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Fall 2023 Edition
Alumni & Friends Magazine

100 Years of Journalism Education

The University’s esteemed journalism program got its start 100 years ago, when English professor Raymond Slutz offered the first OHIO journalism course.

Emma Henterly, BSJ '10 | October 2, 2023


The OHIO marching band isn’t the only campus mainstay celebrating its centennial this year. The University’s esteemed journalism program also got its start 100 years ago, when English professor Raymond Slutz offered the first OHIO journalism course. Here’s a look at how things evolved from that single course into the E.W. Scripps School of Journalism we know today.

In 1924, the Department of Journalism, led by Director George Starr Lasher, was established within the College of Liberal Arts. The year after that saw the start of experiential learning in the program, with students writing and editing copy for The Athens Messenger.

The program became the School of Journalism in 1936, and in 1947 a public relations sequence was added to the existing offerings (newswriting and editing, feature and magazine writing, newspaper advertising, business management, pictorial journalism, and radio journalism, which became radio-TV journalism in 1954). WOUI-FM, the precursor to WOUB, became the third FM college station in America shortly after, in 1949.

In the late 1960s, the College of Communication was established to house the School of Journalism and other programs. Its first dean, John Wilhelm, was a former World War II correspondent and one of the first reporters to cover D-Day.

Students talk into microphones, recording in a podcast studio

Left to right, Adam Ward, BSJ ’25, and Andrew Owusu, BSPEX ’25, during a recording of Pushing Podcast in the Schoonover Center podcasting studios. Photo by Dylan Benedict, BSVC ’22

The Scripps Howard Foundation began supporting the School of Journalism around the same time, but that relationship changed in 1982 with a $1.5 million endowment from the foundation that prompted renaming the school to the E.W. Scripps School of Journalism. The following year, the Associated Press Managing Editors Association named the school as one of 10 outstanding journalism programs in the country.

After sharing the Radio-Television Building with the School of Radio-Television since 1970, Scripps landed in its own building—the newly renovated building previously known as Carnegie Hall—on College Green in 1986. Nearly 30 years later, the Scripps College of Communication began moving into its current home in the Schoonover Center for Communication, on the site of the former Baker University Center, completing the transition in 2015.

Since its inception, alumni of OHIO’s journalism program have earned more than two dozen Pulitzer Prizes, and five have won the College Photographer of the Year award since 1978.

Several events this spring and summer have honored the school’s milestone, and more opportunities to celebrate are forthcoming this fall. Don’t miss the Journalism Centennial Homecoming Celebration at Alden Library (Oct. 6, 4 p.m.), which will feature guest speakers and exhibits that detail the historic reporting produced by OHIO alumni. And on Nov. 2, the library will open its exhibit titled “A Celebration of the Impact on Journalism by the E.W. Scripps Company.” The date coincides with the 145th anniversary of the founding of Cleveland’s Penny Press newspaper—the beginning of the E.W. Scripps Co.—by Edward Willis “E.W.” Scripps and his sister, Ellen Browning Scripps.

Learn More About the 100 Year Anniversary

Main image caption: Adam Hochberg, BSC '85 (left), and Janie (Leonowich) Linabarger, BSC '84, in the WOUB studio. Photo courtesy of the Mahn Archives & Special Collections