Knight-Bagehot Fellowship in Economics and Business Journalism

Publish Date: Jan 19, 2016

Deadline: Mar 01, 2016

Knight-Bagehot Fellowship in Economics and Business Journalism

The Knight-Bagehot Fellowship in Economics and Business Journalism offers qualified journalists the opportunity to enhance their understanding and knowledge of business, economics and finance in a year-long, full-time program administered by the journalism school. Fellows take courses at Columbia's graduate schools of journalism, business, law and international affairs; participate in off-the-record seminars and dinner meetings with corporate executives, economists and academics; and attend briefings and field trips to New York-based media companies and financial institutions.

The program is designed to meet the public interest in business and economics news and the demand for trained editors and reporters in the field. In scope and depth, it is considered the most comprehensive business journalism fellowship in the country. Eligible Knight-Bagehot fellows may qualify for a Master of Science degree in journalism upon completion of this rigorous program.

Conducted during Columbia’s academic year from August through May, the fellowship accepts up to 10 fellows each year. Fellows receive free tuition plus a stipend to offset living expenses in New York City. For the 2017 academic year, a stipend of $55,000 will 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 has 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 portion of its annual budget.

The fellowship’s sponsors have no role in the selection of fellows or the organization of the fellowship’s curriculum, which are controlled by the Columbia University Graduate School of Journalism.

Eligibility Requirements

The fellowship is open to full-time editorial employees of newspapers, magazines, wire services, and broadcast news organizations as well as to freelance journalists. Applicants must have at least four years' experience. There are no academic prerequisites. Though some attempt is made to achieve a diversity of backgrounds, the affiliation of applicants is not a factor in the selection process. Journalists from nationally known organizations are not given preference over those from smaller regional media. 

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 work samples. Clippings and tapes need not cover business subjects, and applicants do not have to be business specialists. All materials, including letters of reference, college transcripts, essays and work samples, should be compiled and submitted with an online application form.

The program permits fellows to make whatever arrangements are deemed appropriate. Though applicants' employers, except under unusual circumstances, should submit a letter supporting the application, applicants are not required to obtain formal employer approval. While the program recognizes fellows' desire to advance their careers, it urges them to return to their current employers at the end of their year at Columbia.

Fellowships are announced by May 1. 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 academic year, which begins mid-August 2016 and ends late May 2017, we anticipate awarding ten fellowships of full tuition plus a $55,000 stipend each.

Application deadline is March 1, 2016. New fellows will be announced on May 1.


Terri Thompson
Director, Knight-Bagehot Fellowship
Columbia University Graduate School of Journalism
2950 Broadway
New York, NY 10027
(212) 854-2711

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