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university of tampere: faculty of communication sciences: introduction: journalism and mass communication:
Faculty of Communication SciencesUniversity of Tampere The School of Communication, Media and Theatre

History of Journalism Education

Finland was the first Nordic country to offer regular journalism training at the higher education level. This took place in the Civic College founded in Helsinki in 1925. During the early years the College offered a 2-3 year programme leading to a Bachelor-level degree called "sosionomi". By the end of the Second World War nearly 50 journalists had graduated from this programme.

In 1930 the College became the School of Social Sciences and in 1947 the School was granted its first professorship in journalism ("newspaper studies" in line with the German "Zeitungswissenschaft") - the first of its kind in the Nordic countries. Consequently, journalism studies were extended to the Master's level and by 1960 nearly 30 Master's Degrees in Social Sciences had been granted with Journalism as the major subject. At the same time the School continued to offer the above-mentioned professionally oriented lower degree programme. Between 1945 and 1960 another 50 received this degree in journalism.

The School of Social Sciences was transferred from Helsinki to Tampere in 1960 to promote the decentralization of higher education in the country, and it was given the status of a fully-fledged university. The Master's level studies in Journalism were offered in the Faculty of Social Sciences, whereas the lower degree programme was administered by the Vocational Section.

After this change, the two-tier education in journalism continued as before, but the scientific orientation of the Master's programme was reformed and a shift was made from mere newspaper studies to broader studies of journalism and mass media (in line with the American "mass communication research"). This reorientation was introduced in connection with the appointment of a new professor to the old chair in 1964 (Raino Vehmas after Eino Suova). In 1969 a second chair was established for studies in electronic media (Kaarle Nordenstreng appointed in 1971).

Since the 1960s the University of Tampere has offered both Bachelor's and Master's programmes in Journalism and Mass Communication. Each programme has had its own student admission procedure and teaching staff, but common facilities were administered by the Department of Journalism and Mass Communication in the Faculty of Social Sciences.

Between 1960 and 1990, altogether 400 journalists graduated from the vocationally oriented Bachelor's programme. During the same 30-year period, the number of graduates from the Master's programme, with nearly as much professional training as in the Bachelor's programme, was more than double: 500 students graduated with Journalism and Mass Communication as their major subject and over 400 majored in other disciplines but had Journalism and Mass Communication as their minor subject. Counting the further 700 degrees completed in the 1990s, with Journalism and Mass Communication either as major or minor subject, the total number of graduates in the field during the 80 years until 2005, was about 3000.

A new era in journalism education began in 1993, when the two programmes were integrated. Thus there is currently only one programme and one student intake but with two degree levels, Bachelor (called "kandidaatti") and Master (called "maisteri"), in accordance with the Bologna model.


International seminar to commemorate 80 years of journalism education, 1 October 2005

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Last update: 28.3.2012 10.22 Muokkaa

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