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University of Iowa News Release

Dec, 29, 2005

Web Site Features UI Journalism And Mass Communication History

What do the Gallup Poll, Nancy Drew and "Face the Nation" have in common?

All have a connection to the University of Iowa School of Journalism and Mass Communication. The respected polling organization, the girl detective and CBS-TV's Sunday morning news magazine are also part of a new Web site featuring outstanding graduates and significant events in the history of the UI's journalism program.

The site, "Making J-MC History...the Iowa Way," is a master's professional project by graduate student Joe Nugent of Iowa City, and will be added to the school's current Web site.

While conducting research for a class project, Nugent found that some of the history of the program was in print, but not online. He decided to continue the work as his master's project. "Making J-MC History...the Iowa Way" can be found at:

"The Web site provides a look at the outstanding contributions to this field by Iowa and our graduates," said Pam Creedon, director of the School of Journalism and Mass Communication, which is part of the College of Liberal Arts and Sciences.

George Gallup founded the poll that bears his name in 1935 only a few years after he conducted the nation's first newspaper readership surveys while teaching at the UI. Mildred Wirt Benson, the first person to earn a master's degree in journalism at the UI, wrote Nancy Drew mysteries in the 1930s under the name Carolyn Keene, and in 1954 Iowa graduate Theodore Koop created "Face the Nation," now one of the longest-running news programs in television history.

"Many Iowa graduates and faculty have been leaders and innovators in journalism and mass communication, and our program has achieved several historical firsts since it was established in 1924," Creedon said.

The UI awarded the nation's first doctoral degrees in mass communications in 1948 after faculty members anticipated the need to study the numerous changes that would occur in journalism after World War II, she said.

"The faculty at Iowa recognized that a need for research would accompany continued growth in newspapers, radio, advertising and public relations and the eventual arrival of television sets in most American homes," Creedon said.
Besides being a historical narrative, the site offers alumni an opportunity to e-mail memories about classes, professors or time spent working for the student-run Daily Iowan newspaper, she said.

"We hope to learn even more about our history and other important contributions our alumni have made in journalism and mass communication," Creedon said.

STORY SOURCE: University of Iowa News Services, 300 Plaza Centre One, Suite 371, Iowa City, Iowa 52242-2500.

CONTACT(S): Media: Mary Geraghty Kenyon, 319-384-0011,; Program: Pam Creedon, 319-335 3390,; Writer: JoeNugent