The Medill Undergraduate Student Advisory Council held the first Media Rewired summit in the McCormick Tribune Center over the weekend. The summit, which encompassed several workshops and two keynotes over Saturday and Sunday, involved a yearlong collaboration between MUSAC members, Medill faculty and staff as well as Adobe employees.
Kimberly Lee, Medill senior and summit executive co-chair, said that the original conception of Media Rewired occurred last year.
"We really wanted to provide an opportunity for students to discuss the future of media," Lee said. "We’ve been working on it since then. Things really started to materialize last quarter as we really saw the summit take shape."
Collaboration for Media Rewired also came from the Northwestern chapters of the National Association of Black Journalists, F&F Marketing, the Society of Professional Journalists and the Online News Assocation.
Workshop hosts included Sarah Eva Monroe, mStoner senior creative director, McCormick professor Kristian Hammond and Medill faculty Craig Duff, Darnell Little and Emily Withrow. Two students also assisted in the workshops. Tyler Fisher, ONA liaison and Medill junior, hosted a workshop called "How I Learned to Stop Worrying and Learn To Code" while Medill senior Alexis Sanchez assisted assistant professor Susan Mango Curtis and Adobe's Tom Petrillo in the workshop "Digital Publishing: Publications for Mobile and Tablets."
The summit's seven workshops and two keynote speeches during the first day were designed to discuss the future of journalism in the 21st century, while the second day consisted of an Adobe Create the Web Campus Tour that showcased new Adobe tools and services and a four-hour crash course in using them.
Brian Stelter, media reporter for The New York Times, opened Media Rewired with a keynote speech illustrating the evolving nature of journalism. He talked about visible shifts in the journalism culture like the more recent prominence of online editors and content.
"I thought [Stelter] gave some great insight about where journalism is going in the future and it was great to hear from a journalism major that it’s not dying, just evolving," Lee said. "The fact that he comes from The New York Times – it was interesting to see his perspective as a media reporter."
Dan Fletcher (Medill '09) provided the first day's closing keynote with a speech emphasizing entrepreneurism and the changing landscape of storytelling.
"[MUSAC] thought it was great to see a Medill alum who recently graduated talk about his career. The fact that he was a Medill alum meant that he would provide a perspective that was relatable to students," Lee said. "[Fletcher] is so young, yet he's done so much in the technology and media landscape. And the things he's done at Bloomberg and Facebook are really game-changing."
Tickets for the various workshops and keynotes were available in singular and bulk form through Eventbrite, leaving MUSAC unable to determine the exact number of attendees overall. Lee said that more than 400 tickets were reserved for the first day, with more than 100 tickets reserved for the second. Lee said the event was considered a success based on attendee feedback, though the summit's future depended on logistics.
Editor's Note: Tyler Fisher is the current webmaster of North by Northwestern. Furthermore, an earlier version of this story stated that Lee was MUSAC executive co-chair, when she is actually summit executive co-chair.