For the first time in its 175-year history, the Associated Press, an award-winning independent news organization, has appointed an Arizona State University faculty member to sit on its board of directors.
Mi-Ai Parrish, who is the managing director of ASU Media Enterprise and the Sue Clark-Johnson Professor for Media Innovation and Leadership at the Walter Cronkite School of Journalism and Mass Communication, will serve a three-year term on the AP’s Board of Directors.
Founded in 1846, the AP has established itself as a champion for journalism — “credible, independent global journalism,” Parrish points out, which is important because the conversations about media, she believes, should take place beyond local and regional circles. Parrish says she’s proud to be part of an organization leading the way in a variety of spaces.
“The Associated Press is one of the original national and international journalism cooperatives — and it continues to innovate overtime, making it both historic and forward-looking,” Parrish said. “It’s really exciting to be part of an organization that’s helping chart the path and making investments in the name of journalism.”
Parrish is no stranger to leading the way. As the first minority and second woman to serve as president and publisher of The Arizona Republic/azcentral.com and market president at USA Today Network, Parrish also bears the name of the inaugural Sue Clark-Johnson professorship — named after The Republic’s first female publisher.
“Mi-Ai has a wealth of experience and is a respected voice in the industry,” said Battinto L. Batts Jr., dean of the Walter Cronkite School of Journalism and Mass Communication. “I am sure she will be a tremendous asset to the AP in her role on the board of directors. As a colleague, I am proud that she carries the banners of ASU and Cronkite with her.”
ASU’s reputation for innovation is well-known, and in many cases, the university’s work has become a test case for other industries, including media, says Parrish. The journalism school’s ability to adapt and grow within a rapidly changing industry, and the partnerships that have been established in that space, demonstrate the opportunities for innovative collaborations in the field, especially outside of the U.S.
Parrish notes that one of the biggest growth areas for the Associated Press is in China. And with the organization’s global reach, it has an advantage to be part of conversations involving emerging democracies and nondemocracies, while navigating press and business issues.
But there are also opportunities for research at home. Parrish says the interest is there, not only for faculty, but for students, as the media industry looks to grow and expand its reach across social media, new platforms and new technologies.
The AP’s Board of Directors comprises 14 members. Parrish is the board’s newest appointee.