Columbia Journalism School

Tow Center for Digital Journalism

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.

The Tow Center officially launched on Oct. 19, 2010 and is under the direction of Emily Bell — formerly the director of digital content for Britain’s Guardian News and Media.

The Tow Foundation supports innovative projects and collaborative ventures where there is a shortage of both public and private funding and opportunities for breakthroughs, reforms and significant benefits to society. Significant investments have been made in areas of groundbreaking medical research, the performing arts, and higher education, as well as vulnerable families and juvenile justice system reform.


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's projects are made possible by generous funding from both The Tow Foundation and the John S. and James L. Knight Foundation.

The Tow Center also helps oversee 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

There are several ways to get involved with the Tow Center:

ACADEMIC PROGRAM: Currently, those interested in pursuing academic work with the Tow Center must apply for and be accepted to the dual-degree Master of Science Program in Computer Science and Journalism program, for which application information and materials can be found here. However, the Tow Center faculty also regularly teach courses in both the Master of Science program and the Master of Arts program.

RESEARCH: The Tow Center is currently accepting statements of interest and proposals for research projects. Please contact Taylor Owen, Research Director, for more information.

BLOG:  The Tow Center is looking for contributors for the Tow Center blog. Please contact Shiwani Neupane, Tow Center Digital Media Associate, for more information.

EVENTS: The Tow Center also hosts a variety of events including bi-monthly afternoon Tow Teas, a monthly evening speaker series on computational journalism, workshops, conferences, and more. Visit the Tow Center website and follow the Tow Center on social media for up-to-date information on all Tow Center events.

Stay in Touch with the Tow Center

Twitter: @towcenter  use hashtag #TowCenter
Facebook: Like Tow Center on Facebook
Share pictures and posts on Tumblr:
Subscribe to the Tow Center Newsletter.
Read: Tow Center Reports here.

VIDEO: Grand Opening of the Tow Center for Digital Journalism

The Tow Center officially launched on Oct. 19, 2010. Opening remarks were made by Martin Nisenholtz, the senior vice president of digital operations at The New York Times. Emily Bell, director of the Tow Center, delivered a keynote address about her vision for the future of the profession and took questions from the audience. Dean Nicholas Lemann and Columbia University President Lee Bollinger also addressed the gathering of journalists and students at Columbia Journalism School.



Emily Bell

Susan E. McGregor
Assistant Professor

Claire Wardle
Research Director

Lauren Mack
Research Associate

Elizabeth Boylan

Smitha Khorana
Tow Center Digital Media Associate


Select the academic degree that interests you: