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Series I: Academics
Series II: Administration
Series III: Alumi and Alumnae
Series IV: Professional Events & Prizes
At a Glance
This collection is arranged in 7 series.
Photographs consist of black and white prints and negatives, color prints and negatives, and color slides and transparencies documenting the activities of the School of Journalism. Images include portraits and events involving students, faculty, administrators, professional journalists, and visitors.
Using the Collection
Rare Book and Manuscript Library
Restrictions on Access
There are no restrictions this collection.
The collection is located on-site.
Terms Governing Use and Reproduction
Single photocopies may be made for research purposes. The RBML maintains ownership of the physical material only. Copyright remains with the creator and his/her heirs. The responsibility to secure copyright permission rests with the patron.
Identification of specific item; Date (if known); Columbia University Graduate School of Journalism Photographs, 1918-2002, University Archives, Rare Book & Manuscript Library, Columbia University in the City of New York.
Related Material at Columbia
About the Finding Aid / Processing Information
Columbia University Libraries, Rare Book and Manuscript Library
This collection was processed by Jennifer Ulrich in 2003.
Finding aid written by Jennifer Ulrich in March 2003.
Finding aid reformatted by Evan Roth (SEAS 201) in November 2008.
Finding aid further edited by Jocelyn Wilk in July 2012.
Additional materials added and finding aid edited by Jocelyn Wilk in August 2017.
2009-10-29 File created.
2019-05-20 EAD was imported spring 2019 as part of the ArchivesSpace Phase II migration.
History / Biographical Note
The School of Journalism was established through monies left to Columbia University in the will of Joseph Pulitzer, renowned photojournalist and newspaper magnate, who passed away in 1911. As he wrote in his will, "There are now special schools for instruction for lawyers, physicians, clergymen, military and naval officers, engineers, architects and artists, but none for the instruction of journalists. That all other professions and not journalism should have the advantage of special training seems to me contrary to reason." [pp. 3-4, "Extracts from the Will of Joseph Pulitzer, died, October 29, 1911]. The original agreements regarding the establishment and organization of the school were made in 1903 and 1904, but the school did not actually open until 1912 – a year after Pulitzer died
Seventy-nine undergraduate and graduate students enrolled in that first class, including a dozen women. Classes convened at several locations around campus, as the Journalism building was still under construction. The building opened the next year, and in 1917 the first Pulitzer Prizes were awarded. The School of Journalism began as an undergraduate school offering a B.Litt. Degree to its graduates, but in 1935 the School became the first in the nation to adopt a program exclusively at the graduate level.
Dean Carl W. Ackerman, one of the first nine to graduate from the School in 1913, spearheaded the school's 1935 transition to become the first graduate school of journalism in the United States. Devoted to intensive, hands-on instruction, the school gave classes of sixty students the lives of journalists, racing around the city on subways to find stories during the day, and drafting articles in a single, large newsroom in the Journalism building well into the night.
The Journalism School's reach and reputation as a unique incubator of talent soared throughout the years, from the foundation of the Maria Moors Cabot Prizes in 1939 to promote inter-American understanding to the establishment of satellite schools in China and Venezuela during the next decade. The school also began to offer coursework in television news and documentary to supplement its traditional focus on newspapers and radio. Approaching its 50th year, the school instituted Journalism Day and the Columbia Journalism Award, and in 1961 established the Columbia Journalism Review, a groundbreaking publication covering trends and developments in the profession.
The Journalism School's sixth decade was an exciting one, as the building added newsrooms, began to dispense the National Magazine Awards, and created the Alfred I. DuPont – Columbia Awards for excellence in broadcast journalism. In 1966 the school brought in Fred Friendly, the legendary former president of CBS News, and opened a new broadcast news laboratory shortly thereafter. Friendly initiated a summer program for minority students, and Luther P. Jackson '51 became the school's first African-American professor.
Innovation with an eye towards tradition continued to guide the Journalism School through the years. The 1960s and 1970s established the blueprint of the school's basic curriculum and codified Reporting and Writing 1 (RW1) as the cornerstone of the Master of Science experience. The creation of the Knight-Bagehot Fellowship to enrich business journalism in 1975 and the 1985 creation of the Delacorte Center for Magazine Journalism gave students invaluable opportunities to specialize. Recognizing that computers and a changing media landscape would revolutionize journalism in the twenty-first century, Dean Joan Konner moved decisively in the 1980s and 90s to ensure that the school offered cutting-edge technology and intensive broadcast experience second to none.
The addition of a Ph.D. Program in 2001, a Master of Arts degree in 2005, and the 2006 opening of the Toni Stabile Center for Investigative Journalism have underlined the Journalism School's continuing vitality as it approaches its centennial. Recently, the opening of the Tow Center for Digital Journalism and the announcement of a new dual M.S. degree in Computer Science and Journalism have demonstrated the school's continued commitment to innovation and its endless capacity to evolve along with a field that is always on the move.
Former Deans of the Graduate School of Journalism:
Talcott Williams, (Director) 1912-1919
John W. Cunliff, (Director) 1920-1931
Carl William Ackerman, 1931-1955
Edward W. Barrett, 1956-1968
Elie Abel, 1969-1979
Osborn Elliott, 1979-1987
Joan Konner, 1988-1997
Tom Goldstein, 1997-2002
Nicholas Lemann, 2003-2013
Steve Coll, 2013-