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Columbia College Chicago
Echo Magazine

Echo Magazine

As part of the College Magazine Workshop course, students produce an issue of Echo magazine. It can be read online here

In this fast-paced, hands-on course, students put all they've learned into practice by producing Echo, a professional-quality magazine, in a single semester. Students assign, write and edit the articles, assign photos and illustrations, design pages, complete the book with a table of contents and coverlines, and send it to the printer. By planning, writing, editing and designing the magazine, students get real-world experience in the world of magazine publishing.

This is what our students have to say about it:

Echo Magazine Course Gives Students Valuable Publishing Experience

Thanks to the College Magazine Workshop course at Columbia College Chicago, many of the journalism program's students can boast magazine writing, editing and publishing on their résumés by the time they graduate. Each semester, a group of students, usually seniors, put together an issue of Echo magazine as part of a class taught by journalism professors with magazine and graphics expertise. Every issue of Echo has a fresh voice and perspective because of the diversity among each semester's students.

“There is tremendous pride in knowing that you are a part of a team responsible for producing a publication for such a large  student body,'' said Temple Hemphill, a 2007 graduate from the journalism department's master’s program who was the managing editor of her issue of Echo. "Though, along with the pride was a huge responsibility!”

For students at a school like Columbia, many of whom work their way through college, having a professional experience on campus built into their program is an amazing opportunity. Natalie Slater, a 2008 graduate who edited the food department of her issue of Echo, singled out “the realistic experience of pitching your ideas and watching them transform into what eventually turns into the magazine.”

Professionals take notice, too. “No editor I've ever pitched to has questioned the professionalism of the publication,'' said Slater.”In fact, one front-of-the-book piece I did on a toy company called Re-Ment for Echo is actually in the company's press clips on their website.”

Sharon Bloyd-Peshkin, who supervises the workshop and taught it for 13 semesters, has endeavored to make the experience as real-life as possible. "The students learn to work together as writers and editors and take responsibility for all aspects of the magazine, from story development to art assignment to proofreading and production," she says. "When they're done, they know what goes into creating a real magazine."

The College Magazine Workshop is a six-credit class that many students take in their last or second-to-last semester at Columbia, and it requires instructor approval to enroll. Each semester, the class builds the magazine from scratch. The staff is responsible for coming up with idea for the front of the book, departments and features; reporting and writing the stories; assigning photos and illustrations, editing, copy editing and fact-checking the entire magazine, and designing the pages.

“As a result of my Echo experience, I am more confident when exercising my varied responsibilities,'' said Hemphill.  “Also, Echo reinforced my need to be mindful of my given audience. I always think about my readers; why will they care about a particular topic or article? Additionally, I am much more thorough with my fact checking, which was highly promoted during my Echo tenure.”

Echo is among the many hands-on classes offered at Columbia where students have a chance to build real-world experience built into their academic program

--  Katherine Grandstrand, journalism master's degree recipient, 2009

  • For more information,
    contact the Journalism Department at 312-369-8900.