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Newsroom Leader Assumes Gaylord Professorship

September 24, 2009

Edith Kinney Gaylord Visiting Professor in Journalism Ethics, Sharon Rosenhause

Sharon Rosenhause, a longtime newspaper editor who has been a champion of newsroom diversity, is the new Edith Kinney Gaylord Visiting Professor in Journalism Ethics at Arizona State University.

Rosenhause is teaching classes in ethics and diversity to honors undergraduate students and master’s level students in the Walter Cronkite School of Journalism and Mass Communication.

Rosenhause spent the past seven years as managing editor of the South Florida Sun-Sentinel, retiring in July. Before joining the Sun-Sentinel, she was managing editor of the San Francisco Examiner and editor of the San Francisco Chronicle's PM Edition. She also has worked for the Bergen (N.J.) Record, the Los Angeles Times and the New York Daily News.

Rosenhause is the fourth Gaylord Visiting Professor at the Cronkite School. She follows N. Christian Anderson III, the award-winning former publisher of the Orange County Register; Ellen Soeteber, former editor of the St. Louis Post-Dispatch; and James Crutchfield, former publisher of the Akron Beacon Journal.

Dean Christopher Callahan said students and faculty have benefitted enormously from having such leading journalists at the school. Rosenhause, he said, “has decades of top leadership experience in some of the nation’s best newsrooms, where she practiced an unflinching commitment to the principle that a diverse newsroom produces a better news product.”

Rosenhause’s work earned her the Robert G. McGruder Award for Leadership in Diversity in 2006. She also was given the Career Achievement Award by the Columbia Journalism School Workshop on Race and Diversity in 2005.

She is secretary and a board member of the Institute for Justice and Journalism and on the selection committee for the Kaiser Media Fellowships. In 2009, Rosenhause directed New America Media's Veterans Project, an ethnic-mainstream collaboration in Los Angeles supported by the McCormick Foundation.

Rosenhause said she worries that concerns about the business side of journalism will overtake commitment to traditional journalistic values. “It’s a sign of how visionary the Cronkite School is that there’s a required course in ethics and diversity,” she said. “This is a place where I can learn a lot, surrounded by smart people who are passionate about the craft and committed to excellence.”

The Edith Kinney Gaylord Visiting Professorship in Journalism Ethics, named in honor of the late pioneering newswoman, was created in 2006 with a gift from the Ethics and Excellence in Journalism Foundation. Earlier this year, the Oklahoma City-based foundation renewed its support of the professorship for another three years.

President and Chief Executive Officer Robert J. Ross said the professorship is part of the foundation’s mission to “instill in students the ethical standards that are essential to the future of journalism and that were so important to Gaylord’s career.”

Gaylord, the daughter of Daily Oklahoman Publisher E.K. Gaylord, launched her journalism career at her father’s newspaper in 1937 after graduating from college. In 1942, she joined The Associated Press in New York and the following year went to the AP’s Washington bureau, where she covered the Roosevelt administration and First Lady Eleanor Roosevelt during World War II.

She created the Ethics and Excellence Foundation in 1982 to improve the quality of the practice of journalism by supporting creative projects and research that promote “excellence in journalism and instills and encourages high ethical standards in journalism.”