States and the globe and shared these incredibly crafted pieces they had made and published on their own.”

“I brushed up on old skills and learned new ones. The curriculum was super diverse.” 

“After half a semester of lackluster Zoom classes, it was refreshing to feel each instructor’s excitement and passion exude through the computer screen.”

“I was astounded by how intelligent, thoughtful and well-spoken my peers were.”

 “The speakers were absolutely phenomenal, representing a range of genres and publications that most of us would never been able to experience without the program.” 

 “My writing skills and passion for journalism have increased tremendously.”

“The opportunity to speak with professionals at the top of their crafts was an incredible learning experience.”

“I came into the program thinking I knew it all, but little did I know that there was so much value in not knowing and being taught by the best of the best.”

“This program was the highlight of my summer and probably all past summers as well.”