Columbia Journalism School announced today that Raju Narisetti, a leading digital media executive and editor, will join the faculty as Professor of Professional Practice and also serve as the new director of the Knight-Bagehot Fellowship in Economics and Business Journalism. As a full-time faculty member, Narisetti will focus on topics such as business journalism, media entrepreneurship, and the business of journalism, in addition to overseeing one of the most sought-after business journalism fellowships in the country.
As the Knight-Bagehot Director, he succeeds Terri Thompson, who directed the fellowship program for the last 25 years and announced her retirement earlier this year.
“We’re thrilled to welcome such a visionary and experienced editor and media leader as Raju to lead the Knight-Bagehot program,” said Steve Coll, Dean of the Columbia Journalism School and Henry R. Luce Professor of Journalism. “The program has been one of the school’s crown jewels these last two decades and Raju has a strong, exciting vision for how Knight-Bagehot might grow and strengthen in the years ahead. We’re also excited to have Raju join the Columbia faculty where we know he will contribute to the school in many ways.”
The Knight-Bagehot fellowship is a rigorous annual program designed to reinforce and strengthen the ability of journalists to do more sophisticated business journalism, a need that has only become more acute in a complex, interconnected, global world. Business is increasingly being reshaped by technology, data, privacy, cybersecurity, philanthropy, immigration, environment, algorithmic trading, the emergence of Blockchain and cryptocurrencies, and the rollback of post-crisis regulations, all of which will require current and future business journalists to be continuously better at their jobs in how they serve their audiences, globally.
The 10-month Knight-Bagehot fellowship, which was established in 1975, has granted 430 fellowships over the last 43 years. The program’s reputation is fostered by the school’s journalistic excellence and the program’s association with the Columbia Business School, where the fellows take many of their courses. Its alumni are currently working in 72 different news and information organizations globally.
“I am delighted to join the journalism faculty and also lead the Knight-Bagehot Fellowship program at Columbia University,” said Narisetti, who will formally start in the fall. “Both business journalism and the business of journalism are facing unprecedented uncertainty and tumult. The Columbia Journalism School, which is also home to the Brown Institute for Media Innovation and The Tow Center for Digital Journalism, coupled with the world-renowned Columbia Business School, offers a unique opportunity to explore and innovatively address these challenges.”
This year’s Knight-Bagehot cohort of 10 early and mid-career, multi-media business journalists, who will start their program in September, currently work in newsrooms around the world, and represent publishers such as CNBC, The Wall Street Journal, The Minneapolis Star Tribune, Bloomberg, NPR, and The New York Times.
Narisetti most recently served as chief executive of Gizmodo Media Group, which publishes well-known digital journalism sites such as Gizmodo, Jezebel, Deadspin, Lifehacker and The Root. As the chief executive, he oversaw a significant expansion in the audience and journalistic ambitions of the group, to a monthly readership of about 116 million.
Prior to Gizmodo, Narisetti was News Corp.’s senior vice president of strategy, helping the media giant diversify and establish itself as the world’s largest digital real-estate listings company, in addition to its news and information portfolio that includes The Wall Street Journal, The Times of London and Harper-Collins. He was actively involved in the company’s mergers and acquisition strategy, spearheading new revenue opportunities, particularly in Asia.
As a business journalist and editor, Narisetti spent 14 years at The Wall Street Journal, after first starting as a summer intern there in 1991. Among the roles he held at WSJ were Editor, The Wall Street Journal Europe; Deputy Managing Editor in charge of Europe, Middle East and Africa for the global WSJ; and Managing Editor, Digital.
Narisetti also served as the managing editor for digital and new products at The Washington Post, and was primarily responsible for integrating the Post’s then separate print and online newsroom and businesses. His responsibilities at The Post also included managing web, mobile, engagement, social media, interactive, design, editing desk, video and photojournalists teams.
He is also the Founder, in 2007, of Mint, now India’s second-largest business newspaper and website, which is today known for its pioneering journalistic code of conduct and ethics in India. Narisetti began his business journalism career at The Economic Times in New Delhi, and his U.S. journalism career at The Dayton Daily News.
Narisetti is a Board Trustee of the Wikimedia Foundation, which operates Wikipedia, one of the Top 10 websites in the world, and is on the National Advisory Council of the Democracy Fund, a bipartisan foundation resource to strengthen the democratic process in the United States.
He holds an M.A. from Indiana University and a B.A. (Economics) from Osmania University and an MBA from IRMA in India. Narisetti lives in Brooklyn with his wife, Kim Barrington Narisetti, and daughters Leila and Zola.
The designer of Indian constitution Dr. B R Ambedkar and “Punjab Kesari” Lala Lajpat Rai are the alumni of Columbia University.
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