The UC Berkeley Graduate School of Journalism is a graduate professional school on the campus of University of California, Berkeley. It is among the top graduate journalism schools in the United States, and is designed to produce journalists with a two-year Master of Journalism (MJ) degree.
The program is located in UC Berkeley's North Gate Hall, near the intersection of Euclid and Hearst avenues in Berkeley, CA. Its interim dean is Neil Henry. Most courses offered by the school are on the graduate level, with few official courses for undergraduates.
The school serves host to, or sponsors, a great number of events. Notable speakers from around the world have shared their insights on current events in the media. Recent speakers have included Bill Clinton, Al Gore, Robert McNamara, Hans Blix, George Soros, Cokie Roberts, Paul Krugman, Dan Rather and Bob Woodruff.
Like most college journalism schools, the UC Berkeley Graduate School of Journalism is colloquially known as the J-School.
General reporting classes are split into six areas of emphasis: international, business, investigative, political, science and environment, and urban reporting.
The school has stated a clear mission of providing students a hands-on approach to journalism. While many graduate journalism schools have programs that are more theory-oriented, Berkeley focuses on offering students real world experiences and currently requires every student to perform an internship at a media outlet as a degree requirement -- preferably between their first and second year of study.
Every student is also required to take an introductory news reporting course called J200, (named after its course designation.) A staple of the journalism school, J200 is formulated for students to delve into the world of print journalism by writing stories on local events. Print, or written journalism, is often considered the foundation of all news media, and teaches students the fundamentals in news gathering and production for a mass audience. Stories written by students are published on the school's Web site, North Gate News Online.
Noted faculty members include Cynthia Gorney of the Washington Post, Author Michael Pollan, New York Times Bureau Chief Lydia Chavez, Mark Danner of the New Yorker, Neil Henry, Sandy Tolan and Bill Drummond.
In 1981 celebrity Carol Burnett won a $1.6 million (later reduced to $800,000) libel award from The National Enquirer over an article that she said implied she had been intoxicated in a Washington restaurant. She donated a portion of that to the UC Berkeley Graduate School of Journalism saying she hoped the suit would teach aspiring journalists the dangers of defaming individuals in articles. The money was used to fund Law and Ethics courses at the school.
China expert and author Orville Schell had been serving as Dean of the school since 1996, up until the summer of 2007. Preceding his position was Thomas Goldstein, who had served as dean since 1988. Goldstein left to become the dean of Columbia University's Graduate School of Journalism. He stepped down from that position after five years, despite being credited for increasing endowments for that school from $54 million to $84 million over his short stint there. He is currently teaching a news writing class at UC Berkeley's Graduate School of Journalism. Pulitzer Prize winning American media critic Ben Bagdikian also served as a past dean of the UC Berkeley's School of Journalism.
The name is derived from the general area in front of the school called "North Gate," represented by two stone pillars. It serves as the northern most entrance of the primary University compound, and is opposite to Sather Gate, the southern most entrance of the University.
North Gate Hall was built in 1904 as a building known at the time as the "Ark" to house the architectural department. The building cost $4,394.59 to construct and consisted of an atelier, office for John Galen Howard and an architectural library with volumes donated by Phoebe Apperson Hearst -- mother to William Randolph Hearst.
The building was one of many on campus which did not follow the typical Beaux-Arts Classical style, which had been regarded the most cultured, beautiful and "scientific" style of the cultural establishment at the time. Instead, the building was made only to be temporary, non-academic, or not particularly "serious." Other such buildings in the shingle or "Collegiate Gothic" style on campus include: North Gate Hall, Dwinelle Annex, Stephens Hall and the Men's Faculty Club.
A second addition to the Ark was completed in 1908, increasing the size of the building to . The new addition was built further up the hill (easterly) and houses what is known today as the Greenhouse and upper and lower newsrooms.
In 1936, Walter Steilberg designed a library wing composed of reinforced concrete-panel, a stark contrast to the dark shingled appearance of the original building.
In 1957, the architecture school was united with the departments of Landscape Architecture, City and regional Planning, and Decorative Arts to form the College of Environmental Design. The "Ark" was relocated to Wurster Hall in 1964, and the building was renamed the Engineering Research Services Building. It later was renamed "North Gate Hall," and served as the location for the Graduate School of Journalism.
In 1993 the building underwent extensive seismic renovations causing uproar from Berkeley preservationists who had saved the building from destruction 17 years earlier. It was reported by the San Francisco Chronicle that dry rot had set in to much of the building. Damage from aging was so bad, one teacher said he could puncture a supporting column with his fountain pen. It was classified as Berkeley campus' most vulnerable buildings in an earthquake.