The Troubles of Journalism: A Critical Look at What's Right and Wrong with the Press

By William A. Hachten | Go to book overview

CHAPTER 12
Educating Journalists

By maintaining close relations between journalism and liberal
arts, the [journalism] faculty hopes that the students will not
only come to see how much the exercise of their technique
depends on content but will habitually employ their human-
istic knowledge in their journalistic exercises
.

-- Professor David P. Host ( 1966)

Journalism has been taught at a number of colleges and universities for about 100 years. Willard G. Bleyer began teaching a journalism course at the University of Wisconsin in 1905, and his scholarly interests later greatly influenced the field. The country's first separate School of Journalism, with newspaperman Walter Williams as dean, began in 1908 at the University of Missouri. The Pulitzer School of Journalism at Columbia University, backed with a $2 million gift from the New York World publisher, enrolled its first class in 1912.

There was a widespread belief that the nation's newspapers could be improved and elevated if the journalists were better educated as well as more ethical and public-spirited. Some impetus for journalism education certainly came from public revulsion toward the sensationalism and excesses of yellow journalism, which was so prominent at the time.

The growth of journalism education has been steady and at times explosive, especially since broadening its curriculum to include radio and television, advertising, PR, plus communication theory and processes. As such, the field has paralleled and mirrored the growth of mass communication in general.

In 1995, total enrollment in education for journalism and mass communication stabilized at 141,167 students in programs at 427 colleges and universities ( Kosicki & Becker, 1996).

-152-

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