Garcia and Mccutcheon Earn First Masters Degrees in Entrepreneurial Journalism

Brianne Garcia (center) and Michael Mccutcheon (not shown) are the first ever recipients of an M.A. in Entrepreneurial Journalism. (Photo by John Smock)

The first two candidates for a Master of Arts in Entrepreneurial Journalism at the CUNY Graduate School of Journalism have completed the requirements and will be awarded their degrees.

Brianne Garcia and Michael Mccutcheon both started out in the regular M.A. in Journalism program in Fall 2011, then added on a fourth-semester entrepreneurial sequence in Spring 2012 to become the nation’s first recipients of an M.A. in Entrepreneurial Journalism. They were joined for the semester by 13 other entrepreneurial fellows who will earn an Advanced Certificate in Entrepreneurial Journalism.

The entrepreneurial curriculum includes courses in new business models for news and business fundamentals, as well as a project incubator, technology immersion, and new-media apprenticeship.

During the program, Garcia developed a startup called PARCELD, described as “online space that will match women on the hunt for a specific style item with brands and retailers who have what they’re looking for.” Mccutcheon’s project was Newsfly, “an online platform for visualizing and talking about people in the news.”

“It’s been an exhilarating semester with a terrific entrepreneurial bunch,” said Jeremy Caplan, education director of the Tow-Knight Center for Entrepreneurial Journalism. “We’ve essentially launched an educational startup within the Journalism School, which is both challenging and exciting. But what was most gratifying over the past few months was seeing projects move from raw ideas to implemented prototypes. The ultimate impact of the program won’t be clear until years from now, but the early progress of this batch of students suggests that we’re moving in a good direction.”

Both Garcia and Mccutcheon were the first recipients of $5,000 J. Douglas Creighton scholarships for innovation and disruption in news media, underwritten by John Paton, CEO of Journal Register Company, MediaNews, and Digital First Media.

Garcia, a St. Louis native and University of Missouri graduate, spent three years blogging about fashion at Dope Ambition before coming to CUNY.

Mccutcheon was an associate at the Open Society Foundations, where he supported nonprofit journalism initiatives including the development of tech tools for journalists. He holds a bachelor’s degree in psychology from Pomona College.