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ASU hires ex-editor as border initiative professor

The Associated Press

The Associated Press

TEMPE – The former editor of the Sacramento Bee has joined the faculty of Arizona State University’s Walter Cronkite School of Journalism and Mass Communication.

Rich Rodriguez, 53, will lead an initiative to train young journalists to cover Hispanic and U.S.-Mexico border issues.

He was named the school’s first Southwest borderlands initiative professor.

Rodriguez was executive editor of the Bee from 1998 until his resignation in October 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 serves as a consultant to the vice president for news at The McClatchy Co., which owns the Bee.

“Latinos are the fastest growing segment of the U.S. population,” Cronkite Dean Christopher Callahan said in a statement issued Wednesday. “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.

“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.”

Rodriguez joined McClatchy in 1979.

He worked as a political reporter and editorial writer before being named managing editor of the Bee in 1993.

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