Emily Bell, Director of the Tow Center for Digital Journalism, Talks About the Changing News Industry

Oct. 19, 2010Bookmark and Share

In advance of the launch event of the Tow Center for Digital Journalism at Columbia’s Graduate School of Journalism on Oct. 19, director Emily Bell answered questions from Columbia’s Facebook community about the changing news industry.

Established in 2010 with support from the Tow Foundation and other sources, The Tow Center’s primary mission will be to help provide the next generation of journalists with the skills and knowledge to lead professional journalism. The Center will devise and publicize innovative methods of digital reporting and presentation, to serve both established and new media companies. And, the Center will explore interactions between journalists and citizens, particularly as readers seek ways to judge the reliability, standards and credibility in media.

Bell, considered a digital revolutionary for her role in the development and leadership of digital content at The Guardian in the UK, is one of the world's foremost authorities on online news and information.
Before joining Columbia this summer, Bell was the director of digital content for Guardian News and Media, based in London. She has worked for the Observer and then the Guardian for the past 18 years, setting up MediaGuardian.co.uk in 2000 and becoming editor-in-chief of Guardian Unlimited in 2001.
Under Bell’s leadership, Guardian.co.uk has grown into one of the most successful and widely read news websites in the world, with 37 million unique users, according to Britain’s ABC electronic measurement of digital media performance.
The mission of the Tow Center for Digital Journalism, established in early 2010, is to educate journalists with the skills and knowledge to lead the future of digital journalism and to serve as a research and development center for the profession.
As director of the Tow Center, Bell will teach graduate students; collaborate with and study news organizations; develop new models for creating and delivering information along with business innovations to support those models; oversee original scholarly research; and advise on how to raise additional funds through research, program grants and gifts. She will also help oversee the new dual-degree Master of Science Program in Computer Science and Journalism with Columbia’s Fu Foundation School of Engineering and Applied Science, announced in April.
She is a graduate of Christ Church, Oxford University, where she earned a master’s degree in jurisprudence.
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