About

History

The Tow Center for Digital Journalism, established in early 2010, provides journalists with the skills and knowledge to lead the future of digital journalism and serves as a research and development center for the profession as a whole.

Operating as an institute within Columbia University’s Graduate School of Journalism, the Tow Center is poised to take advantage of a unique combination of factors to foster the development of digital journalism. Its New York location affords access to cutting-edge technologists, a strong culture of journalism and multiple journalism and communication schools, with outstanding universities attached to them. The Tow Center is where technology and journalism meet, and where education and practice meet.

Mission

The Center explores how the development of technology is changing journalism, its practice and its consumption — particularly as consumers of news seek ways to judge the reliability, standards and credibility of information. By commissioning research in these emerging areas, and developing teaching methods and courses, the Tow Center seeks to convene debate around the issues facing digital journalism. Our mission is to help individual journalists, news organizations and areas of relevant media policymaking with their thinking and practice in this area.

Digital journalism has a vital role in a world of information overload and explanation drought by striking a new relationship between data and narrative. The Tow Center seeks to cultivate the skilled practitioners needed to mine data and text, but who can also think journalistically in relating this information through words, pictures and graphics. Digital journalism needs to include the citizen and witness as a participant, and not just a recipient. But these new complexities demand professional intervention and standards. As an institution, the Tow Center seeks to be a leader in these areas.

Work

In addition to developing resources for students both students of the Journalism School and the community at large, the Tow Center is involved in producing new research related to the practice of digital journalism.

The Tow Center also oversees the dual-degree Master of Science Program in Computer Science and Journalism offered in conjunction with Columbia’s Fu Foundation School of Engineering and Applied Science. These students receive highly specialized training in the digital environment, enabling them to develop technical and editorial skills in all aspects of computer-supported news gathering and digital media production.

Join Us

The Tow Center is integrated into Columbia Journalism School, where we provide journalism students and working journalists with the skills and knowledge to lead the future of digital journalism.

There are various ways in get involved with the Tow Center.

  • Subscribe to our newsletter | http://cuj.tw/townews  distributed once each week September – June and once a month in July and August, the newsletter is a regular digest of upcoming Tow Center events, blog posts, research findings, Tow Report launches, Tow Center news, and announcements.
  • Come to an event | www.towcenter.org/calendar | www.towcenter.eventbrite.com —  The Tow Center plans a full schedule of events throughout the year, including bi-monthly Tow Teas, monthly computational journalism lectures, and a variety of conferences and workshops. Unless otherwise indicated, these events are free and open to Columbia Journalism School students, Columbia University affiliates, and the public.
  • Volunteer at our events | towcenter@columbia.edu — we’re always looking for people to live blog, live tweet, take photos, and help with event logistics. Contact the Tow Center at towcenter@columbia.edu if you’d like to volunteer.
  • Suggest an event. If you want to see a panel discussion, hackathon, festival or workshop about the practice of digital journalism, innovations in storytelling online, or data journalism let us know.
  • Connect with the Tow Center on social media

Twitter | @TowCenter
Facebook | https://www.facebook.com/towcenter
Tumblr | http://towcenter.tumblr.com

We are also always interested in new approaches, ideas and technologies. If you have one (or more) of these to share, please get in touch with one of us.