The mission of the School of Journalism is to explore and to help students explore the institutions, procedures, professional skills, and audiences of journalism and mass communication. Our subject is how the media mediate, and what this process of mediation means for public life in America and around the world. This mission is both an academic and a professional one; it is about learning, teaching, and doing. To this end, we are committed to scholarly research in journalism and mass communication, to liberal education in the arts and sciences, and to professional training in media work.
The mission of the baccalaureate program of the School of Journalism is to help students learn to read, think, and communicate clearly, critically, and creatively. The school is committed to liberal education in the arts and sciences as well as to professional training in the skills of journalism and mass communication. The school believes that both breadth and depth of learning must characterize the undergraduate experience. To this end, the Bachelor of Arts in Journalism degree emphasizes:
Indiana University, established in 1820 as a tiny seminary in Bloomington, eventually became one of the first state universities to teach journalism. Instruction began in 1893 with three students in the first class. Classes in writing and reporting were taught at intervals during the next few years, supplementing the students' liberal arts background in English, history, and economics.
A Department of Journalism was established in the College of Arts and Sciences in 1911, although students could not major in journalism until 1932. Professor Joseph Piercy was named as the first head of the department; he served until 1938. In 1911 the Department of Journalism took over administration of the Indiana Daily Student, the campus newspaper established in 1867 as a student-owned enterprise.
Among the prominent alumni of the Piercy years were Don Mellett, '13, killed in Canton, Ohio, while investigating crime in the city, a campaign that won a Pulitzer Prize; Ernie Pyle, '23, famed correspondent in World War II; Nelson Poynter, '24, publisher of the St. Petersburg Times and cofounder of Congressional Quarterly; and Mark Ferree, '26, who rose to top management in Scripps Howard.
John E. Stempel, an alumnus of the program and a formidable teacher of reporting and editing, served as head of the Department of Journalism from 1938 until his retirement in 1968. It was in the Stempel years that journalism, after moving through various offices on campus, found its home in Ernie Pyle Hall in 1954. Also during his leadership, the High School Journalism Institute began in 1946, directed by Professor Gretchen Kemp. Stempel graduated many distinguished journalists. Frank Bourgholtzer, '40, had a successful career at NBC News in radio and television. Robert E. Thompson, '49, became a White House correspondent, and then head of the Hearst Newspapers Washington Bureau. Gene Miller, '50, won two Pulitzer Prizes for The Miami Herald. Kenneth Olshan, '54, became head of Wells Rich and Greene Worldwide, one of the country's top advertising agencies. Dan Thomasson, '57, directed the Washington Bureau of Scripps Howard Newspapers. George Gill, '57, was publisher of The (Louisville) Courier-Journal.
The Department of Journalism began an M.A. program in the late 1920s and a Ph.D. program in mass communication in 1966. Graduates from these programs have become leaders in journalism education. Del Brinkman, M.A. '64, Ph.D. '71, has served as dean of the University of Kansas School of Journalism and vice chancellor for academic affairs at Kansas; journalism program director for the John S. and James L. Knight Foundation; and dean of the School of Journalism and Mass Communications at the University of Colorado. Tom Bowers, B.A. '64, Ph.D. '71, serves as senior associate dean and James L. Knight professor of the School of Journalism at the University of North Carolina. Both Brinkman and Bowers served as president of the Association for Education in Journalism and Mass Communication. So also did David Weaver, B.A. '68, M.A. '69, Ph.D. '74, now the Roy W. Howard Research Professor in the Indiana University School of Journalism.
Under the leadership of Richard G. Gray, who became chairman of the Department of Journalism in 1968, the school's curriculum changed its emphasis. Since 1969 journalism majors have had to study a core curriculum that balances instruction in the skills of writing, visual communication, reporting, and editing with instruction in the history, economics, law, responsibilities, and ethics of journalism. The Indiana Daily Student was separated from the curriculum; it and the Arbutus, the campus yearbook, were established as independent publications administered by a publisher selected by the journalism faculty. To provide a modern, technological environment for research and teaching in journalism, Gray led a national fundraising campaign for the renovation of Ernie Pyle Hall, completed in 1976.
Graduates have since distinguished themselves academically and professionally. Paul Tash, '76, won a Marshall Scholarship to the University of Edinburgh and now is executive editor of the St. Petersburg Times. Bill Foley, '76, won a Pulitzer Prize for photography. Michel du Cille, '81, has won two for The Miami Herald and now is a picture editor at the Washington Post. Tom French, '81, won a Pulitzer for reporting in 1998. Barbara Toman, '83, won a Rhodes Scholarship to Oxford University and works in the London bureau of the Wall Street Journal. Wendy Weyen, '85, and Jennifer Orsi, '88, won the Wells Award, the highest award for academic and leadership excellence that students can win at Indiana University, and both work for the St. Petersburg Times.
The school and its alumni pay tribute to the achievements of many of these outstanding graduates through undergraduate scholarships named in their honor.
In 1974 Journalism became a school with Richard Gray as director. In 1982 Journalism became a system-wide school, responsible for the coordination of journalism education on all eight campuses of Indiana University. Gray became dean and presided over the founding of an undergraduate major at Indiana University-Purdue University Indianapolis in an independent School of Journalism. Before 1974 journalism courses had been taught at Indianapolis in the Department of English, mainly by Professor Shirley Quate, who also advised the student-run campus newspaper, The Sagamore, which first appeared in 1971. Acting Associate Dean Floyd Arpan established the School of Journalism in Cavanaugh Hall. As the program grew under the leadership of Associate Dean James Brown, the school moved in 1984 to offices in the Education-Social Work building. The school took over administration of The Sagamore, appointing its first publisher in 1985.
In 1989 the School of Journalism in Bloomington separated from the College of Arts and Sciences and became independent. Since 1990, students in the School of Journalism on both campuses have enrolled in a new degree program, the Bachelor of Arts in Journalism (B.A.J.).