In the Department of Communication, we study the ways that communication techniques and technologies shape who we are, how we govern ourselves, and what kinds of cultures we inhabit. We embrace both media theory and media practice. Over the years, we’ve trained scholars who’ve reshaped their fields, some of the world’s most high-impact journalists, and leading members of dozens of other fields.
Journalism has been part of Stanford’s curriculum since 1893. In the early 1950s, Chilton Bush and Wilbur Schramm brought together a pioneering community of communication researchers, linked them to the university’s ongoing efforts in journalism, and founded the Department of Communication. Then, as now, the department emphasized cutting edge research that could produce not only new ways of looking at things, but practical changes in human life.
Today the department remains strongly interdisciplinary. Its research faculty come from the fields of political science, psychology, sociology and economics, as well as communication. Its professional journalism faculty includes prize-winning innovators in digital storytelling and computational journalism, as well as former bureau chiefs for the New York Times and the Washington Post. And for ten months every year, the John S. Knight Journalism Fellowships program brings up to 20 journalists and journalism innovators from the U.S. and around the world to the Department to focus on innovation, entrepreneurship and leadership.
All of our faculty retain strong ties to other departments on campus, to Silicon Valley, and to worlds beyond northern California. Taken together, these ties give our students a wide variety of unique opportunities to explore the ways in which new modes of communication are changing the world.