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Journalism Program

I learned more about journalistic ethics in the 12 days that I spent in New York, Germany and Poland with my fellow FASPEans than I have in the past year of journalism school.
Samantha Pickette
2014 FASPE Journalism Fellow

FASPE Journalism examines the role played by German and foreign journalists from 1933 to 1945, underscoring the reality that moral codes governing journalists can break down or be distorted with devastating consequences. Having demonstrated the power held by journalists in a modern society, FASPE addresses ethical issues now facing individual journalists and media institutions at large. With the historical background in mind, FASPE Journalism Fellows are more committed and better positioned to confront contemporary ethical issues.

Each year, FASPE chooses 12 to 15 Journalism Fellows from journalism schools, as well as early-career journalists, to spend two weeks in Berlin and Poland where they visit key historical sites and participate in daily seminars led by specialized faculty. The Journalism Fellows travel with the Business and Law Fellows, having the opportunity to exchange views over shared meals and in several interdisciplinary seminars.

In 2018, the FASPE Journalism program dates are Sunday, May 20, 2018 – Friday, June 1, 2018.

FASPE Journalism Fellows consider topics such as:

  • the complicity of German and foreign journalists in the execution of Nazi policies
  • the impact of technology on journalistic ethics
  • the role of journalism in electoral politics and in a “post-truth” era
  • the relationship between state authority and journalism (including censorship and propaganda)
  • balancing the costs and benefits of access, of fact-checking and even of editing
  • the challenges in reporting fairly and objectively when faced with atrocities or human rights abuses
  • how to fact-check the victim of a crime
  • navigating multiple loyalties—to employers, readers and news consumers, factual integrity, favored policies and more
  • tactics to address ethical issues within media institutions
Newsstand in Danzig, Germany, 1937.Swiss National Library / Annemarie Schwarzenbach / SLA-Schwarzenbach-A-5-13/060

FASPE Journalism offers an approach to ethics and professionalism that differs from the usual experience at journalism schools by providing a holistic curriculum that looks beyond rules and norms to focus on the ethical problems faced by individual journalists in their daily work.

The Journalism program was initially developed with the assistance of the following faculty at Columbia Journalism School: Ari Goldman, Professor of Journalism; Bill Grueskin, Professor of Professional Practice; and Andie Tucher, Professor and Director of the PhD Program. FASPE Journalism Fellows from prior years are now actively involved as editors, reporters, nonfiction writers, photojournalists, broadcasters and other professionals, across a wide range of media.

For more information on how to apply to FASPE Journalism, please click here.