Degree Name

MA (Master of Arts)


Communication, Professional

Date of Award


Committee Chair or Co-Chairs

John M. King

Committee Members

James J. Mooney, Ardis L. Nelson


Columbia University's Summer Program, created by Fred Friendly, was the first enduring effort to prepare non-whites for jobs in the news media. It operated from 1968 to 1974 at the Graduate School of Journalism, training 223 journalists for print and broadcast jobs. Three decades after the closing of this elite program, 110 graduates responded to a telephone survey on attitudes toward first employers, careers, and their experiences at Columbia. Results from this exploratory study show respondents spent an average 17.6 years in news media after the Summer Program, and 30.9 percent of respondents spent thirty years or more in journalism. Nearly 42 percent of respondents said they were promoted in their first jobs, and 29.1 percent became managers or supervisors in mainstream media news. Those who left news media cited reasons that seem to contradict results of earlier retention studies on people of color. Graduates rated the training highly.

Document Type

Thesis - unrestricted


Copyright by the authors.