Rich Rodriguez, 53, the former editor of the Sacramento Bee has joined the faculty of Arizona State University’s Walter Cronkite School of Journalism and Mass Communication to train young journalists to cover Latino and U.S.-Mexico border issues.
Rodriguez is the school’s first Southwest Borderlands Initiative Professor. Christopher Callahan, the dean of the Cronkite school, announced the appointment and stressed the importance of the new program.
“We need to create a cadre of young journalists who can not only speak the language, but are equipped with a deep understanding of the cultural, historical, political, religious and sociological backgrounds of the wide variety of Latino populations,” said Callahan. “There is no one better to do that than Rick Rodriguez, who has been a national leader of ethnic diversity in newsrooms and news products.”
Rodriquez was executive editor of the Bee from 1998 until his resignation in October 2007 in a dispute over the long-term direction of the newspaper. He was one of the highest-ranking Hispanic newspaper executives in the country and the first to serve as president of the American Society of Newspaper Editors.
He had worked for The McClatchy Co., which owns the Bee, since 1979 and continues to serve as a consultant to its vice president for news.
“I am very impressed with the Cronkite School’s commitment to educating the next generation of journalists,” Rodriguez said. “And I’m pleased that I will be joining such a distinguished faculty and being part of that great effort.”
The Cronkite School is a nationally recognized professional journalism program with 1,500 students, according to the school’s website. Located on ASU’s Tempe campus, it is scheduled to move into a new six-story, $71 million journalism education complex in downtown Phoenix in August and has recruited 14 leading professionals to teach in the past two years.
— The Associated Press and Diverse Staff
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