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.

Curriculum

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.

CERTIFICATE IN ECONOMICS AND BUSINESS 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.

MASTER OF ARTS IN SPECIALIZED JOURNALISM

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.

KNIGHT­-BAGEHOT SEMINARS/DINNERS

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.

Fellows

Application Guidelines

Applications for 2019-20 Fellows are now open. You can apply to the program by going here. The deadline for completing the application, in its entirety, is January 31, 2019.  In the meantime, you can reach us here

You can return to the application at any time and submit materials as you are ready. The application outlines the details of the required submission materials. Please review carefully and allow yourself plenty of time to write your essays, get recommendations and gather samples of your work.

The key things you will need to submit include:

  • $100 application fee
  • A professional resume
  • A study plan/proposal of no more than 500 words
  • An autobiographical essay of no more than 1,000 words
  • Five original samples of work
  • College or university transcript(s)
  • Three letters of reference

Not ready to apply yet? You can still stay connected with us. 

 

Selection Advisory Committee

Alumni

NEIL IRWIN ('01)
NEIL IRWIN ('01)

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

Christopher J. Welles Prize

Associated Press Investigative Reporter, Jeff Horwitz Awarded The 2018 Christopher J. Welles Memorial Prize

The Knight-Bagehot Fellowship in Economics and Business at Columbia Journalism School today named Jeff Horwitz, an investigative journalist for The Associated Press, as the 2018 recipient of its annual Christopher J. Welles Memorial Prize, for path-breaking and persistent reporting on the Pal Manafort saga.

In choosing Mr. Horwitz, the Knight-Bagehot Advisory Board noted how the AP articles were the first to report on Mr. Manafort, who was campaign chair for presidential candidate Donald Trump, overseeing an illegal covert lobbying campaign in Washington, D.C. That global enterprise reporting set in motion a chain of subsequent articles, by the AP and others, eventually setting the stage for Mr. Manafort’s tax fraud and unregistered foreign agent cases.

You can read the full press release by going HERE.

WERT Prize

WERT Prize

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.

Find application details here.

Knight-Bagehot Anniversary Event

The Knight­-Bagehot fellowship program covers the full costs of the Fellows’ tuition, and provides a fixed living expenses stipend while at Columbia. Its continued success is due in large measure to the generous support of our many donors. As a part of its annual operational fundraise, the program hosts an annual journalism event featuring a keynote speaker from a leader in the worlds of business and media. In 2018, we celebrated our 43rd Anniversary on October 25, 2018 in New York, featuring an on-stage interview with the Publisher of The New York Times, A.G. Sulzberger by Kara Swisher. Other speakers at the event included Jessica Lessin, co-founder of The Information, and Gary Liu, CEO of South China Morning Post. 

Here are the video highlights.

To watch the first portion of the dinner program, click HERE.

To watch the keynote conversation with A.G. Sulzberger by Kara Swisher, click HERE.

The 2019 44th Anniversary Dinner will be on October 16, 2019, in New York. For speaker and other information, you can contact Gary Hill at (212) 854-6840 or email Gary.Hill@columbia.edu.

We will be celebrating our 43rd Anniversary dinner on October 25, 2018 in New York, featuring an on-stage interview with the Publisher of The New York Times, A.G. Sulzberger. For more information, you can contact Maria Ducheine at (212) 997-0100.

Our 42nd Anniversary dinner held on Oct. 26, 2017 at the New York Marriott Marquis featured a Q&A with Marty Baron, Executive Editor of the Washington Post. To watch the session visit: https://youtu.be/rzkhNJEf-YY

 

Contact

Raju Narisetti

Director, Knight­-Bagehot Fellowship in Economics and Business Journalism

raju.narisetti@columbia.edu

Twitter: @Raju

212­-854-­2711

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.