Northwestern’s Medilll School of Journalism has long been in the first rank of J-schools, right up there with Columbia, Missouri, Berkeley, Texas, Michigan… In fact, Google puts Medill right behind those, in that order, in a search for “School of Journalism”.
The Medill School of Journalism is forming a committee to explore a possible name change.
Dean John Lavine said the committee will consider altering the name to better represent the school and what it offers.
“We’re really exploring what the name should be, could be, what people think about it,” he said. “There will be a process for people to have real input on it, and that’s what is important.”
Lavine did not comment on specific names being discussed, but said that in informal conversations he’s had with students and others, adding “Integrated Marketing Communications” to the name was a popular idea.
The piece goes on to quote a number of students on the matter, and closes the piece with the only source that makes complete sense:
Chardae Davis, a Medill junior, said the possible change really bothers her, and that the school was too old to change its name.
“It’s a brand in a way,” she said. “Medill has a reputation and the name stands for something.”
While she understands that journalism is evolving and so the curriculum is changing, Davis said that doesn’t mean the name should be altered.
“We came to Medill for Medill,” she said. “Not for the Medill School of Journalism and insert rest of name here.”
Back in the middle of the piece, there’s this:
“This is not something that any school at NU gets to decide,” Lavine said. “Only the trustees get to decide the name. That’s the way it should be.”
Let’s hope the trustees listen to Ms. Davis.
Since 1921, Medill has been recognized worldwide as one of the real jewels at one of the nation’s elite universities. At Medill, young men and women have been shaped for the incredible successes they have achieved in journalism and the Medill-invented field of integrated marketing communications. Here, journalism students are taught on the streets of Chicago and Washington, D.C., and marketing students are taught through projects for real-world clients in for-credit residencies. Something else about Medill: Our values. They are: 1.) Be respectful of the school and of yourself and of others – which includes personal and professional integrity; 2.) Be the best – which means making no small plans, being bold and taking risks; and 3.) Be distinctive; be you – which includes resisting conformity, thinking uniquely.
I’m sure they teach well and do good work. But Journalism and “Integrated Marketing Communications” — a buzzphrase if there ever was one — should, at most, have squat to do with each other. Here’s what Medill says about the latter at its page:
Pioneered at Medill, the graduate program in Integrated Marketing Communications at Northwestern educates students for careers in marketing communications and marketing management. The program combines the traditional areas of marketing communications with business skills in marketing, finance, statistics and organizational behavior to form a unique program on the cutting edge of marketing communications and customer relationship management. Top marketing and media organizations need forward-thinking professionals who understand the changing marketplace and who can implement a customer-focused approach that is critical to their future success. They look to Northwestern’s Integrated Marketing Communications master’s degree program to find these professionals.
Well, the one upside I see here is that maybe I could talk to some of these people about VRM, and how “relationship management” should go two ways and not just one. But I’m sure, if we have that conversation, it won’t be anywhere near the subject of Journalism.
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