Park Center for Independent Media

The Park Center for Independent Media (PCIM), launched in 2008 and funded by a generous endowment from the Park Foundation, is a center for the study of media outlets that create and distribute content outside traditional corporate systems

PCIM's mission is to engage media producers and students in dialogue and action about independent media, especially US-based outlets producing content (across single- or multiple-content platforms) on issues such as equity, social justice, and sustainability.

It examines the impact of independent media on journalism, democracy, society, and participatory cultures in response to concentration of media ownership, the emergence of conglomerates, and corporate constraints on journalism in the United States. In order to address multiple economic, environmental, political, and social crises, it is critical to protect a free, independent, and viable media system outside the corporatized mainstream journalism sectors. The highest principles of the First Amendment of the United States and a democracy based on the free exercise of an informed citizenry are of paramount and urgent importance in the current era.

The Center's founding director was Jeff Cohen who launched it in 2008 and retired in 2018.

The Center publishes The Indy Brief, a daily summary of news reports from noted indy media outlets.  You can learn more about PCIM and can subscribe to this newsletter to ensure that you remain informed of important news about the Center and the work it covers.

Raza Ahmad Rumi, the current director, is a Pakistani writer and a public policy specialist who teaches in our journalism department and is also visiting faculty at the Cornell Institute for Public Affairs.  He continues to be the consulting editor for The Friday Times, and a senior fellow at the Jinnah Institute in Islamabad.  Before coming to the U.S., Mr. Rumi was a print and broadcast journalist in Pakistan where in March 2014, he narrowly survived an assassination attempt in which his driver lost his life. 

2020 Izzy Award nominations are underway!

Last year’s Izzy Award ‘for outstanding achievement in independent media’ was shared by a publication and three journalists: Earth Island Journal highlighted the connections between environmental degradation, women and indigenous peoples; Laura Flanders provided progressive and internationalist perspectives to American audiences; Dave Lindorff uncovered the opaqueness of Pentagon accounts and bloated military budgets; and Aaron Mate exposed the hollowness and hyperbole of the so-called Russiagate scandal.

This year’s Izzy Award will be given for work published, broadcast or posted in 2019 by an independent media outlet, journalist or producer. The award may relate to a single piece or a body of work. Journalists, academics and the public at large may submit nominations by the February 3, 2020 (midnight), deadline. The winner will be announced early next spring, with an award ceremony to follow in April 2020.  Check out the Izzy Award page for more information.

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Raza Ahmad Rumi
Director, Park Center for Independent Media and Associate Professor in the Department of Journalism
rahmad@ithaca.edu (607) 274-1330, Park 257

Brandy Hawley
Administrative Assistant to the Department of Journalism and the Park Center for Independent Media
bhawley@ithaca.edu, (607) 274-3590, Park 258