Paul Alfred Pratte
Dr. Paul Alfred (“Alf”) Pratte, an emeritus professor of Journalism at Brigham Young University, taught journalism at BYU for nearly 20 years. Pratte’s specific focus was in media history and newspaper and magazine writing.
Pratte graduated from Brigham Young University with a B.A. degree in journalism. He initially found various jobs as a stringer, correspondent, and opinion writer for the Salt Lake Tribune, Deseret News, Orem Daily Journal, and Provo Daily Herald, as well as Quill and Editor and Publisher magazines. He then moved to Hawaii and worked as a reporter for the Honolulu Star-Bulletin for five years. While in Hawaii he received a master’s degree in journalism from BYU in 1967 and began a statewide LDS newspaper called the Hawaii Record-Bulletin. This paper remained in print for 25 years.
Pratte then took a job as an administrative assistant for the Hawaii State Senate while he earned his Ph.D. in American Studies from the University of Hawaii. Upon completion, he took a position as the Director of Extension Services for Sea Grant College’s Marine Advisory Program.
His early teaching career began with positions at Kapiolani College in Hawaii and Shippensburg University in Pennsylvania where he taught for three years. He then spent 20 years as a professor at BYU.
Working for the Communications Department, Pratte taught news writing, advanced reporting, opinion writing, magazine writing, and graduate classes, in addition to his media history specialty. His history emphasis came in handy after a chance meeting with BYU-Hawaii President Eric Shumway. Upon Pratte’s retirement from Provo in June 2003, Shumway invited Pratte to be his assistant on a special project. Two months after retiring, he moved back to Hawaii to compile, edit, and partially author a 500-page report on the 50-year history of BYU-Hawaii.
Pratte’s writings have been published in American Journalism, the Journal of Communication Inquiry, and the Journal of Mass Media Ethics. He is also the author of “Gods Within the Machine: A History of the American Society of Newspaper Editors, 1922-1993.”
Pratte is one of the founders and a former president of the American Journalism Historians Association. He has served on the Function of the Press in a Democracy committee and on the editorial board of Newspaper Research Journal. He is a member of the Annenberg Press Commission—an elite group of professionals who examine the press and put together school textbooks. In this capacity he authored the first chapter of a history book that was used in 120 universities. Pratte and his wife, June, have five children.
- B.A. in Journalism – Brigham Young University
- M.A. – Brigham Young University
- Ph.D. in American Studies – University of Hawaii
- Kaleo o Ko’olauloa, April 7, 2005, vol. xix, no. 4 Zoom InfoDownloaded October 5, 2007.
- “Retired Journalism Professor to Complete BYU-Hawaii's 50-year History,” BYU-Hawaii Alumni Association e-newsletter, Sep. 2003,e-newsletterDownloaded October 5, 2007.