• By Newmark J-School Staff

The New York State Education Department has given the CUNY Graduate School of Journalism permission to offer the first Master of Arts in Entrepreneurial Journalism.

The new four-semester degree program will be offered in conjunction with the School’s Tow-Knight Center for Entrepreneurial Journalism that was established a year ago with the help of $3 million from The Tow Foundation and $3 million from the John S. and James L. Knight Foundation.

“It is the first such degree in the country,” said Stephen B. Shepard, dean of the CUNY J-School. “We’re very proud to break new ground in fusing journalism, technology, and business.”

The foundation of the new degree is a one-semester academic program the School ran on a trial basis this past spring. The curriculum includes a business fundamentals course, a technology immersion module, a survey of practices in journalism revenue generation, an entrepreneurial incubator, and a new-media apprenticeship. Students and mid-career journalists who participated in the pilot program developed their own media businesses and were awarded an Advanced Certificate in Entrepreneurial Journalism. Leading the entrepreneurial initiative are Tow-Knight Center Director Jeff Jarvis, and Jeremy Caplan, the Center’s education director.

Candidates for the new master’s will spend their first three semesters taking most of the same courses required for the School’s traditional M.A. in Journalism degree. In their fourth semester, as they work towards their M.A. in Entrepreneurial Journalism, they’ll be sharing classes with mid-career professionals and students who will earn the advanced certificate.