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Columbia University Graduate School of Journalism

Grants Awarded

Leonard Tow Journalism Professorship

Funding Type Restricted
Funding Total $2,500,000
Impact Area Higher Education, Journalism
Years Funded 2020-2025

Columbia University Graduate School of Journalism (Columbia J-School) leads the way towards journalism’s future, by educating and training students from around the world to become accomplished professional journalists. This grant endows a professorship at the Columbia J-School, called the Leonard Tow Professor of Journalism and Director of the Tow Center for Digital Journalism (Tow Center). Established in 2010, the Tow Center and its leadership play an increasingly influential role in the rapidly changing and complex world of journalism and journalism education. This Professorship conveys the importance of the Tow Center to the Columbia J-School while elevating the prestige and visibility of its leader. The inaugural holder of the Professorship will be Emily Bell, who is the founding and current director of the Tow Center.

Steve Coll Post-Graduate Research and Reporting Fellowship

Funding Type Restricted
Funding Total $150,000
Impact Area Higher Education, Journalism
Years Funded 2022-2024

Columbia University is a leading research university and its Graduate School of Journalism is among the top journalism programs in the world. The Tow Center for Digital Journalism (Tow Center) is a research and pedagogical resource for the school’s students and faculty and for the profession. This grant will support the launch of a two-year reporting and research fellowship for a recent graduate of the Journalism School. It is named in honor of Steve Coll, who stepped down as dean in 2022 after 12 years of service.

Tow Computational Fellowship Program in Misinformation and Fact-Based Journalism

Funding Type Restricted
Funding Total $1,152,000
Impact Area Higher Education, Journalism
Years Funded 2018-2024

Independent, fact-based journalism is at the forefront in the battle against digital propaganda, manufactured news and intensifying attacks on press freedom. In order to address this, the Columbia Graduate School of Journalism (Columbia J-School) and its Tow Center for Digital Journalism (Tow Center) have placed a dedicated emphasis on computation and investigative reporting in their instruction and programming. To bolster this effort, support from The Tow Foundation will be used to fund a Tow Computational Fellow at the Tow Center and a Tow Postgraduate Computational Fellow at Columbia J-School. The Tow Computational Fellow will work in the emerging field of digital forensics to research and analyze the state of information security in the digital age. Similarly, the Tow Postgraduate Computational Fellow will help students and recent alumni doing in-depth reporting in the public interest, with an emphasis on using data to find and illustrate stories.

Journalism After Snowden

Funding Type Restricted
Funding Total $250,000
Impact Area Higher Education, Journalism
Years Funded 2013-2015

To develop the program Journalism After Snowden, designed to explore the changing practices of journalism in relation to the information generated by Wikileaks and Edward Snowden regarding state surveillance and data insecurity. This year-long program will include collaboration among The Tow Center for Digital Journalism, the Columbia Journalism Review, the Columbia University President’s Office, Law School, Department of Computer Science and School of International and Public Affairs. Research, essays and recommendations produced as a result of this program will provide invaluable information for investigative journalists working on issues of national security.

The Lede – Core Computational Competency Program

Funding Type Restricted
Funding Total $350,000
Impact Area Higher Education, Journalism
Years Funded 2013-2015

To create a new post-baccalaureate program to prepare college graduates with little or no quantitative or computational background to be successful applicants to masters and doctoral degree programs that require skills in those areas.

The Tow-Knight Projects in News Innovation

Funding Type Restricted
Funding Total $1,000,000
Impact Area Higher Education, Journalism
Years Funded 2012-2014

To establish a research program at The Tow Center for Digital Journalism that will commission wide-ranging research projects and enable the Center to develop expertise in the relationship of data to digital journalism. The Tow-Knight Projects will serve as an influential convening power, helping to inform the profession by bringing disparate fields of expertise and knowledge together in a rigorous research and publishing program that is responsive to the needs of the industry and policy makers.

Tow Center for Digital Journalism

Funding Type Restricted
Funding Total $5,000,000
Impact Area Higher Education, Journalism
Years Funded 2010-2014

The Tow Center’s primary mission will be to educate the next generation of journalists with the skills and knowledge to lead the future of professional journalism on the Internet and other forms of Digital Journalism. The Tow Center will focus on the interactions between journalists and readers, as citizens provide more reporting and commentary and readers seek ways to better understand the reliability, standards and credibility in Digital Journalism. The Tow Center also will explore and innovate with new methods of digital reporting and presentation, providing ways to create journalism and inspire dialogue that will serve established media companies, as well as newly created outlets.