Welcome to YJI

Our mission

The Yale Journalism Initiative empowers Yale students to pursue careers in journalism by bridging the gap between Yale’s superlative writing instruction and the dynamic – often opaque – world of professional journalism. The YJI team provides career guidance, organizes events with inspiring journalists, and offers programming to support students in their journalistic ambitions. YJI also provides internship funding to students who complete English 467 (Journalism), the core requirement for becoming a Yale Journalism Scholar.

What is a Yale Journalism Scholar and how do I become one?

The Yale Journalism Initiative exists for all Yale students interested in journalism–including those studying at Yale’s graduate schools. Anyone in the Yale community is encouraged to reach out to the YJI team for professional counseling and to attend YJI’s events.


Those students who wish to demonstrate their dedication to journalism–and receive journalism internship funding–can work to become Yale Journalism Scholars. In the belief that the best preparation for a reporting career is a broad, liberal arts education, Yale does not offer a journalism major. Becoming a Yale Journalism Scholar is the best way for students to show potential employers their commitment to the craft.  Learn more about the requirements and what to do if you don’t get into the gateway class here.

Our history

Yale has long produced excellent journalists, including Anne Applebaum (The Atlantic), Michael Barbaro (The New York Times), Ellen Barry (The New York Times), Emily Bazelon (The New York Times), Marie Colvin (The Sunday Times), Anderson Cooper(CNN), Susan Dominus (The New York Times), Linda Greenhouse (formerly The New York Times), Jake Halpern (Various), Elizabeth Kolbert (The New Yorker), David Leonhardt (The New York Times), Joanne Lipman (formerly USAToday), Adam Liptak (The New York Times), Jane Mayer (The New Yorker), Wesley Morris (The New York Times), George Packer (Various), Motoko Rich (The New York Times), Jodi Rudoren (The Forward), Ari Shapiro (NPR), Ben Smith (Semafor), Sarah Stillman (The New Yorker), Clarissa Ward (CNN), Bob Woodward (The Washington Post), Fareed Zakaria (CNN), Carl Zimmer (The New York Times) and many others. The Yale Journalism Initiative was conceived to help current Yale students take their places in this tradition. 

The program began in 2006 with a generous grant from Steven Brill ’72 LAW ’75, the founder of The American Lawyer magazine and Court TV, and his wife, Cynthia Margolin Brill ’72. (Professor Brill now teaches the fall session of English 467.) It has since benefited from the financial support of Bob Woodward ’65 and Elsa Walsh, as well as Roger Strong 79 and Bradley Graham 74. 

Since its establishment, the Yale Journalism Initiative has helped launch the careers of many accomplished journalists including Isaac Arnsdorf (The Washington Post), Maya Averbuch (Bloomberg), Spencer Bokat-Lindell (The New York Times), Elaina Plott Calabro (The Atlantic), Zeke Miller (The Associated Press), Vivian Nereim (The New York Times), Martine Powers (The Washington Post),  Aliyya Swaby (ProPublica), and Vivian Yee  (The New York Times). The program’s director, Haley Cohen Gilliland, is also a grateful alumna of the initiative, having graduated from Yale as a YJI scholar in 2011.