Close this search box.

Ithaca College names Rumi director of Park Center for Independent Media

Raza Rumi (Photo by Natalie Jenereski/Ithaca College)

ITHACA, N.Y. — Ithaca College announced it has appointed Raza Rumi — a Pakistani journalist, author, and policy analyst — as the new director of the Park Center for Independent Media (PCIM).

The college launched the center in its Roy H. Park School of Communications in 2008 with a gift from the Park Foundation to study journalism-oriented media outlets that create and distribute content outside traditional corporate systems and news organizations.

Rumi succeeds Jeff Cohen, associate professor of journalism and PCIM founding director, who retired from Ithaca College this summer, the college said in a release.

Rumi has been a scholar-in-residence at Ithaca College since 2015. He is also a visiting faculty at Cornell Institute for Public Affairs. As a journalist, he is affiliated with Pakistan’s Daily Times. His writing has appeared in outlets including Foreign Policy, The New York Times, CNN, and Al Jazeera. Before journalism, Rumi was a director of the Jinnah Institute, a public policy think tank, and executive director of the Justice Network.

Ithaca College said its PCIM engages media producers and students in dialogue and action about independent media, especially U.S.-based media outlets producing content on issues such as equity, social justice, and sustainability. PCIM provides grants to students who work as summer interns at specific independent media organizations or nonprofits.

“The Park Center for Independent Media is one of the very few centers of its kind across the United States — in fact, globally — which focuses on non-corporate media and looks at supporting independent media outlets and related social movements,” Rumi said in the release. “It’s extremely exciting to be part of this larger push towards making media more responsible, more responsive, and geared towards public interest and not just profit or corporate interests.”

Rumi’s independent voice as a journalist and TV commentator in Pakistan made him a target of violent extremists, the release stated. He immigrated to the U.S. after narrowly surviving an attack by a militia aligned with the Taliban in 2014.

As the new director of PCIM, Rumi plans to bring a “more international breadth” to the center’s programming, incorporating independent media models from around the world, the college said. He also plans to focus on various issues affecting independent media, from net neutrality to financial sustainability.

“All of these issues require more robust academic engagement and more rigorous exchange of ideas amongst scholars, practitioners and working journalists, and I hope to lead that at PCIM,” he said.

Rumi also wants to involve PCIM in the issue of media censorship, noting that journalists and media outlets in the U.S. are coming under increasing pressure not to report on powerful groups and individuals.

“The U.S. is entering into a stage where a very rigorous defense of media freedoms, independence of thought and freedom of expression — both on campuses and outside in the real world — is becoming a major issue,” Rumi contended. “I would like PCIM to work in that direction. I would like our students to engage in those conversations and in those movements.”

Contact the Business Journal News Network at


Get our email updates

Stay up-to-date on the companies, people and issues that impact businesses in Syracuse, Central New York and beyond.


Essential business news, thoughtful analysis and valuable insights for Central New York business leaders.

Copyright © 2023 Central New York Business Journal. All Rights Reserved.