School of Journalism celebrates 60 years - looks forward to another 60

In the old days, production of publications such as the Epitaph and the Wildcat was truly a cut and paste operation.

Video display terminals were all the rage when the department acquired them in the 1970s.

Today, journalism students are working on multiple platforms to produce stories that inform the public. 

Making History:

For six decades, the University of Arizona journalism program has been preparing students to cover complex events and issues wherever they occur, locally, nationally or internationally. In the school’s computer laboratories and seminar rooms, students work on stories that appear in real-world news media, and study the political, economic, legal and ethical issues that journalists face in the global information age.

The Department of Journalism -- as it was first known -- officially began operations in January 1951, with Douglas D. Martin as its head. Before departmental status was approved, courses in journalism had been included in the Department of English curriculum.  

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Sixty-Year Spotlight:

Sixty years ago, UA journalism students reported on a different world, writing in longhand or banging on typewriter keys. They would go on to become editors, celebrity reporters, professors, and even a CIA intelligence analyst—all with fond memories of the program that shaped them. They remember the stress, the deadlines, and the valuable mentoring. They remember the Auto E that haunted even the earliest journalism students.

For the class of 1951, the journalism department served as a launching point, preparing its graduates to communicate at home and abroad, with presidents and celebrities.  

Read their stories.



When did the journalism program start producing the Epitaph? Move into (and out of) the Franklin Building? Begin a workshop for minority journalism students? 

Check the timeline of many important events in the School of Journalism's history.


A History in Pictures:

View a slideshow of moments in the School of Journalism's history.


Zenger Awards Dinner:

Our 60-year history will be part of the celebration when we award the John Peter and Anna Catherine Zenger Award to Rocío Gallegos and Sandra Rodríguez, investigative reporters in Ciudad Juárez, on Oct. 12.

Read about the Zenger Awards activities.

Buy tickets to the dinner.


Got Photos? Memories:

Share old photos or memories of your time in the UA journalism program on our Facebook page!

Under the Volcano: Why Real Reporting Matters So Much

Read a reflection by Mort Rosenblum, global journalist and professor of practice in the School of Journalism, on journalism then and now.

Published Date: 

09/19/2012 - 9:25am