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History

The first American newspaper, Publick Occurrences Both Foreign and Domestick, appeared in Boston in 1690, but lasted only one issue due to censorship by the British government. The first continuously published paper in America was the Boston News-Letter, first published in 1704. The first daily newspaper, the Pennsylvania Evening Post, began publication in 1783.

Despite a long tradition of newspaper journalism in the United States, it wasn't until 1869 that the first journalism course was offered at Washington College (now known as Washington and Lee University). In the following decades, a number of colleges and universities, most located in the Midwest, began offering journalism courses. 

In 1903, Joseph Pulitzer, a newspaper magnate, gave Columbia University an endowment of $2 million to start a school of journalism. Despite the generous endowment, Columbia was unable to implement and start its new program until 1912. Walter Williams, at the University of Missouri, founded the first school of journalism in the United States—and the world—in 1908. Educators at the Missouri School of Journalism taught students using a hands-on approach in which they actually published a newspaper. (The school still produces high-quality graduates today.)

In the early years of the 20th century, schools of journalism grew in popularity on our nation's campuses, and graduate journalism programs were introduced in the 1930s.

Today, journalism and communications programs (which often offer journalism majors) are extremely popular on our nation's campuses. The field of journalism has come a long way from its beginnings in the newspaper industry. The invention of radio, television, and the Internet have created countless opportunities as well as some new challenges for aspiring journalists and the journalism teachers who prepare students for these careers.

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