A new one-year data journalism master’s degree offered by Columbia University costs $150,000.
Prospective students will need to pay approximately $106,000 for tuition and fees and $41,232 for living expenses, reported Inside Higher Ed. The median income for American journalists in 2016 was less than $40,000 a year, according to the Bureau of Labor Statistics.
Students who obtain the degree will receive “practical, hands-on training essential to producing deeply reported data-driven stories in the public interest,” according to a Columbia news release. The school states that the program will train students to better collect and synthesize data, as well as implement algorithms to “access capabilities and biases in data.”
Journalists criticized the program on Twitter.
“The higher ed Institution is crumbling,” said media professional Josh Sternberg, who has worked at NBC News and The Washington Post. “A $100,000 masters of science in data journalism degree?”
“A $100,000 master’s degree in journalism is a stupid thing,” said Charlie J. Johnson, an editor for Chicago Tribune.
But Columbia defended the degree.
“You would be a highly literate candidate to participate in the modern newsroom, where you have technologists working alongside journalists to create new engagement with the audience in the digital age,” said Steve Coll, Columbia’s graduate journalism dean, to Poynter. “So the idea is, you could take these skills and be a world-beating investigative reporter in this era of big data, or you could equally apply your journalism vision to the newsroom of the future.”
The Daily Caller News Foundation reached out to Coll and Segnini for further comment, but received none in time for publication.
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