The newly processed Indiana University School of Journalism Chair’s records in the IU Archives is a rich collection that documents the school during its many changes. As I worked through the collection, however, what I found particularly interesting is the bounty of records about the school and World War II, and one file in particular showcases the war’s impact.
Around 1943, the Journalism War Program was instituted under the chairmanship of John E. Stempel. With men being drafted left and right and vacancies in the profession piling up, the need for journalists increased drastically. To help with this, the then-Department of Journalism began to offer a condensed course of study in Journalism, reducing the length of time to graduate from four years to two and two-thirds. In order to do this, students would have to attend school year-round. In addition, an eight-month high school program was established so that, should participating students be eligible and wish to attend IU to study Journalism, one year’s worth of study would have been completed. Also, these students could potentially get work with weekly newspapers where they may not need workers with the higher level of experience.
For more information on this program and other aspects of the School of Journalism from 1922-1976, contact us about access to this newly processed collection! Also take a look at our other prominent collection documenting the School of Journalism, 1911-2008, Collection C142!