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The University of Texas at Austin


Photojournalism: Cliff Edom and Vi Edom

Steve Northup and President Nixon Cliff Edom (left) and his wife, Vi Edom sign copies of their book Photojournalism: Principles and Practices.

The papers of Cliff Edom, who coined the term "photojournalism," are part of the Briscoe Center’s News Media History Archive. Donated in 2005 by his daughter, Dr. Vme Edom Smith, the Cliff and Vi Edom Collection documents the vital role photography has come to play in photojournalism. Cliff Edom earned a degree in journalism from the University of Missouri, where he organized and led the first accredited photojournalism department in the country. Vi Edom, his wife, was the assistant manager for the Missouri Press Association for 30 years.


As a team, Cliff and Vi Edom co-founded three important programs that have continued through the years: the Pictures of the Year contest (1943); Kappa Alpha Mu, a national honorary fraternity for photography (1944); and the Missouri Photo Workshop (1949). Thousands of photojournalists have graduated from the workshop. Its faculty has included Russell Lee, Flip Schulke, and Bruce Roberts whose photography collections are also held at the Briscoe Center.

Finding aid for the Clifton C. and Vilia C. Edom Collection
Photojournalism (Collection Strength)
News Media History (Collection Strength)