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Edward R. Murrow College of Communication


The Edward R. Murrow School of Communication at Washington State University has a long history of excellence in student achievement, a commitment to first-rate teaching, and high quality research.

1920’s: Students in the English department can obtain their English degree with a special concentration in Journalism

1955: Program in Journalism established due to the popularity of the concentration in Journalism

1960: Department of Communications formed

1964: The department of Journalism and the Broadcast sequence, offered by the department of Speech, merged, combining communication-related elements of the curricula in the newly named Department of Communications. Robert A. Mott was the chair, and the department of Communications was located in the old Arts Hall, now known as Murrow East.

1964-1968: Initial emphases offered by the new department were in Newspaper Editorial, Radio and Television, Radio and Television News, and Media Management

1968: Hugh A. Rundell takes over leadership of the department of Communications, further growing the strong bond with the broadcasters and print journalists of Washington State.

1970-1973: Donald E. Wells becomes Chairman. Among other emphases, Advertising and Cinematography are now offered in the department.

1973: The Edward R. Murrow Communication Center opens. With funding from the state and the U. S. Office of Education, Arts Hall was renovated and furnished with two large television studios, classrooms, a screening room, a backstage ready room, and a scene construction and storage room.

1980: Broadcasting Professor Glenn Johnson took a weekly television newscast and moved it to five nights a week on the university’s television channel, Cable 8, giving students professional experience on a nightly basis on Cable 8 News. WSU was one of the few universities in the country offering television news five nights a week, contributing to a program listed fourth in the nation by the Radio Television News Directors Association. When a researcher with RTNDA asked television news directors which schools do the best job at preparing students for careers in television news, WSU came out fourth in the ranking.

1983: Department of Speech Communication is transferred to the department of Communication Studies.

1986: Alex Tan is appointed Chairman of the department.

1986: Student-led television channel Cable 8 Productions was formed. Broadcasting Professor W. Neal Robison advised the development of the channel with its original offerings including news, music videos, and a movie review show. The station quickly became popular with the student body and has remained a fixture to the present day, winning numerous national broadcasting awards.

1986: Murrow Professional Advisory Board established.

1990: The Department of Communication is named The Edward R. Murrow School of Communication.

1991-2000: At the turn of the decade, the School sought to expand its diversity by offering a sequence in Intercultural Studies (later Intercultural Communication) while a series of scholarships were established to attract students of ethnic minorities. Moreover, Diversity in the Mass Media was the theme of the 1991 Murrow Symposium.

2002: Doctoral program is offered at the school.

2002: Consortium for the Study of Communication & Decision Making was founded. This initiative (later known as the Murrow Center for Media and Health Promotion) has brought in millions of dollars of grants and research contracts from the state Department of Social and Health Services, Division of Alcohol and Substance Abuse and Department of Health, the National Institute on Alcohol Abuse and Alcoholism, the National Institute on Drug Abuse, and from private foundations. Participating faculty have achieved top-ranked status nationally in the areas of advertising research, substance abuse prevention and media literacy research.

2003: Communication Research Reports ranks Murrow 6th for communication studies and mass communication research.

2004: Communication Addition opens, containing state-of-the-art interview suites, a focus group room, research consortium, telephone survey lab, and more.

2006: Murrow is collecting accolades: five faculty (Erica Austin, Elizabeth Blanks Hindman, Bruce Pinkleton, Joey Reagan and Patty Sias) were considered seminal authors in communication research and three faculty (Annie Lang, Erica Austin and Julie Andsager) had won the prestigious Krieghbaum Under-40 Award from the Association for Education in Journalism and Mass Communication. No other communication school in the country has won more Krieghbaums.

2008: McCormick Foundation Grant secured. Clinical faculty member Brett Atwood procured the College’s first grant from The McCormick Foundation to establish a Virtual Journalism Summit featuring workshops and presentations about media within 3D spaces. This same grant was used to establish the Murrow Center 3D Newsroom, a virtual world project that featured 3D “citizen journalism” training kiosks and a multimedia exhibit dedicated to Edward R. Murrow.

2008: The Edward R. Murrow School of Communication was elevated to college status: The Edward R. Murrow College of Communication.

2009: Dr. Lawrence Pintak joins the college as founding Dean. A former CBS News Middle East correspondent, Pintak has been called the foremost chronicler of the interaction between Arab and Western media. Pintak’s international experience helped yield several prestigious grants and awards to the College, including new partnerships with the Department of State and The Carnegie-Knight Foundation.

2010: The former Consortium for the Study of Communication & Decision Making, initiated in 2002, was elevated to formal University center status and renamed the Murrow Center for Media & Health Promotion.

2010: Murrow News Service (MNS) debuts. This initiative provides local, regional and statewide stories reported and written by journalism students at The Edward R. Murrow College of Communication.

2010: Northwest Public Radio and Northwest Public Television become part of the College.

2012: As the College expands to include a new digital-focus, the curriculum is modernized, combining the original six distinct study tracks into three congruent sequences: Communication & Society, Journalism & Media Production and Strategic Communication.