Walter Williams (journalist)

Walter Williams (journalist)

Walter Williams (July 2, 1864 - July 29, 1935) was the founder of the Missouri School of Journalism and a former president of the University of Missouri.

Williams was born in Boonville, Missouri. After graduating Boonville High School he served as an apprentice at the Boonville Topic where he made 75 cents a week and then moved to the Boonville Advertiser. In 1888 he worked doing press releases for the Missouri State Penitentiary. After the warden began censoring his releases he resigned and began editing the Columbia Herald and began making contributions to Jefferson City, Kansas City and St. Louis newspapers and was named president of the Missouri Press Association. In 1895 he was named president of the National Editorial Association.

He began lobbying the Missouri General Assembly to establish a school of journalism in 1895. Many newspapers objected saying that reporters should follow the traditional apprentice route for training. The state eventually approved it with launching in 1908 with Williams as dean.

Williams wrote the Journalist's Creed which is often evoked as the definitive code of ethics for journalists. It is posted in bronze at the National Press Club in Washington, DC and at the school of journalism.

Williams never attended college although honorary degrees were conferred upon him by Missouri Valley College in 1900; Kansas State University in 1909 and Washington University in 1926. Williams became president of the University of Missouri in 1931 and remained until his death in 1935. Before his death, he was initiated as an Honorary Brother of the Acacia Fraternity. A new journalism building on the campus was named for him in 1936.

External links

* [http://mulibraries.missouri.edu/journalism/jhistory.html Library biography]
* [http://www.missouri.edu/about/history/journalism.php University of Missouri biography]

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