Columbia Journalism School

Global. Influential. Innovative.

We are one of the leading journalism schools in the world. We are also one of the oldest with more than 100 years of experience in educating journalism’s future leaders and trailblazers. Our tradition is rooted in the bedrock values of journalistic ethics and excellence, but we are also leaders of cutting-edge journalistic innovation and media scholarship. 

About the School

For over a century, Columbia has led the way to journalism’s future, educating and training students from around the world to become accomplished professional journalists. Uniquely positioned in the media capital of the world and at one of America's finest universities, the Journalism School prepares students to become leaders in the industry and shape the path of the profession.

Our programs are intensive, rigorous and demanding. They cover the bedrock values of journalistic excellence, ethics, inquiry and professional practices. Journalism School students learn how to thrive in the rapidly changing world of digital media and how to uncover, analyze and explain the stories of our time.

Our students train as part of a global community that transcends borders. Students come from nearly 50 countries and a wide range of backgrounds. They report in diverse neighborhoods across New York City and beyond. They have opportunities daily to meet with faculty, alumni and leaders from around the world.

Our faculty members are award‐winning reporters, editors, filmmakers and digital media specialists. They are experienced, independent thinkers with histories of professional accomplishments who are deeply committed to teaching, challenging and supporting their students.

Our alumni can be found in prestigious news organizations across the globe where they are active in every phase of making the news. The connections they create as students enhance their careers and last a lifetime.

The Journalism School administers several prestigious awards that uphold the standards of media excellence, a tradition founder Joseph Pulitzer began when he established the school in 1912 and endowed the Pulitzer Prizes at Columbia in 1917.

We also publish the Columbia Journalism Review, which sets the gold standard for reporting and analysis on the media industry and on the news.

Our professional development programs, fellowships and workshops offer opportunities for seasoned practitioners and media executives to advance their knowledge and expertise.

The Journalism School promotes innovation and leadership in the evolution of newsgathering and delivery. The Tow Center for Digital Journalism explores the ways technology is changing journalism and serves as a research and development center for the profession. The Brown Institute for Media Innovation supports new endeavors in how stories are discovered and told in a digitized world.

The Journalism School is committed to creating and supporting a community that is diverse in every way: race, ethnicity, geography, religion, academic and extracurricular interest, family circumstance, sexual orientation, socioeconomic background and more. This commitment fuels our mission to train students to perform one of the most vital and challenging functions in a free society: finding out the truth of complicated situations and communicating it to the public in a clear, engaging fashion.

Our History

In the Beginning

Ten years after Joseph Pulitzer first proposed a world‐class journalism school at Columbia, classes began on September 30, 1912. Seventy‐nine undergraduate and graduate students enrolled, including a dozen women. Classes convened at several locations around campus, as the Journalism building was still under construction. Its doors opened the next year and in 1917 the first Pulitzer Prizes were awarded.

1935 ‐ A Defining Moment

Dean Carl W. Ackerman, one of the first nine students to earn a degree from the Journalism School in 1913, spearheaded the school’s 1935 transition to become the first graduate school of journalism in the United States. Devoted to intensive, hands‐on instruction, students learned by living the lives of journalists – racing around the city by subway to find stories during the day and drafting articles in a single, large newsroom in the Journalism building well into the night.

A Reputation for Excellence

The Journalism School’s reach and reputation as a unique incubator of talent soared throughout the years, from the foundation of the Maria Moors Cabot Prizes in 1939 to promote inter‐American understanding to the establishment of satellite schools in China and Venezuela during the next decade. The school also began to offer coursework in television news and documentary to supplement its traditional focus on newspapers and radio. Approaching its 50th year, the school instituted Journalism Day and the Columbia Journalism Award, and in 1961 established the Columbia Journalism Review, a groundbreaking publication covering trends and developments in the profession.

An Era of Expansion

The Journalism School’s sixth decade was an exciting one, as the building added newsrooms, began to dispense the National Magazine Awards, and created the Alfred I. duPont – Columbia Awards for excellence in broadcast journalism. In 1966 the school brought in Fred Friendly, the legendary former president of CBS News, and opened a new broadcast news laboratory shortly thereafter. Friendly initiated a summer program for minority students and Luther P. Jackson ’51 became the school’s first African‐American professor.

Constant Evolution

Innovation with an eye towards tradition continued to guide the Journalism School through the years. The 1960s and 1970s established the blueprint of the school’s basic curriculum and featured Reporting and Writing 1 (RW1) as the cornerstone of the Master of Science experience. The creation of the Knight‐Bagehot Fellowship to enrich business journalism in 1975 and the 1985 creation of the Delacorte Center for Magazine Journalism gave students invaluable opportunities to specialize. Recognizing that computers and a changing media landscape would revolutionize journalism in the 21st century, Dean Joan Konner moved decisively in the 1980s and 1990s to ensure that the school offered cutting‐edge technology and intensive broadcast experience second to none.

The 21st Century

As its centennial approached, the Journalism School continued to extend its reach starting with the addition of a Ph.D. Program in 2001. Dean Nicholas Lemann underlined the school’s enduring vitality with the launch of a Master of Arts degree in 2005 and the 2006 opening of the Toni Stabile Center for Investigative Journalism. The 2010 opening of the Tow Center for Digital Journalism, the creation of a new dual M.S. degree in Computer Science and Journalism and the 2012 launch of the Brown Institute for Media Innovation demonstrated the school’s ongoing commitment to advancing journalistic principles and its endless capacity to evolve along with a field that is always on the move.

Upholding Pulitzer’s Legacy

“A journalist is the lookout on the bridge of the ship of state,” Joseph Pulitzer wrote. “The power to mould the future of the Republic will be in the hands of the journalists of future generations.” As the Journalism School moves forward, embracing the challenges and opportunities of the 21st century, Pulitzer’s legacy endures. Under the leadership of Dean Steve Coll and a distinguished faculty, the Journalism School continues to educate top journalists, uphold standards of excellence for the profession as a whole and ensure that the press strives for the public good.

Board of Visitors

The Board of Visitors meets with the dean and his staff to provide input and guidance in matters involving the school.

The Journalism School is extremely grateful for this group of professionals who volunteer their time and expertise.

Current Members

Raney Aronson-Rath ’95
Executive Producer of Frontline, PBS

Philip Balboni ’71
President, CEO & Co‐Founder, GlobalPost

Fiona Davis ’00
Author

Krishna Bharat
Founder Google News

Laura Dimon ’13
Reporter, New York Daily News

Amy Entelis ’79
Senior Vice President for Talent and Content Development, CNN Worldwide

Keith Goggin ’91
Managing Partner, STR Trading Partners

Mary Graham
Co‐Director, Transparency Policy Project, John F. Kennedy School of Government, Harvard University

Claire Hoffman ’04
Author

Neeraj Khemlani ’93
President, Hearst Entertainment and Syndication

Simon K.C. Li ’70
Editor, Leadership Consultant and Vice Chairman of the Board, International Press Institute

Suzanne Malveaux ’91
Anchor, CNN Newsroom

Judy Messina ’91

Justin Morton ’15
Reporter, Bloomberg News

Paul Neely ’70
Former Editor and Publisher, The Chattanooga Times

Michael E. Pulitzer
Former Chairman of the Board, Pulitzer Inc.

Jim Robins ’73
President, Midwest Equity Management Corp.

Nicole Seligman

Richard M. Smith ’70
President, The Pinkerton Fund

Pietro Supino
Chairman, Tamedia A.G.

Linda Winslow ’67
Former Executive Producer, “PBS NewsHour"

Accreditation

Columbia University is accredited by the Middle States Commission on Higher Education, 3624 Market Street, Philadelphia, PA 19104; 267‐384‐5000 (MSCHE). Columbia Journalism School is accredited by the Association for Education in Journalism and Mass Communication.