Department of Journalism

Department History

The history of journalism at Penn State began when courses in journalism were offered starting in 1914. Franklin C. Banner is considered the man who brought journalism to Penn State.

The Department of Journalism was formed in 1930 and was part of the School of the Liberal Arts. Starting with in the fall of 1954, Penn State established a graduate program in journalism.

The Department of Journalism offered courses in journalism, such as newspaper reporting and correspondence, advanced copy reading and sports reporting. The department also offered advertising courses such as advertising layout, selling of advertising and advertising campaigns.

The Department of Journalism became the School of Journalism on July 1, 1955. The School of Journalism was comprised of two departments: the Department of Advertising and the Department of News and Editorial Journalism. The school was one of 39 accredited programs at one point during this time.

George Palmer was slated to become the head of the school to take over for Banner as part of the school’s new status, but he declined the position to pursue other interests. I.W. Cole became the first director of the School of Journalism in 1956, nearly a year after the school’s inception. He would stay for one year. H. Eugene Goodwin became Cole’s successor in 1957 and would stay until 1969. The broadcast major was introduced in 1960 and was sponsored jointly by the School of Journalism, the Department of Speech and the Department of Theatre Arts.

The School of Journalism became the School of Communications in 1985 and housed a greater variety of programs, which included journalism, film-video, advertising/public relations and telecommunications. Ten years later, we became the College of Communications, and in 2000 the College created departments, including the Department of Journalism.