Proseminar – JOUR & TCOM at IU

Journalism & Telecom

A historical perspective

The  partially shared histories  between IU’s Journalism and Telecommunications schools was an interesting one to say the least. The story, told by six departmental veterans, was marked by a schism caused and perpetuated largely due to structural, economic, and personality conflicts. Additionally, however, several positive tidbits emerged such as the existance of a yearly inter-departmental softball game  in the 80s and a jointly taught class (Field Production) co-developed by Ron Osgood.

In the beginning, all that existed was a journalism class. In time, interest drove expansion. The collection of classes cohered into an accredited department. While there was some interest in research and theory, Journalism was primarily an applied school. The desire to move away from this focus drove Dolf Zillmann toward creating a new school.

As pointed out by Walter Gantz, the smallest things can be the largest barriers. The seven-minute walk between the two buildings does little to foster connectivity. Nevertheless, the idea of a reunion between the two departments is always a possibility.

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