SCHOOL OF JOURNALISM AND MASS MEDIA TIMELINE
The School of Journalism and Mass Media has a long and colorful history, with several name changes, directors, and a variety of locations. Here's our story, dating back to where it all began.
This timeline was conceived, compiled, and is continually updated by JAMM faculty member Glenn Mosley. His sources include The Argonaut, personal interviews, “This Crested Hill” by Keith C. Peterson, UI course catalogs and department files at the University of Idaho library. Historic photos provided by UI Special Collections and Archives.
- The Argonaut, the independent student newspaper, is published for the first time. Guy Wolfe was the first editor. Over the years, hundreds of students learn about reporting, writing, editing, and layout/design while working here.
- The Gem of the Mountains yearbook is published for the first time, by the junior class. Many journalism and mass media students work at the yearbook over the years.
- The 1918-19 UI course catalog lists the first journalism courses offered at the university—News Editing and Elementary Journalism. They’re listed as part of English.
- Edward Files Mason is the first major figure in the teaching of Journalism at the UI. Mason, who graduated from high school in Mountain Home and received a literature degree from Columbia University in 1913, organized the journalism curriculum after World War I service in the Army and taught at the UI for eleven years.
- In May, The Argonaut is published twice a week for the first time. The experiment lasts for about a month. The idea is tried again in 1923, and with the exception of the World War II years, the Argonaut has been a twice-weekly paper ever since.
- The 1920-21 UI catalog lists Salesmanship and Advertising courses as part of Business.
- On March 24th, the first program ever to air on a UI radio station is heard—Bernadine Adair sings a few songs over what’s known as KFAN.
- The ASUI takes over publication of the Gem of the Mountains yearbook.
- The 1926-27 UI catalog lists Journalism as a major for the first time, though still listed as part of English. Edward F. Mason designed the first full-fledged program of journalism courses.
- Elmer F. Beth is in charge of the Journalism major and stays until 1940. Beth is in many ways the second father of the UI's journalism program, emphasizing to his students the importance of good writing skills and a strong liberal arts education. His work will help lead to the creation of a new Department of Journalism in 1941.
- Students in the History of Journalism course begin writing histories of newspapers in Idaho and across the Northwest. Those histories, written from 1932-1960, are on reserve at the UI Library.
- UI Class of 1920 alumnus and journalist Ernest K. Lindley becomes the first graduate of the UI to deliver the commencement address at graduation.
- The Department of Journalism is established. Courses include Law of the Press, Ethics of Journalism, and Reporting. Dr. William F. Swindler is department head.
- The first broadcasting class offered at the UI, Radio Journalism, is taught in the fall. Plans are underway at UI to start new curricula in radio and advertising.
- Nov. 15, KUOI, the independent student radio station, begins as an on-campus, carrier-current service.
- The Radio Building is built; it will be renamed the Radio Center in 1949. The Radio Center will be torn down and replaced about 1968, but the spot where this first radio building was built is the same spot where the Radio/TV Center remains today.
- Paul Scott is chairman of the Journalism Department from 1946-1950.
- The 1951-52 UI catalog lists Radio as a degree for the first time. Courses include Radio Acting and Radio Music. Television content is added to courses within a year.
- Wayne Young is named head of the Journalism Department. He stays until 1954.
- Robert Tracy is teaching Radio/TV. Tracy begins work on a proposal for a new campus radio station (born ten years later as KUID-FM).
- Granville Price takes over as head of the Journalism Department, a position he holds until 1962.
- A university TV committee proposes the building and equipping of a TV studio on campus for a closed-circuit television system.
- A television laboratory is established just west of the Radio Center. Radio/TV personnel are teaching classes and also producing informational films and audio programs for distribution around the state.
- The Radio Center and TV lab are renamed the Radio-TV Center. The television lab includes two Auricon 16mm film cameras and equipment to produce kinescopes.
- A new Department of Communications is approved by the UI Board of Regents. It will become official in 1958 with the hiring of William Snyder as department head. Students major in either Journalism or Radio/TV.
- Nationally syndicated newspaper columnist (and Idaho native) Inez Robb speaks at graduation and is awarded an honorary Doctor of Literature degree.
