Emily Bell


Emily Bell is the Humanitas Visiting Professor in Media 2015–16

Emily Bell is director of the Tow Center for Digital Journalism at Columbia's Graduate School of Journalism. Emily worked as a leading print and online journalist and editor for over twenty years prior to joining the Tow Center as its inaugural Director in September 2010. The majority of Emily’s career was spent at Guardian News and Media, first as a reporter and business editor for The Observer newspaper, moving in 2000 to take charge of the Guardian’s network of websites. As editor-in-chief across Guardian websites and director of digital content for Guardian News and Media, Emily led the web team in pioneering live blogging, multimedia formats, data and social media ahead of many other mainstream news outlets. Under Emily’s direction, guardian.co.uk became one of the world’s leading digital news brands, winning four Webby awards in five years for ‘best newspaper on the web’ and numerous other UK industry awards. She continues to write and blog about developments in the media and journalism.

While in Cambridge Emily will give an open lecture,  converse with Professor Mary Beard, and participate in a symposium. She will also participate in the Women of the World Festival on Saturday 5 March.

About the Professorship

The Humanitas Chair in Media has been made possible by the generous support of the Blavatnik Family Foundation and the Weidenfeld Hoffmann Trust.

At a time when new forms of communication, and in particular social media, are being used as tools for revolution and revolt, the Humanitas Chair in Media will address the intertwined issues of journalism, freedom and democracy in what is an increasingly digital age. Visiting Professors in the fields of social sciences and humanities will explore the impact of the internet and new technologies as well as new media’s relationship to more traditional forms.

Previous Humanitas Visiting Professors in Media

2013-14 Alastair Campbell (writer, communicator and strategist)
2012-13: Eric Schmidt (Executive Chairman, Google)
2011-12: Manuel Castells (University Professor and the Wallis Annenberg Chair in Communication Technology and Society at the University of Southern California, Los Angeles)
2010-11: Mathias Döpfner (CEO Axel Springer)

Standing Committee

John Thompson (Sociology)
Allègre Hadida (Judge Business School)
John Naughton (Wolfson College) 
Anne Alexander (CRASSH/POLIS)

Hosting College

St John's College


Humanitas Media


September 2015 - June 2016