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November 08, 2010

With the receipt of a new $3 million gift from the John S. and James L. Knight Foundation this fall, the CUNY Graduate School of Journalism has announced the creation of the Tow-Knight Center for Entrepreneurial Journalism and the nation’s first Master of Arts degree in Entrepreneurial Journalism.

The $10 million Tow-Knight Center will receive $3 million in funding from The Tow Foundation and $3 million from the Knight Foundation, supplemented by additional foundation grants and in-kind contributions of staff and technology from the CUNY J-School.

“The Tow Foundation challenged the CUNY Graduate School of Journalism to seek and devise solutions to protect and maintain journalistic standards and to be an incubator for the development of viable economic models for the new digital media. We are delighted that the Knight Foundation has stepped forward to join us in supporting this important work.” said Executive Director Emily Tow Jackson.

“Everyone knows the economics of journalism are changing,” said Eric Newton, vice president of the Knight Foundation’s journalism program. “Not everyone has good ideas about how to cope with this. CUNY does. It wants to lead the emerging field of entrepreneurial journalism, to give students skill sets in the fields of both journalism and business.”

The first Master of Arts degrees in Entrepreneurial Journalism are expected to be awarded in the spring of 2012. In addition to an M.A. degree in Journalism, students will receive training in business and management skills, news and media economics, and technology and project management, with apprenticeships at New York startups. The program will also be available to mid-career professional journalists who will earn a Certificate in Entrepreneurial Journalism.

“With our emphasis on new technology and our research experience in new business models for news, we believe we can help build a sustainable future for journalism,” said Stephen Shepard, dean of the CUNY Graduate School of Journalism.

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