Journalism School Prepares Students for Changing Media Landscape
June 3, 2009
Columbia faculty discuss the future of journalism. (6:07)
Earlier this year, TIME magazine reported that the so-called journalism crisis had “reached meltdown proportions,” and that “some major cities will no longer have a newspaper.” Indeed, around the country, venerable newspapers have shuttered their doors and many more remain at risk. Experts at the Columbia University Graduate School of Journalism recognize the magnitude of the challenges facing established print and broadcast news organizations, but at the same time, are preparing a new generation of journalists for the opportunities that are being created by the changing media landscape, marked by advances in technology and expanded use of the Internet.
“There are many more people doing journalism than at any time in the past,” said Sheila Coronel, the Toni Stabile Professor of Professional Practice in Investigative Journalism and director of Toni Stabile Center for Investigative Journalism. “Transitions are always an exciting time to be able to do groundbreaking and innovative journalism.”
As the industry undergoes rapid transformation, the Journalism School is ensuring that their students have the training and skills to be competitive in the evolving landscape. Journalism professionals, said Duy Linh Tu, digital media coordinator and assistant professor, need to be able to meet the changing expectations of news consumers. In particular, students at the school are learning to develop a “digital media mindset”—how to think about news stories and packages from an online perspective.
And the school’s approach is striking a chord with prospective students. This year, applications increased significantly for all master’s degree programs at the Journalism School, including 44 percent for the Master of Science program.
While students are taught to use the most cutting-edge tools of the trade, according to Dean Nicholas Lemann, what makes a good journalist in many ways remains the same: journalists, young and old, must be able to report in a “confident and accurate way with complicated information” while maintaining “a powerful connection to their readers.”
Four Columbia faculty were awarded Sloan Research Fellowships by the Alfred P. Sloan Foundation. They are Mark Churchland, assistant professor of neuroscience; Wei Min, assistant professor of chemistry; Simha Sethumadhavan, associate professor of computer science; and Wei Zhang, assistant professor of mathematics.
Alondra Nelson, associate professor of sociology, won the 2012 book award from the Association for Humanist Sociology for Body and Soul: The Black Panther Party and the Fight Against Medical Discrimination.