Chase and report exciting stories, blog, build relationships with administrators, correct bad grammar, and be a part of Columbia’s oldest tradition, while making a difference within the community

Business & Innovations

Gain transferable skills at the largest student business on campus. Design and market products and events, analyze data, generate revenue, and more.


Build products used by thousands. Gain skills you’ll need to succeed in a professional software development environment. Learn good development practices along the way.


Make sure everything we produce is beautiful. Take photos, produce films, draw illustrations, create graphics, design websites, and craft marketing campaigns while learning the tools you'll need.

What is our mission?

Spectator makes an active intervention in enhancing the Columbia experience for its students. We equip students with the information they need to thrive, and take a skeptical and critical look at any factors that prevent them from doing so. Through this work, members of our staff gain transferable skills as people, thinkers, and leaders so that they too can thrive.

What our staff gets out of the experience of working at Spectator is as important to us as the work we do. We take the growth and development of our staff members so seriously that we consider it an explicit part of our mission, not of secondary benefit to what Spectator creates. Through doing the work of journalism, business, and technology, our staff members grow as people, thinkers, and leaders in a way that is transferable to any industry.

who Should join?

No matter what industry you want to pursue, Spectator is the best way to spend your extracurricular time on campus. There are many opportunities to join Spectator’s staff right away. Any first-year students who are accepted as staff members will be eligible to apply to Spectator’s work-study program upon the successful completion of their training. Spectator can serve as a student's work-study job for those that receive financial aid.

What is the application process?

The application for all Spectator staff is as follows: all are welcome to interview during the second week of classes after attending an Open House (see form below). Those who interview successfully will be selected to participate in the application and training process. All trainees will undergo a section-specific training process which will last about 7-8 weeks. If you have any questions about the process, feel free to email us at

Whether you're a first-year or a returning student, join us at an Open House at our offices and RSVP on Facebook:

Journalism Open Houses
Saturday September 2, 3 p.m. - 4 p.m. in Lerner Party Space
Saturday September 9, 3 p.m. - 4 p.m. in Lerner 555

Business & Innovations Open Houses
Saturday September 2, 4:30 p.m. - 5:30 p.m. in Lerner Party Space
Saturday September 9, 4:30 p.m. - 5:30 p.m. in Lerner 555

SpecTech Open House
Sunday, September 3, 4:30 p.m. - 5:30 p.m. in Lerner Party Space

Visuals Open House
Sunday, September 3, 3 p.m. - 4 p.m. in Lerner Party Space

why the application process?

As an entirely student-run non-profit organization, the work that Spectator does is challenging, and we therefore must only assign staff positions to those who thrive in the application and training process. But don't worry — there are many, many Spectator staff members who will bend over backwards in preparing you to take this leap. The individuals who receive staff jobs will prove during the training period that they will be able to handle the job. 

to get started, fill out the form below.

Please note that by filing out this form, you will automatically be subscribed to Spectrum's Required Reading email, a weekly digest of tips and guides to get you ready for Columbia.

Name *
Select the division(s) of Spectator that interest you. *
In what industry (or industries) are you interested in pursuing a career? *

organizational highlights

switching to a weekly print model

In Spring 2014, the Columbia Daily Spectator became the first Ivy League newspaper to shift out of the daily print model. We did this so we could focus more on the quality of the work we do and less on its presentation in print, and to shift financial resources to areas like work-study that were very important to us. A year into the decision, we couldn't be happier. 

partnership with the washington post

In September 2014, the Washington Post began providing our publications with digital tools that enhance our journalism and expand our options for storytelling. This technology is what The Post uses every day for its own journalists, and it has already helped Spectator elevate the ways we can present stories online.  Our partnership also gives our product and development teams great access to a world-class tech shop. Spectator also launched a new website in August 2015; the site, though designed and developed by Spec staff, is powered by technology from the Washington Post.

expanded work-study program

Juggling a work-study job and Spectator on top of a full academic course load can be challenging, which is why Spectator can actually serve as the work-study job for those staff members accepted into the program. Spectator's goal is to cover as many staff members as is financially possible, and can currently cover nearly fifty students.


Across all of our websites and apps, the work we do is read and used by thousands and thousands of members of the Columbia community each and every day. We take that responsibility very seriously, and constantly seek to improve the degree to which our work helps our audience get the most out of their Columbia experience. 


Spectator's extensive alumni network allows for mentorship opportunities and internship leads. There are hundreds of alumni working in every industry imaginable who will want to get to know you just because you're a Speccie.