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John Robert and Denise Alexander Bittner papers

Identifier: MSD-0000-030

Collection Statement

DC 2582, 2588, 2591, 2594, 2984. The collection is divided into three series. Series I contains material of John R. Bittner. Series II contains material of Bittner’s wife, Denise Alexander Bittner. Series III contains information on books authored by the Bittners. Included are articles, papers, book reviews, professional and personal correspondence, clippings, photographs, speeches, biographical information, and other items related to their careers and personal lives.


  • October 1944 - July 18, 2005


Access Restrictions

Collection is open for research.

Usage Restrictions

Copyright interests for this collection have been transferred to DePauw University.

Biographical Sketch

John Robert Bittner was born May 4, 1943. He was Assistant Professor of Communication Arts and Science at DePauw University 1973-80. At DePauw, he was also director of broadcast communication. Dr. Bittner (Ph.D. Purdue University) joined the faculty of the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill in 1980 and served ten years in the College of Arts and Sciences before joining the School of Journalism and Mass Communication in 1991. His professional media experience included twelve years in broadcasting, including positions as a television journalist, a radio news director, and radio general manager. He served as a consultant in such areas as corporate press relations and performance review and appraisal. Other concurrent appointments while on the faculty of the College of Arts and Sciences at the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill included six years on the Administrative Board of the Graduate School, three years on the Graduate Council of the 16-campus University of North Carolina System, five years on the Administrative Board of the School of Journalism and Mass Communication, six years on the Tenure and Promotion Advisory Committee of the Department of Communication Studies (formerly Speech Communication), and three years as an Arts and Science's advisory professor to the Department of Dramatic Art. In the School of Journalism and Mass Communication he served as Head of the Electronic Communication area. His primary teaching/research interests were in broadcast journalism, mass communication law and ethics, and historical/critical research with an emphasis on twentieth century literature and the American press. Along with international travel, Professor Bittner's personal interests included skiing and writing. Among his published books (all under Simon & Schuster's Prentice-Hall or Allyn & Bacon imprints) were six editions of his text "Mass Communication," which for twenty years has helped established the parameters of the introductory mass communication course in American colleges. "Mass Communication" has been translated into Arabic and has been used in Europe, Asia, the Middle East, Australia, and elsewhere. His other books deal with communication-related subjects, including radio journalism, professional broadcasting, interpersonal communication, and a recent book titled "Law and Regulation of Electronic Media." Along with published book chapters, scholarly articles he authored have appeared in such journals as "Journalism Quarterly," "Journal of Broadcasting," "Improving College and University Teaching," the "International Journal of Instructional Media," and regional and state journals. In addition to serving as an officer in professional associations, his research had been presented at meetings of the International Communication Association, the Broadcast Education Association, the Speech Communication Association, the International Hemingway Conference, and others. Professor Bittner was the Executive Director of the Radio-Television News Directors Association of the Carolinas (RTNDAC). Headquartered in the School, RTNDAC is the largest regional news directors' association in the United States. He chartered, and served as the faculty adviser for the UNC-Chapel Hill campus chapters of the RTNDAC. He was the former (1995-1997) Director of the Electronic Communication Division of the North Carolina Scholastic Media Association's Summer Media Institute. Professor Bittner was the recipient of Dakota Wesleyan University's Outstanding Alumni Educator of the Year Award. During his teaching career he held professorships and appointments at three universities, including Director of the Center for Media Research at the University of Oregon, Director of Broadcast Communication at DePauw University, and Chair of the Department of Radio-Television and Motion Pictures (RTVMP) at UNC-Chapel Hill. While Chair of the RTVMP department (1982-1987), through the support and contributions of all departmental faculty, the number of majors doubled, the North Carolina Radio-TV High School Institute quadrupled in size, an alumni giving program was instituted, facilities were remodeled, the master's degree curriculum was reviewed and revised, and an M.A. degree was approved. John R. Bittner died in April 2002, at the age of 58. He was survived by his wife, Denise Bittner. [11/5/02].


1.83 Cubic Feet (5 document cases (DC 2582, 2588, 2591, 2594, 2984))

Language of Materials


See also:

The following items by John R. Bittner are located in the Roy O. West Library:

Law and Regulation of Electronic Media -- KF2805 .B58 1994 Broadcasting and Telecommunication : an Introduction -- PN1990.8 .B5 1991 Mass Communication, an Introduction -- P90 .B515 1989 Fundamentals of Communication -- P90 .B514 1988 Mass Communication : an Introduction -- P90 .B515 1986 Fundamentals of Communication -- P90 .B514 1985 Broadcasting and Telecommunication : an Introduction -- PN1990.8 .B5 1985 Mass Communication, an Introduction -- P90 .B515 1983 Broadcast Law and Regulation -- KF2805 .B58 African Journeys: Hemingway's Influence on the Life and Writings of Robe (in The Hemingway Review) -- PS3515.E37 Z6194 Broadcasting : an Introduction -- PN1990.8 .B5 1980

The following items by John R. Bittner and Denise A. Bittner are located in the Roy O. West Library:

Mass Communication, an Introduction: Theory and Practice of Mass Media in Society -- P90 .B515 Each Other : an Introduction to Interpersonal Communication -- BF637.C45 B573 Mass Communication, an Introduction -- P90 .B515 1980 Radio Journalism -- PN4784.R2 B5

The alumni vertical file for Cornell Chulay contains a 1973 picture of Dr. John Bittner and Cornell Chulay and a letter dated Oct. 15, 1979 to Dr. Bittner from Chulay.

The alumni vertical file for Julie Zellers contains a circa 1976 newspaper clipping about Zellers and mentions Dr. Bittner in the text of the clipping.

John Robert and Denise Alexander Bittner papers
Professor of Communications (J.B.)
Wesley Wilson
Description rules
Describing Archives: A Content Standard
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Description is in English.

Repository Details

Part of the Archives of DePauw University and Indiana United Methodism Repository

Roy O. West Library
405 S. Indiana St.
Greencastle Indiana 46135 United States