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. As such, Knight-Bagehot fellows are required to have earned a Bachelor’s Degree (or equivalent) from an accredited university. Fellows may 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, or receive a Certificate in Economics and Business Journalism

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 2020-2021 academic year, Fellows will receive a living stipend of $60,000 and health insurance. 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.


2021 Bagehots headshots

The core of the Knight­-Bagehot curriculum consists of courses offered by Columbia University. Knight­-Bagehot Fellows are allowed to choose from two different 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 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 subject-area courses 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 affecting journalism and the media business. The Fellows also meet weekly with CEOs and Editors-in-Chief of major media organizations 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 classes are in session.

Applying to the Program

Applications are closed for 2021-22. 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.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. Applications typically open in late September and are announced in March/April.  Learn about applying to the fellowship or sign up to stay connected.

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