- Journalist Ernest K. Lindley (UI graduate, 1920) receives an honorary degree and delivers the commencement address.
- KUID “Television,” a closed circuit TV system used for teaching, is installed.
- Gordon Law becomes head of the Department of Communications. In May, a request from Law and the Department of Communications to establish an FM broadcast station on campus is approved.
- UI alumnus Ernest K. Lindley establishes The Lindley Award in honor of his parents (his father, Ernest H. Lindley, was UI president from 1917-1920). The Lindley Award is the highest award in the College of Letters, Arts and Social Sciences.
- Upon the departure of long-time Journalism head Granville Price, local journalists write to the Board of Regents expressing concerns about the future of the Journalism program. They needn’t have worried; Bert Cross is hired to teach Journalism and stays 23 years, serving as department head for many of those years.
- KUID-FM becomes the first educational FM radio service in Idaho when it began broadcasting at 91.7 FM on December 13. The radio station is operated by the Department of Communications.
- Peter Haggart is hired to teach Radio/TV; he will stay with the department until 1998.
- The 1965-67 UI catalog lists Advertising as a study option under Journalism.
- KUID-TV begins broadcasting within an 80 mile radius of Moscow with music and test patterns throughout the summer. KUID-TV becomes the first public television station to go on the air in Idaho when daily programming begins September 6th.-TV begins broadcasting within an 80 mile radius of Moscow with music and test patterns throughout the summer. KUID-TV becomes the first public television station to go on the air in Idaho when daily programming begins September 6th.
- Longtime journalist Ernest K. Lindley, now with the U.S. State Department, is named to the University of Idaho Hall of Fame.
- In a program guide, KUID-TV managers write the station "can claim the honor of being the first ETV station in the Inland Empire to originate color programming." KUID has a few shows in color on Sunday night.
- By 1969, the student-operated radio station, KUOI-FM, has become a broadcast station.
- A study committee is looking at different ways to bring together the academic disciplines and services in the field of communication. This will lead to the disbanding of The Department of Communications in 1971 and the establishment of The School of Communication two years later.
- Radio-Television major Denver James is recipient of The Lindley Award, given to the outstanding senior in The College of Letters and Science.
- The School of Communication is formed, bringing together the departments of Journalism, Radio/TV, and Speech, along with the subject fields of Communication, Photo, and the Division of Broadcast Services (KUID-FM/TV). Don Coombs is hired as the first director of the School of Communication, which has its main office in the University Classroom Center.
- Full-time color programming arrives at KUID-TV, thanks to a large federal grant which allowed for the purchase of new equipment.
- The former Agricultural Education Building on Line Street, also known as “The Alamo,” is renovated one floor at a time and the School of Communication moves in over a three-year period. The School will remain at this location until the building is torn down in July 1998 to make room for the Idaho Commons.
- The 1975 UI catalog now lists Public Relations as a study area for students.
- The George Fowler Chapter of The Public Relations Student Society of America is chartered at the UI on November 5th. George Fowler is a 1959 Journalism alumnus.
- Photography/Film is a study area listed in the UI catalog for the first time. Other areas of study for students at this time are Speech and Interpersonal Communication.
- Rafe Gibbs, professor emeritus of journalism, is named to the UI Alumni Hall of Fame. He wrote a history of the university called "Beacon for Mountain and Plain."
- During a state budget crisis, the Idaho Legislature zero-funds public broadcasting in the state. Some say the funding cuts are partly the result of the content of some of KUID-TV’s documentaries, including “Cedar Thief!” Portions of the funding is eventually restored.
- The 1981 course catalog finds the Radio/TV degree changing to Telecommunication.
- The Advertising Competition Team is established. Mark Secrist and Tom Jenness serve as advisors. The student team will win many national and regional awards over the years in American Advertising Federation competitions.
- The university loses control of KUID-TV when Idaho Public Television is created to operate public television in the state.
- Ted Voigtlander, the three-time Emmy-award winning cinematographer, is inducted into the UI Alumni Hall of Fame. Voightlander was a UI student from 1931-34 and worked on TV shows such as “Little House on the Prairie” and “Highway to Heaven” and films such as “King Solomon’s Mines.”
