The center was launched in the 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. The center engages media producers and students in dialogue and action about independent media, especially U.S.-based outlets producing content on issues such as equity, social justice and sustainability. Additionally, 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,” said Rumi. “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 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. Prior to his journalistic career, Rumi was a director of the Jinnah Institute, a public policy think tank, and executive director of the Justice Network. He also worked at the Asian Development Bank and advised the United Kingdom’s Department for International Development and the United Nations, in addition to a long stint with Pakistan’s Administrative Service.
Rumi’s independent voice as a journalist and TV commentator in Pakistan made him a target of violent extremists. He immigrated to the United States after narrowly surviving an attack by a militia aligned with the Taliban in 2014.