Forget the theory. Forget the book-learning. Journalism, unlike most other things at UChicago, is all about practice.
We can’t boast of a J-school like our friends up North, and we don’t have direct curricular support. Nonetheless, the University offers plenty of opportunities for aspiring reporters, critics, photographers, illustrators, designers, and editors.
Get your hands dirty by contributing to or at least reading any of these invaluable publications:
The Chicago Maroon, the “official” independently-run student newspaper, is one of the oldest college papers in the U.S., dating back to 1892. Published on Tuesdays and Fridays, the paper boasts famous alumni including New York Times columnist David Brooks (A.B. ‘83), Obama senior advisor David Axelrod (A.B. ’76), and former Supreme Court Justice John Paul Stevens (A.B. ’41). It also publishes the bi-annual magazine Grey City, as well as special issues (a historical issue in the winter and a graduation issue in the spring).
Formerly known as the Chicago Weekly, the South Side Weekly is the alternative campus news magazine. Published every Tuesday, the Weekly covers local happenings usually untouched by mainstream media and publishes more extensive narratives and essays. This fall, the Weekly ended its 10-year relationship with Newcity Communications, its former mentor/publisher, launched a new Web site, and changed its name to boot.
The Shady Dealer is basically The Onion with a UChicago twist. The “only intentional humor publication” is the most trusted name in fake news on campus, producing features like “How to Seduce a Prospie” or “Play-Doh Releases Its Republic.”
Sliced Bread is an arts and literary magazine in its seventh year of publishing student material. After a long selecting and editing process, Sliced Bread prints about 100 pages of short stories, poetry, non-fiction, paintings, drawings, and photography in the spring.
WHPK 88.5 FM is the non-profit community radio station of UChicago, Hyde Park, and the South Side at large. Though mostly dedicated to broadcasting music from literally every genre and period, WHPK also hosts a public-affairs format of neighborhood news and views in a couple of talk shows.
UChicago’s famous spirit of discourse is reflected in the nonpartisan quarterly The Midway Review, which publishes “political and cultural commentary and criticism.” The journal offers a forum for undergrad pieces on current events and more abstract topics to be featured side-by-side submissions from graduate students, faculty, and alumni.
Vita Excolatur borrows its name from the second half of the University motto, which loosely translates to “life enriched,” befitting to the now (in)famous magazine’s exploration of sexuality. Students can submit proposals of projects (photography, visual art, photo pieces, etc.) centered around a quarterly theme.
Maroon TV, the student-run TV station that began as an Uncommon Fund project, ended its inaugural year with an array of programming. From student life to football games, Maroon TV has a channel on cTV and also streams its content online.
Memoryhouse is the newest literary magazine on campus, launched last year. It specializes in first-person prose and poetry but also accepts art and photography. Besides its three print editions, Memoryhouse publishes original content online and hosts events throughout the year.
The other fresh meat to the media scene is Nonpareil, a quarterly culinary magazine. Restaurant reviews, student spotlights, recipes, food memoirs, you name it—the magazine’s buffet of content is diverse and delicious.
Should your interests fit in a more defined niche, other UChicago publications often have specific demographics or subjects:
The Chicago Art Journal is an annual publication, run by graduate students and funded by the Department of Art History and the Division of the Humanities.
Chicago Business Web is an online publication run by Booth School of Business students.
Blacklight Magazine began as an offshoot of the Organization of Black Students, publishing views and beliefs of black students and Hyde Park community members.
The Chicago Studies Annual Journal publishes original research conducted by undergraduate students, as part of the Chicago Studies program.
Students help run the College Web site, which contains all information about campus life for students, from first-years to grad students.
Counterpoint is the campus quarterly conservative magazine, touching on topics both on the quads and beyond.
Diskord is an online magazine that serves as an outlet for progressive students to shed light on their causes and provide in-depth analyses of current events.
The Euphony Journal is a biannual literary magazine that publishes some work from students, but most of the content is submitted from outside the University from domestic and international authors, both professional and amateur.
Noyes Magazine is a twice-quarterly publication targeted at the stylish student looking for the next big thing in Chicago. Each issue has a different trendy theme.
The Platypus Review is a monthly publication that is a branch of the Platypus Affiliated Society—an international Marxist leftist group that originated at UChicago.
The Triple Helix at the University of Chicago is just one branch of the international science, business, policy, ethics, and law society. Each edition is separated into two parts: Half consists of internationally recognized papers, while the other half are papers written solely by UChicago members.
The University Community Service Center accepts articles that take recent national events into a local perspective as a part of its Civic Journalism program.
For those who’d like in on the action, UChicago’s mediasphere is mostly inclusive and welcomes new staff and submissions. If you’re a diehard news junkie or an aspiring writer, consider visiting UChicago Careers in Journalism, Arts, and Media (UCIJAM). This Career Advancement program (see "Career Advancement") is an excellent resource for student publication guidance, résumé touch-ups and tips, as well as internships. UCIJAM also coordinates events, visits, guest speakers, and meet-ups for the burgeoning UChicago journalist.