It was founded in 1949 by Werner Friedmann, co-editor of the Süddeutsche Zeitung. He modeled the school after the Columbia University Graduate School of Journalism, which he saw while visiting the United States of America. The original name of the school, Werner-Friedmann-Institute, was later changed into Deutsche Journalistenschule e.V., which means German school of journalism. In May 2012, the school moved from the former location in the heart of the city centre (Altheimer Eck) to the east of Munich (Hultschiner Str.8), sharing the address with the Süddeutsche Verlag, the publishing house of the Süddeutsche Zeitung.
For the following decades, the Deutsche Journalistenschule (DJS) was the only professional school for journalism in West-Germany. Its students are taught by professional journalists of prominent German media like Der Spiegel, Süddeutsche Zeitung or ARD. The curriculum consists of classes in writing, research, TV-producing and others. During a speech on the schools 60th anniversary, chancellor Angela Merkel called the DJS "a good piece of the success story of the Bundesrepublik Deutschland". Many editors-in-chief of renowned German newspapers and magazines were once students of the DJS.
The school is currently lead by Jörg Sadrozinski.
- Götz Aly, journalist and historian
- Maxim Biller, writer
- Günther Jauch, TV-host
- Kurt Kister, editor-in-chief of Süddeutsche Zeitung
- Timm Klotzek, editor-in-chief of NEON
- Jan-Eric Peters, editor-in-chief of Die Welt
- Andreas Petzold, editor-in-chief of Der Stern
- Sandra Maischberger, TV-host