Knight-Bagehot Fellowship in Economics and Business Journalism | Columbia Journalism School

Knight-Bagehot Fellowship in Economics and Business Journalism

Providing accomplished journalists an intensive, sharply focused study of business, economics and finance

Program Overview

The Knight-Bagehot Fellowship in Economics and Business Journalism offers qualified journalists the opportunity to enhance their understanding and knowledge of business, economics, finance and technology, as well as gain a strong understanding of the business of journalism itself, in a yearlong, full-time program administered by the Journalism School.

Fellows typically take courses at Columbia's graduate schools of journalism, business, law and international affairs; participate in off-the-record seminars with media, corporate and tech practitioners, and meet weekly with media CEOs, top editors, journalism entrepreneurs, taking advantage of Columbia’s access to New York’s media, business and tech ecosystem.

In scope and depth, it is the most comprehensive and rigorous business journalism fellowship in the world. Eligible Knight-Bagehot fellows (those with a B.A. degree from an accredited college) may also seek to qualify for a Master of Arts degree in journalism at the end of their year, if they opt to complete the course-work required for that degree.

The Fellowship runs during Columbia’s academic year from mid-August through May, and accepts up to 10 Fellows each year. Each Fellow receives free tuition, plus a stipend to offset living expenses in New York City and healthcare. For the 2019-2020 academic year, a stipend of $60,000 is expected to be granted to each fellow. Housing is available in a Columbia ­affiliated facility.

The fellowship is named for the John S. and James L. Knight Foundation of Miami, which established an endowment for the program, and Walter Bagehot, the 19th­-century editor of The Economist. The Knight Foundation has been the principal sponsor of the fellowship since 1987. The program also depends on grants from a number of other charitable foundations, corporations and publishing organizations for a significant portion of its annual budget. The sponsors have no role in the selection of fellows or the curriculum, which are entirely managed by the Director of the Program and the Journalism School.

Read The Knight-Bagehot Fellowship Annual Report


Who Should Apply

The fellowship is open to full-time editorial employees of newspapers, magazines, wire services, digital media, television and radio news organizations, as well as to freelance journalists, from anywhere in the world. Applicants must have at least four years of business/economics/finance journalism experience. There are no academic prerequisites to apply and work affiliation of applicants is not a major factor in the selection process. While a majority of the fellows typically come from the US, we specifically look for candidates who can help deliver better business journalism in all parts of the world, in multimedia formats.

The chief criterion for selection is demonstrated journalistic excellence. While essays and letters of recommendation are important parts of the application, the greatest weight is given to previously work samples. All materials, including letters of reference, college transcripts, essays and work samples should be compiled and submitted with the application form.

Applicants' employers, except under unusual circumstances, should submit a letter supporting the application, but applicants are not required to obtain formal employer approval to apply for and get admitted to the program. Fellows are encouraged to return to their employers at the end of their year at Columbia.

Fellowship selections are announced by May 1, 2019. The number of fellowships awarded each year, as well as the level of the living expenses stipend, is determined by the program's financial resources. For the 2019-2020 academic year, starting in August 2019, we anticipate awarding 10 fellowships that cover full tuition, plus a $60,000 living stipend.


The core of the Knight­-Bagehot curriculum consists of courses offered by Columbia University. Beginning with the 2017­-2018 academic year, Knight­-Bagehot fellows will be allowed to choose from two academic tracks: a Certificate in Economics and Business Journalism, or the Master of Arts in Journalism.


To earn this certificate, fellows must complete at least 30 hours of university credit during their two semesters. Fellows may select any university courses relating to business, economics, finance or journalism. Fellows typically take most classes at Columbia’s highly regarded Business School or through the Law School and School of International and Public Affairs. The most commonly chosen courses cover such subjects as microeconomics, macroeconomics, accounting, corporate finance, business law, international economics, marketing, business finance, securities analysis, media management. Many of these courses count as credit for those considering applying to the Business School to stay a second year, on their own, to complete a Master’s in Business Administration.


To earn this degree, fellows will need to take most of their courses at the Journalism School, including a business reporting seminar, Evidence and Inference, and M.A. Essentials, which covers data, technology and investigative techniques in journalism. Fellows can take three electives outside the Journalism School and will be required to complete a master’s thesis.


All fellows attend Journalism school seminars twice a week and get course credit for doing so. These seminars are primarily focused on journalism, the business of journalism, new business models, role of technology in media, and contemporary issues impacting the art and craft of journalism. The Fellows also meet weekly with CEOs and Editors-in-Chief of major media organizations over dinner to deepen their understanding of journalism and its related business ecosystem.

