Journalism Initiative

The Yale Journalism Initiative began in 2006 with a generous grant from Yale alumnus Steven Brill ’72 LAW ’75, the founder of The American Lawyer magazine and Court TV, and his wife, Cynthia Margolin Brill ’72. Its purpose is to encourage and equip students in Yale College, and in its graduate and professional schools, who aspire to contribute to democracy in the United States and around the world by becoming journalists.

Believing that the best preparation for a career in writing is a broad, liberal-arts education, Yale does not offer a journalism major. There are numerous opportunities at Yale to study writing and to write for and edit student publications, and the Initiative aims to further support certain students, those selected as Yale Journalism Scholars, with an intensive journalism seminar in the English department; career counseling; support for summer internships; talks by visiting journalists; and access to a network of alumni in journalism. Details about becoming a Journalism Scholar can be found here.

Many of the country’s finest journalists are Yale graduates, including Bob Woodward, Tom Wolfe, former Harper’s editor Lewis Lapham,National Review founder William F. Buckley, Slate editor Jacob Weisberg, New Yorker staff writer Jane Mayer, genocide expert and Pulitzer Prize winner Samantha Power, and editor-in-chief Paul Steiger. The Yale Journalism Initiative is designed to help current Yale students take their places in this tradition.

Use this site to learn more about the Initiative’s programs. If you have further questions, please contact the Initiative’s coordinator, Mark Oppenheimer, by email (


Becoming a YJI Scholar

All students who have taken English 467 Journalism and would like to be certified Yale Journalism Scholars should bring hard copy to Mark Oppenheimer’s mailbox in the Writing Center an envelope containing: 1) your five best clips, 2) a one-page resume, and 3) a letter saying how you have fulfilled the requirements. The deadline is April 1.