- KUID-FM becomes KRFA-FM, part of Northwest Public Radio, a National Public Radio affiliated regional radio service at Washington State University. Programming control of 91.7 FM is transferred to WSU because of an Idaho funding crisis.
- Don Coombs steps down as director of the School of Communication; Gary Hunt is hired to succeed him and stays a year. Peter Haggart is hired as director in 1987 and stays in that position until June 1995.
- The UI's student chapter of the PRSSA is named Outstanding Chapter in the Northwest District.
- The Visual Communication degree is born, incorporating courses formerly offered under Telecommunication and Photography/Film.
- The Ad Team is named College Chapter of the Year.
- Roy Atwood becomes director of the School of Communication.
- The Ad Team finishes first at the District XI Neon student advertising competition, and finishes second at the World Series of Advertising national competition.
- The Ad Team wins the District XI American Red Cross student advertising competition.
- The School of Communication Professional Advisory Board is formed.
- The Pacific Northwest Newspapers Association awards the School $9,000 for the Journalism program.
- The Communication building is demolished on July 14th. The School of Communication moves to Shoup Hall on 6th Street as construction gets started on the Idaho Commons.
- The Argonaut celebrates its 100th anniversary. Many former Arg editors and staffers attend the centennial celebration in October.
- A 101st birthday party is thrown for The Argonaut.
- The Ad Team wins the Region XI district competition for the third time in five years and finishes 7th overall in the country in the AAF competition.
- A team of seven Public Communication students receives a Merit Award from the Spokane Public Relations Council for a public relations campaign called “Stop the Silence is Stop the Violence."
- Chris Campbell is hired as director of the School of Communication.
- Michael Kirk, the 1971 Journalism (Radio/TV news option) graduate and former KUID-TV reporter-turned-award-winning-documentary-filmmaker for the PBS television program FRONTLINE, is inducted into the University of Idaho Alumni Hall of Fame.
- Journalism major Jennifer Warnick is given The Lindley Award at graduation. It is the highest award given by the College of Letters and Science.
- The PNNA awards the School another $9,000 grant to help improve facilities and program offerings for Journalism students.
- Back to the future. The School of Communication is disbanded, and the School of Journalism and Mass Media is born, offering degrees in Journalism, Advertising, Public Relations, and Radio/TV/Digital Media Production. Kenton Bird is named interim director.
- JAMM creates a public broadcasting archive at the university library through the donation of department records pertaining to KUID-FM and KUID-TV.
- Longtime journalism professor Bert Cross is honored by the UI with an Idaho Treasure Award.
- 1971 Journalism graduate and documentary filmmaker Michael Kirk is honored with the first annual Bert Cross First Amendment Award presented by the School of Journalism and Mass Media.
- Former School of Communication director and longtime faculty member Pete Haggart receives an Idaho Treasure Award.
- Kenton Bird makes the transition of "interim director" to "director" by a vote of the JAMM faculty.
- 1951 journalism graduate Allen Derr is elected into the University of Idaho Alumni Hall of Fame in May.
- JAMM faculty and staff move their offices to the third floor of the Administration Building.
- The 40th anniversary of KUID is celebrated in style with a gathering at the Radio-TV Center, which included speaches, presentations, a cake cutting and an evening reception at the University Inn.
- 1987 journalism graduate and Alaska's former governor Sarah Palin is chosen as vice presidential running mate for Republican nominee John McCain.
- The analog television facility at the Radio-TV Center is rebuilt and remodeled into a state-of-the-art high definition television studio.
- Television sportscaster Otis Livingston ('91) is elected to the UI Alumni Hall of Fame.
- Gordon A. Law, the first station manager of KUID-TV and KUID-FM, and the former chairman of the Department of Communication in the 1960s, receives an honorary doctorate from the UI at commencement ceremonies in May.
- Film and television director Chris Nyby (UI, '59-'61) is honored with the University of Idaho Silver & Gold Award during a luncheon in Moscow.
- FRONTLINE filmmaker Michael Kirk ('71) is awarded an honorary degree from UI at December commencement.