Because of the demanding nature of the curriculum, fellows are not permitted to take on any outside assignments, including at their current employer or freelance, while the school is in session.


Application Guidelines

Applications for the 2020-21 Fellowhsips are now open. Apply HERE before January 31, 2020. Selected Fellows will be announced March-April 2020.

You can read the applicant profile statistics for 2019-2020 HERE.

You can still stay connected with us. 



2020-21 Selection Advisory Committee

Knight-Bagehot Board of Advisors

Click HERE for the list of the Knight-Bagehot Board of Advisors.



Neil Irwin, '01
Senior Economics Correspondent
The New York Times

Christopher J. Welles Prize

Author of Groundbreaking Local News Crisis Research, Penelope Muse Abernathy, Named as the 2019 Christopher J. Welles Memorial Prize Winner

The Knight-Bagehot Fellowship in Economics and Business at Columbia Journalism School named Penelope Muse Abernathy, Knight Chair in Journalism and Digital Media Economics at the University of North Carolina, the 2019 Christopher J. Welles Memorial Prize, for her unparalleled and widely-cited research, "The Expanding News Desert." 



WERT Prize

Lisa Girion headshot

Established in 2018 by a bequest from The Women’s Economic Round Table, the WERT Prize honors excellence in comprehensively reported business journalism by a woman for work that fosters a greater understanding of global business.

Reuters Journalist, Lisa Girion, Named as the Inaugural Winner of Columbia Jouranlism School's WERT Prize for Outstanding Business Journalism.



Knight-Bagehot 44th Anniversary Event

The Knight­-Bagehot fellowship program covers the full costs of the Fellows’ tuition, and provides a generous living expenses stipend for their year at Columbia. Its continued success is due in large measure to the generous support of our many annual donors. As a part of its annual operational fundraise, the program hosts an annual journalism event featuring a keynote conversation, with a leader in the world of business, and journalism. The 2019 44th Anniversary Dinner was held on October 16, 2019, in New York. 

Read Press Release HERE.


Photos of the event can be viewed HERE.

Video Highlight for the Newsmaker Conversation, Kevin Sneader, Global Managing Partner, McKinsey & Company in converssation with Matt Murray, Editor-in-Chief, Dow Jones & The Wall Street Journal, can be viewed HERE.

Video Highlight for the Headliner Conversation, Marc Benioff, Chairman & Co-CEO, Salesforce/Co-Chair, TIME in conversation with Rebecca Blumenstein, Deputy Managing Editor, The New York Times, can be viewed HERE.





Raju Narisetti

Director, Knight­-Bagehot Fellowship in Economics and Business Journalism

Twitter: @Raju


Raju Narisetti most recently served as chief executive of Gizmodo Media Group, which publishes well-known digital journalism sites such as Gizmodo, Jezebel, Deadspin, Lifehacker and The Root. As the chief executive, he oversaw a significant expansion in the audience and journalistic ambitions of the group, to a monthly readership of about 116 million.

Prior to Gizmodo, Narisetti was News Corp.’s senior vice president of strategy, helping the media giant diversify and establish itself as the world’s largest digital real-estate listings company, in addition to its news and information portfolio that includes The Wall Street Journal, The Times of London and Harper-Collins. He was actively involved in the company’s mergers and acquisition strategy, spearheading new revenue opportunities, particularly in Asia.

As a business journalist and editor, Narisetti spent 14 years at The Wall Street Journal, after first starting as a summer intern there in 1991. Among the roles he held at WSJ were Editor, The Wall Street Journal Europe; Deputy Managing Editor in charge of Europe, Middle East and Africa for the global WSJ; and Managing Editor, Digital.

Narisetti also served as the managing editor for digital and new products at The Washington Post, and was primarily responsible for integrating the Post’s then separate print and online newsroom and businesses.  His responsibilities at The Post also included managing web, mobile, engagement, social media, interactive, design, editing desk, video and photojournalists teams.

He is also the Founder, in 2007, of Mint, now India’s second-largest business newspaper and website, which is today known for its pioneering journalistic code of conduct and ethics in India. Narisetti began his business journalism career at The Economic Times in New Delhi, and his U.S. journalism career at The Dayton Daily News.

Narisetti is a Board Trustee of the Wikimedia Foundation, which operates Wikipedia, one of the Top 10 websites in the world, and is on the National Advisory Council of the Democracy Fund, a bipartisan foundation resource to strengthen the democratic process in the United States.

He holds an M.A. from Indiana University and a B.A. (Economics) from Osmania University and an MBA from IRMA in India.