The PJ Tatler

A Hundred Grand Per Year for a Journalism Degree from Columbia? Please...

Well, almost a hundred: $92,933, to be exact, at the prestigious Columbia University Graduate School of Journalism. No wonder they’re slowly going out of business:

Columbia University’s Graduate School of Journalism will reduce its class size and cut about six positions from its staff as the news industry retrenches. The school will gradually reduce enrollment over several years and has already stopped filling some vacant faculty positions, Steve Coll, dean of the school since 2013, said in an e-mail to students, faculty and staff today.

The cuts were reported by media blogger Jim Romenesko.

News organizations around the world are cutting staff and budgets as advertisers and readers have fled traditional media for free online sources and social media sites, such as Twitter. While graduate student applications rose sharply after the recession that began in 2008, the school’s class size is headed back to a lower “historical norm,” Coll said.

It’s certainly true that the Old Media world is dying. And overgrown teenagers with rich parents could afford to flee into useless graduate degrees during the recession, when they weren’t going to get any work anyway, to put off the day of reckoning. But maybe the sticker price for a credential has something to do with it as well:

The New York school will also focus on raising funds for student scholarships, Mr. Coll said. Estimated tuition, fees and living expenses for a full-time master’s degree student are $92,933, according to the school website. Coll said he will host a public meeting tomorrow to discuss the changes.

Columbia is seeing increased demand for training in digital media, Ms. Fishman said, adding that applications for the school’s dual degree in journalism and computer science were up 47% this year.

I got into professional journalism in 1972, when I was hired by the Rochester Democrat and Chronicle as a cub reporter. I was armed with a degree in music and knew zero about journalism; my editors said, don’t worry, we’ll teach you. The rest is history.