Dean Jelani Cobb’s top priority is inclusive pathways into journalism, as a free press is vital to holding power to account via an informed citizenry.
But to uphold democracy, journalism itself must be democratic.
Like many lawyers, social workers, and doctors working in underserved communities, journalism students pursue a commitment to the public good. CJS is constantly intensifying efforts to support these aspirations and ensure access.
CJS is embarking on an ambitious plan to create new inclusive pathways into journalism by establishing tuition-free attendance and with the inaugural Loan Repayment Assistance Program (LRAP).
“The problem of poverty isn’t a lack of money, but a lack of choices that money can afford.”
Piloted in 2023, LRAP draws inspiration from those at other professional schools, including law schools and medical schools where civic-minded students make career choices without the burden of student debt.
The first of its kind in the journalism industry, CJS aims to use LRAP to help draw top talent to local communities and to a vibrant new nonprofit sector — one that is helping to address the under-reporting caused by shrunken editorial budgets and shuttered local newspapers.
“The problem of poverty,” Dean Jelani Cobb has said, “isn’t a lack of money, but a lack of choices that money can afford." At CJS, a free press starts with students' freedom to choose journalism.
Fellowships and Opportunities
Helmed by Professor Nicholas Lemann, Columbia Global Reports is a nonprofit publishing imprint from Columbia University that commissions authors to produce works of original thinking and on-site reporting from all over the world, on a wide range of topics. It became a part of CJS in 2023.
According to Director Lemann, CGR “fills a unique niche with timely, deeply reported and argued short books on big issues that are just around the corner. We don't just publish books. We use books to start continuing conversations about topics that weren't getting the attention they deserved until we took them on.”
CJS is dedicated to expanding diversity within the walls of Pulitzer Hall, and therefore increasing the proportion of underrepresented populations in newsrooms across the world.
CJS provides a robust curriculum that invites diverse thought leaders and ward-winners into classrooms and lecture halls. The school also aims to showcase the diversity of our students, alumni and donors, centers and faculty bodies through the stories we spotlight, the alumni we feature, and the student reporting we share with alumni and donors.
Working Around the World
CJS is committed to amplifying the University’s presence around the world in order to help address threats to press freedom and the spread of disinformation. Partners in this have included Columbia’s Global Centers in Chile and Rio de Janeiro, Diego Portales University in Chile, and the University San Andres in Argentina, among others.