The New York Times is reporting that the J-School received a 5 million-dollar gift today from one Mr. Leonard Tow, a Columbia grad whom the Times identifies as “a former chief executive of Citizens Communications, and Century Communications” as well as a philanthropist — and how!
Tow is hoping that his $5 million will aid J-Schoolers in figuring out how to save the dying newspaper business by attaining Internet-savvy. (Hint: stop printing newspapers on paper.) Tow also explains that he was annoyed at Harvard and its fancy “Internet institute” because it was much better than Columbia at teaching grad students how to publish things online.
Tow also donated $3 million to the CUNY J-School to create the Tow Center for Journalistic Innovation, which will focus on research and development. Funds at Columbia will be centered around training J-Schoolers in “digital media.” What exactly can 5 million buy these days? Accoring to J-School dean Nicholas B. Lemann: “two professors in new media” and “a curriculum that may include data-driven reporting and software design for news organizations.”
According to Editor & Publisher, CUNY will have to match the donation through fund raising in order to receive it. Columbia will have to do the same, but it will have to double Tow’s donation and fund raise $10 million.