Are you seeking one-on-one college counseling and/or essay support? Limited spots are now available. Click here to learn more.

Top Feeders to News and Media

Few fields have changed more over the past decade than that of journalism.

This once stable profession has been rocked by forces including (but not limited to): extreme politicization, social media, clickbait, drying up advertisement revenues, and the proliferation of citizen-journalists. Yet, certain monolithic organizations have weathered the storm and adapted to the changing milieu, still possessing a wide reader/viewership as we progress through the 2020s. Teens looking to enter the field of journalism should know which colleges and universities tend to have the strongest connections to these towering media institutions, as they may present some of the most coveted opportunities in the field. This brings us to the top feeders to news and media.

To identify “top feeder” institutions into America’s most desirable news and media outlets, we relied on publicly available data from LinkedIn, a professional networking site featuring profiles of more than 175 million workers across the United States. Specifically, we identified and analyzed the undergraduate backgrounds of approximately 54,000 employees across eleven of the most reputable American news outlets, including the Associated Press, ABC, CBS, NBC, CNN, Fox News, MSNBC, NPR, the New York Times, the Wall Street Journal, and the Washington Post. We then constructed two lists. The first list looks at the raw number of alumni employed by these select companies. The second list looks at the top 30 producers when adjusted for undergraduate enrollment, which allows us to highlight schools that may be smaller in size, but that still send a consistent flow of graduates directly into the halls of media organizations like the New York Times and NPR.

Finally, we identified the two top employers for each “feeder” institution. The first top employer is the media company employing the most undergraduate alumni from a particular school. The second top employer is the media company with the highest share of employees from that undergraduate school. For example, NYU’s first top employer is the New York Times, because more NYU (undergraduate) alumni work at the New York Times than at any of the other highlighted news outlets. NYU’s second top employer is MSNBC because its graduates comprise a larger share of all employees at the MSNBC than they do at any other outlet in our analysis. If a school’s first and second top employer are the same, we indicate the outlet with the second highest share of employees instead. Measuring both total graduates employed and institutional share of a media company’s employees allows us to identify schools offering the best pipelines to smaller yet highly prestigious outlets, such as NPR, which may draw heavily from one particular institution but wouldn’t otherwise make an institution’s list of top employers because of its relatively small size.

Updated July 2022

Rank (Total)Institution# EmployedTop Employer (Total)Top Employer (Share)
1New York University1110The New York TimesMSNBC
2Columbia University623The New York TimesThe Wall Street Journal
3Northwestern University530The New York TimesNBC News
4University of Maryland415The Washington PostNPR
5University of California, Berkeley413The New York TimesThe Associated Press
6Boston University393The New York TimesFox News
7Harvard University387The New York TimesNPR
8Syracuse University348CNNCBS News
9George Washington University318CNNMSNBC
10American University316The Washington PostNPR
11University of Missouri308The New York TimesThe Associated Press
12Yale University307The New York TimesThe Wall Street Journal
13Georgetown University297The Washington PostNPR
14University of Southern California280CNNCBS News
15University of Michigan267The New York TimesFox News
16Fordham University254The New York TimesFox News
17University of Florida238CNNFox News
18Cornell University224The New York TimesThe Wall Street Journal
19University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill220The New York TimesMSNBC
20Stanford University218The New York TimesThe Wall Street Journal
21Hofstra University217Fox NewsMSNBC
22University of California, Los Angeles215NBC NewsThe Associated Press
23University of Texas at Austin214The New York TimesNPR
24Penn State University212The New York TimesFox News
25University of Pennsylvania206The New York TimesThe Wall Street Journal
25University of Virginia206The Washington PostNPR
27University of Georgia198CNNABC News
28Princeton University189The New York TimesThe Associated Press
29Brown University186The New York TimesThe Wall Street Journal
30University of Wisconsin-Madison148The New York TimesNPR

Top Feeder Rankings (adjusted for undergraduate enrollment)

Rank (Adjusted)Institution# EmployedTop Employer (Total)Top Employer (Share)
1Columbia University623The New York TimesThe Wall Street Journal
2Harvard University387The New York TimesNPR
3Yale University307The New York TimesThe Wall Street Journal
4Northwestern University530The New York TimesNBC News
5New York University1110The New York TimesMSNBC
6Georgetown University297The Washington PostNPR
7Emerson College148NBC NewsCBS News
8American University316The Washington PostNPR
9Princeton University189The New York TimesThe Associated Press
10Hofstra University217Fox NewsMSNBC
11Stanford University218The New York TimesThe Wall Street Journal
12Barnard College87The New York TimesNBC News
13Weselyan University88The New York TimesMSNBC
14Brown University186The New York TimesThe Wall Street Journal
15George Washington University318CNNMSNBC
16Fordham University254The New York TimesFox News
17Williams College49The New York TimesABC News
18Syracuse University348CNNCBS News
19Ithaca College119CNNFox News
20Boston University393The New York TimesFox News
21Middlebury College60The New York TimesNPR
22Amherst College38The New York TimesThe Associated Press
23Wellesley College49The New York TimesNPR
24University of Pennsylvania206The New York TimesThe Wall Street Journal
25Dartmouth College85The New York TimesThe Wall Street Journal
25Duke University122The New York TimesThe Wall Street Journal
27University of Chicago113The New York TimesNPR
28Cornell University224The New York TimesThe Wall Street Journal
29University of Southern California280CNNCBS News
30University of Maryland415The Washington PostNPR

Colleges Worth Your Money

2024 Edition

A Guide to What America's Top Schools Can Do for You


Buy on Amazon Now
College Transitions Dataverse Book Image