About 30 journalists who are operating their own businesses and/or exploring new approaches to journalism in a period when mass media have suffered setbacks gathered on the rooftop of the Empire Hotel last night to compare notes and trade stories.

Co-organizers of the event were Jeremy Caplan, director of education, Tow-Knight Center for Entrepreneurial Journalism, City University of New York Graduate School of Journalism, and Stephen Morse, a Fellow in the Tow-Knight program.

Tuition for the one-semester program, which leads to an Advanced Certificate, is $4,345 plus $565 in fees for a total of $4,910. Non-New York residents would pay a total of $8,665. Further information is available from www.towknight.org/apply.

L-R: "Linda," editor in chief of TheDailyDolt.com, Andrew Freedman, journalist covering climate and energy news, Inna Volyanska, digital specialist for the Associate Press. (Photo: Sharlene Spingler)
Funding in support of the program is coming from The Tow Foundation and the John S. and James L. Knight Foundation.

Leonard Tow and his wife Claire were among the early pioneers in cable TV and cell-phone technology and now head a foundation, based in New Canaan, Conn., with $108 million in assets as of 2011. Income in that year was $45.8 million. EIN is 06-6484045.

Claire Tow was SVP of a cable company founded by Leonard that was sold to Adelphia Communications in 1999. It is now part of Cablevision. Leonard is CEO of New Century Holdings and former head of Citizens Communications Co., a wireless telephone company.

Seek to Support Journalism

Goal of the new program is to "help create a sustainable future for quality journalism."

"We believe that the future will be shaped by entrepreneurs who develop new business models and innovative projects—either working on their own, with startups, or within traditional media companies," says a statement by CUNY.

The program will focus on "innovative approaches to journalism, business fundamentals, contemporary technology skills and new business models for news."

Students pursuing the M.A. in Entrepreneurial Journalism will study the fundamentals of reporting, writing, and multimedia for three semesters and in the fourth semester will join Certificate candidates in the Entrepreneurial Journalism course.

By the end of the term, each student will have developed his or her own startup project, in consultation with faculty advisers and expert mentors.

On the last day of class, students will present their business plans and compete for awards from the Tow-Knight Center to fund further development of their projects.

Applications are due Oct. 31. Decisions for the 2014 class will be made by late fall or early winter 2013.

The deadline for applying for an M.A. in Entrepreneurial Journalism is January, 2014.