City’s first journalism PhD was awarded to Frederic Newlands Hunter in 1984. The theme of his thesis was “Grub Street and Academia: the Relationship Between Journalism and Education, 1880-1940, with Special Reference to the London University Diploma for Journalism, 1919-1939″.
Dr Hunter had approached Tom Welsh, City’s Director of Journalism Studies, in 1977 with a proposal for research into journalism education in the United Kingdom. He started work on an M.Phil, supervised by Alan Lee, of Hull University, who had recently published a book on the British press. On Mr Lee’s death in 1981 David Jenkins, City’s Director of Arts and Related Studies, took over, and in 1982 Dr Hunter submitted his work for examination by Lord Asa Briggs and Sir Harold Evans, Sunday Times editor. He was awarded the doctorate in 1984.
In 1973 Dr Hunter joined London Broadcastng Company as assistant editor responsible for setting up Independent Radio News. From 1975 to 1976 he was a lecturer in communications at Hammersmith & West London College, then went on to originate and run the first one-year radio/broadcast journalism training course in UK tertiary education at the London College of Printing (now LCC) from 1977 to 1984. His students there included many who were to become leading journalists. He was closely involved in forming the first broadcast industry/education accreditation body, which later developed into the BJTC (Broadcast Journalism Training Council).
Dr Hunter died in January 2012, aged 77, having just completed corrections for the book ‘Hacks And Dons: Teaching at the London University Journalism School, 1919-1939, Its Origins, Development and Influence’. The book, which was due to be published in 2012, deals with the subject of Dr Hunter’s PhD thesis.