The winners of these $7,500 graduate student scholarships are working under Josh Meyer, a 20-year veteran of the Los Angeles Times who joined the Medill faculty in 2010 to help establish the school’s National Security Journalism Initiative (NSJI). “We’re planning to think big with our project and deliver a series of stories of real importance to the American public,” said Meyer.
The project, formally known as the National Security Reporting Project, is focusing on the national security implications of energy. Top U.S. military and intelligence officials now say they consider the United States’ voracious need for a continuing supply of oil to be one of their top national security concerns, as well as one of the government’s biggest expenses.
The project is focusing on how much money the U.S. is spending to find, develop, protect, transport and preserve its stores of energy, particularly oil, and whether it is preparing for the huge problems that are looming on the horizon with regard to energy shortages and overall issues of security. According to experts, U.S. dependence on foreign sources of energy constitutes a serious and growing threat—militarily, socially and economically.
The graduate student recipients of the McCormick scholarships are Dana Ballout, Elizabeth Bunn, Ali Durkin, Carly Rachael Helfand, David Kashi, Ben Kesling, Rosa Lin, Gloria JuYoung Oh, Qixin (Kevin) Wang and Yue Wang.
Meyer and Ellen Shearer, who joins Meyer in teaching the reporting project and is Medill’s William F. Thomas Professor of Journalism as well as director of the Washington Program, selected the McCormick scholarship winners.
Shearer said she is “thrilled by the possibilities for great reporting and storytelling that this terrific group of students affords us.” This year’s project will collaborate with national media partners to publish across all media platforms while emphasizing the use of innovative multimedia and interactive journalistic techniques.
The fifth quarter specialization program in national security reporting is part of Medill’s larger National Security Journalism Initiative, which is funded by the McCormick Foundation. The National Security Reporting Project launched in 2010, and its first effort, on the national security implications of climate change (http://global-warning.org) won a prestigious national award from the Online News Association. Last year’s project on the challenges facing the military reserves, including the National Guard, (http://hiddensurge.org) also garnered national attention. Both were done in collaboration with The Washington Post, which published the findings both in print and online. The 2010 project was also widely circulated by the McClatchy News Service.