NU-Q journalism students depart for their residency

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By Rumana Shaikh

Photo retrieved from
Photo retrieved from


The Journalism residency is a required part of the journalism program at Northwestern University in Qatar (NU-Q). A concept adapted from the Medill School of Journalism in Northwestern University in Evanston, it sends juniors or seniors to work as professionals in ten-week internships at news organizations, magazines, public relations and communication firms.

Some of the agencies that NU-Q students will be working with this year include USA Today, National Geographic Magazine, Huffington Post Live, Bloomsbury Publishing and Grayling.

Mary Dedinsky, associate professor and director of the journalism program at NU-Q manages student placements in residencies, taking over from Richard Roth, former senior associate dean at NU-Q. Roth has now returned to Evanston.

Dedinsky said that she has not made any major changes to the way the program works this year, but has brought in new organizations that students from NU-Q had not worked with previously. “For example, we’ve never had a student work at Washingtonian or USA Today before,” she said.

As the number of students going on residency each year increases, Dedinsky said she has had to tweak the process a little. Previously, it was easier to push for the specific organizations students wanted to work in. While their preferences are still given a lot of consideration, the large numbers make it a more difficult process. 

“We ask the students where they’d like to go and if we have an agreement with that place already and think they can do the work there, we place them there,” she said. Students can also try to get internships themselves, by communicating with the organizations and then approaching Dedinsky for approval.

Dedinsky said she will be making changes to the program next year but they have not been finalized yet.

Ralph Martins, who will be doing his residency at the National Geographic magazine in Washington D.C. said that one change in the program allows students in D.C. to be connected with Medill’s Washington D.C. Newsroom. According to Martins, students will be participating in discussions with guest speakers there, attending events, and working with Ellen Shearer, director of the Medill Washington Program who will act as a mentor to them.

Silma Suba, who will be working for the Pulitzer Center on Crisis Reporting, said that the residency program validates all the hard work the students have put in at NU-Q.  “We get to expose and explore our potential, understand how far we’ve come and how far we can go if we’re willing to put our education to use,” she said.


A list of some of the organizations students will be working with this year: 

  1. Al Jazeera Plus (AJ+) – San Francisco, California, USA
  2. Grayling – London, UK
  3. The Ground Truth Project – Boston, Massachusetts, USA
  4. Bloomsbury Publishing – London, UK
  5. USA Today – Washington D.C., USA
  6. Harrods (PR) – London, UK
  7. Qatari Embassy – London, UK
  8. Financial Times (Video) – New York, USA
  9. National Geographic magazine – Washington D.C., USA
  10. Huffington Post Live – New York, USA
  11. Qatari Embassy – Los Angeles, California, USA
  12. Pulitzer Center on Crisis Reporting – Washington D.C., USA
  13. Washingtonian Magazine – Washington D.C., USA


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