Jim Rodenbush was announced as the new director of IU Student Media by the dean of the Media School, James Shanahan, on Monday.
Rodenbush has been the student media adviser and corporate communications manager for the Rocky Mountain Student Media Corporation at Colorado State University since September 2015.
He was selected after a national search by a committee of faculty members, alumni and students, according to a Media School press release. In his new position, Rodenbush will serve as the chief executive officer for the Indiana Daily Student, the Arbutus yearbook and related media.
"I have not been shy to tell people that I have long been an admirer of the Indiana Daily Student since my time in student media," Rodenbush said in an interview with the IDS. "It’s been a publication that I've used to show students of mine story ideas, multimedia approaches to story ideas, front page designs. I’ve been a fan of the publication."
Rodenbush's appointment will begin July 2.
Prior to his time at Colorado State, Rodenbush was the news adviser for The Daily Collegian at Penn State University and the general manager for The Journal at Webster University, just outside St. Louis.
"Student media has really been the best time, the best job, the best years for me," Rodenbush said. "Everything about student media, providing the resources and the support for students, watching them tackle the problems and the learning process of journalism for the first time. Watching them succeed and watching them go on to big great things, that's really the most rewarding part of the job for me."
Before he entered the world of student media, Rodenbush had a lengthy career as a reporter, working for GateHouse Media, Pittsburgh Post-Gazette, Pittsburgh Tribune-Review and the Suburban Journals of Greater St. Louis, among other publications.
He also taught journalism and sports writing classes at the University of Pittsburgh from August 2003 to April 2009.
"I’ve seen a lot of different newsrooms," Rodenbush said. "One advantage to that is you’re able to see a lot of different ways to go about doing things. A lot of structures, a lot of approaches. You see what works, in some cases you see what doesn’t work. There is a variety of ideas, a variety of people, a variety of approaches that you see when you’re in these different spots."
Rodenbush received a B.A. degree in journalism from Webster University in 1998 and a M.A. degree in journalism from Syracuse University in 1999.
He also previously lived in West Lafayette, Indiana, and Indianapolis during his childhood.
"If I had to boil down who am I to one word, I'm a reporter," Rodenbush said. "Journalism is literally the only job I’ve ever wanted. I was in the seventh grade and I was 12 when I announced to my mom and dad that I was going to be a newspaper reporter when I grew up."
Rodenbush will take over as director following Greg Menkedick, who has served as interim director since November. Before Menkedick, Ron Johnson had been the director since 2008.
As director of IU Student Media, Rodenbush will report to Shanahan. The IDS and Arbutus yearbook maintain editorial independence, as guaranteed by a charter adopted by the IU Board of Trustees.
"I come in with a really high level of respect for what Indiana student media represents," Rodenbush said. "What I really want people to know is that I consider this a real privilege and a really fantastic opportunity for myself personally. It’s a responsibility I don’t take lightly. Frankly, I’m going to work my butt off for the organization to make sure I’m worthy of the responsibility given to me."
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