Media and Journalism, School of
The English department began courses in journalism in 1909, and UNC set up a separate Department of Journalism in 1924. Gerald W. Johnson, who went on to a distinguished journalism and writing career, served as the first department chair. The department became a School of Journalism in 1950, expanded to School of Journalism and Mass Communication in 1990, and adopted its current name in 2015. The school's first dean was Oscar J. Coffin, a Daily Tar Heel editor and Carolina alumnus, who led the department and the school for twenty-seven years.
When the department began in 1924, there were seventeen students, including five women. It had space on the second floor of New West, just above the Daily Tar Heel offices. Over the years the department and school have been in Bynum Hall, Howell Hall, and Carroll Hall. Today it has more than 900 students in bachelor's, master's, and doctoral programs, with areas of study in advertising and public relations, journalism, and business journalism. It also offers special programs in environment and science communication, health communication, Latino journalism and media, sports communication, and a joint M.A./J.D. degree with the School of Law.
The School of Media and Journalism has a number of distinguished alumni who have advanced the profession, including twenty-four alumni or faculty who have won or been part of twenty-eight Pulitzer Prizes. Graduates include Emily Steel of the New York Times, Brooke Baldwin of CNN, editorial cartoonist Jeff MacNelly, and Stuart Scott of ESPN, among many more.