The New School for Social Research


Creative Publishing and Critical Journalism

  • IMG - Creative Publishing and Critical Journalism

    The MA Program in Creative Publishing and Critical Journalism (CPCJ) trains students in the traditions of criticism, theory, and critical writing. It offers a variety of studio courses and working experiences that teach students the skills necessary to design, edit, and distribute journals and books that contain intellectually serious work aimed at general readers. 

    In addition to surveying traditional forms of book and magazine publishing, the program explores the possibilities of new media, placing an emphasis on unorthodox and forward-looking forms such as print-on-demand, small-batch publications, independent press publishing, art books, data journalism, conceptual programming, multimedia, and more.

    What distinguishes CPCJ from traditional journalism programs is its emphasis on design, its focus on a wide variety of contemporary print and digital publishing practices, and its stress on cultural criticism, long-form creative nonfiction, and reflective writing that is deeply informed by rigorous critical theory and research.

    The 30-credit CPCJ program can be completed in one to two years, accommodating both full-time and part-time students. In addition to completing core coursework, students are encouraged to choose from a range of electives in The New School's other world-renowned graduate programs.

    Guided by CPCJ faculty with extensive industry experience, students:

    • Investigate the many forms of contemporary print and online publishing in New York City, including books, magazines, journals, alternative media, print-on-demand, and small-batch publications
    • Gain foundational knowledge of the history, traditions, and styles of cultural criticism and critical theory
    • Develop an understanding of the process of designing, editing, and distributing journals and books containing intellectually serious work across print and online platforms
    • Engage in experiential learning in visual communications and new media technology, drawing on the expertise of Parsons School of Design, a world-class institution for designers and artists housed at The New School
    • Establish relationships with industry professionals and build a professional network

    New York: An International Hub for Creative Publishing and Critical Journalism

    "This is the hour for the experiment; and New York is the place, because it is the greatest social science laboratory in the world."
    - A Proposal for an Independent School of Social Science for Men and Women, 1918

    While creative industries continue to undergo profound transformation, New York City remains home to a unique mix of publishers, news outlets, and other literary organizations. The New School for Social Research is situated in a location ideal for aspiring writers, editors, designers, journalists, and publishers. The program’s faculty, board, and visiting lecturers include individuals who have created leading platforms for journalism and publishing, including the Village Voice, Simon & Schuster, Lapham’s Quarterly, n + 1, Slate, the New York Times, OR Books, the New York Review of Books, Verso Books, the New Inquiry, and Vice Media.

    Career Paths

    Students emerge from the program with a portfolio of work created independently and collaboratively that can demonstrate preparedness for careers in contemporary journalism and publishing. This portfolio reflects a wide range of skills relevant to conceptualizing, creating, designing, and distributing serious writing in traditional and new media.

    This program teaches students how to edit pieces, how to write better, how to think more clearly and critically, and how to design literary texts. Unlike traditional journalism programs, CPCJ teaches students how to design a business plan and lay out a cross-platform publication. It offers grounding in the history of written communication from the printing press to the Internet. And unlike most design programs, this program regards design, communication technology, and form making as part of the continuum of the exchange of ideas.

    View the 2016 Creative Publishing and Critical Journalism Award Ceremony, recognizing individuals, groups, and institutions whose work in the overlapping fields of journalism, publishing, and media shifted public discourse last year. 

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