Columbia Journalism Lede Program Partners with Stavros Niarchos Foundation (SNF) to Support Lede Program

CJS receives $200,000 from the international organization to broaden the reach of data journalism.

March 20, 2024

March 22, 2024, New York, NY — The Stavros Niarchos Foundation (SNF) has awarded a generous grant to Columbia Journalism School to support the data journalism-focused Lede Program.

SNF, an international philanthropic foundation, will support six journalists from Greece to be fully funded fellows of the Professional Education program, held in New York from June 3 to August 9, 2024. 

The fellows will also receive special mentoring and publishing opportunities through iMEdD (incubator for Media Education and Development), a non-profit journalistic organization based in Greece, that creates original stories, introduces new tools, practices and training programs, and supports the journalistic community in producing credible and independent content. 

“Data journalism goes beyond dry programming tutorials. The Lede Program teaches the practical, real-world skills that enable everything from deep investigative work to engaging data visualizations,” said Jonathan Soma, John S. and James L. Knight Professor of Professional Practice in Data Journalism and Director of Lede. “Pulling insight from data is a core part of reporting and is an achievable goal no matter your level of technical expertise.” 

Lede is a 10-week Certification of Professional Achievement for students who want an applied introduction to data and computation. Students take courses hosted at the Journalism School, gaining a strong foundation in coding, data, and information visualization.

Data, code, and algorithms have become central to research and creative work. CJS recognizes that new technologies are transforming industries, reshaping lives, and setting new parameters for responsible citizenship. The program does not require any previous knowledge of coding or data and is designed to educate students at any level of experience.

“Excellent journalism is essential for democracy, and knowing how to work with data is essential for good journalism,” said iMEdD Managing Director, SNF Dialogues Executive Director, and journalist Anna-Kynthia Bousdoukou. “The fellows will return to Greece better equipped to the work, painstaking and sublime, of uncovering hard truths and serving the public interest. We can’t wait to collaborate with them at iMEdD and to see what they will produce.”

This intensive certification program is designed to equip journalists and storytellers of all kinds with the computational skills needed to turn data into narrative. 

This pilot program with SNF includes full tuition, travel expenses, housing and living stipends for residents of Greece who want to learn more about coding, data analysis, and visual storytelling. 

Apply by April 15, 2024, to be considered for the fellowship.