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Los Angeles: Departments

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Joseph Brandt, former president of the University of Oklahoma, launched the graduate Department of Journalism in February, 1950, with Professors Robert Harris and Harva Sprager. In the mid-1960s, Brandt and Harris were still on the faculty, which then numbered nine members and was chaired by Walter Wilcox. There were 19 students in that first class; in 1965 the average class numbered 35, and by the mid-1960s enrollment exceeded 50. No undergraduate degree was awarded, though 11 undergraduate courses were offered.

The department curriculum gradually evolved to meet the changing trends and demands of modern journalism. The basic objective of the department remained the same, however--to graduate a student who is a capable writer as well as an intelligent observer of society. Interrelated with the usual courses in news writing, magazine writing, editorial writing, and public relations, were such courses as The Reporter and Society, Issues in the News, journalism law and ethics, studies in the various mass media, journalism history, and the foreign press. There was also an internship program in which every student worked two days a week for six weeks with the staff of a metropolitan newspaper, magazine, or public relations firm.

Two original laboratory publications, the California Sun and the Sun Magazine, were still coming off the press in the mid-1960s. The newspaper, published weekly, changed from its original standard size format to a tabloid. The magazine was published annually and was a showcase for the department's writers. Serving the alumni was the semiannual Reporter. The Review, originally intended as a laboratory publication for undergraduates, developed into a widely circulated quarterly magazine, but was suspended in 1963 due to lack of funds.

After moving from Haines Hall to the Physics-Biology Building and then to temporary barracks, all facilities were brought together in 1961 in the remodeled basement of the Economics Building. A linotype machine, presses, and other equipment enabled the department to print all of its publications on campus. source

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