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Rachel Knoble
IU Student Media

Nancy Comiskey
Indiana Daily Student

Bonnie Brownlee
IU School of Journalism

Ruth Witmer
Indiana Daily Student

Last modified: Monday, August 20, 2007

Interim director of IU student media announced

Aug. 20, 2007

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Nancy Comiskey

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BLOOMINGTON, Ind. -- The Indiana Daily Student at Indiana University today (Aug. 20) announced the appointment of Nancy Comiskey as interim director of IU student media. Comiskey succeeds David Adams, who died earlier this summer after serving as director since 1989.

"Dave was an outspoken advocate for student journalists and a fine man. We all miss him," Comiskey said. "I wish the circumstances were different, but I'm happy to be back at the IDS and the Arbutus for the year. We have a terrific staff in place now, and I hope we'll see a lot more students in the newsroom when classes begin."

Comiskey isn't new to the IDS. She served as interim director from January 2002 to May 2003, while Adams took a leave of absence to teach in Hawaii. Since that time, she has served as a visiting Weil professor in the IU School of Journalism. A 1974 IU graduate, she was an editor for 10 years at The Indianapolis Star and News. She also was recently published in O magazine.

"She's the perfect person to turn to," said Kathryn Helmke, who worked with Comiskey as editor-in-chief in the spring of 2003. "She loves the paper, she knows the paper, and she's the perfect candidate to see it through some difficult times."

Shortly before his death, Adams wrote of Comiskey, "We have been so blessed by Nancy's presence in Ernie Pyle Hall the past five years. She remains a dear friend to our students and our program."

Comiskey will return to overseeing operations at the IDS and Arbutus for a 10-month appointment, spanning the 2007-2008 school year.

"On behalf of the school, we're delighted that she is serving as interim publisher this year," said Bonnie Brownlee, associate dean of the School of Journalism and chair of the search committee for a permanent director. "She did a wonderful job (as interim publisher in 2002-2003). We're looking forward to having her here to maintain stability and move the paper forward."

The 10-person committee will meet for the first time on Aug. 31.

Comiskey originally was recruited by Trevor R. Brown, former dean of the School of Journalism.

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Comiskey was interim publisher of the IDS in 2002-03

Print-Quality Photo

"Nancy Comiskey was ideal as interim publisher of the Indiana Daily Student in 2002. She's even better prepared now. In 2002, she had had rich experiences as a reporter, editor and developer of young talent at the Indianapolis Star," Brown said. "In 2007, Nancy is a seasoned veteran as a leader and mentor on the news-editorial and business sides of the IDS and Arbutus.

"She has significantly strengthened her role as an adviser of student journalists by teaching courses in reporting and editing for the school," he added. "She is wonderfully prepared to preserve the national record for excellence of the IDS and Arbutus and to take student media to even higher levels of accomplishment."

Incoming IDS editor-in-chief, Trevor A. Brown (who is no relation to the former dean) expressed his excitement about working with Comiskey. "I am sure she will be a tremendous resource for everyone. I'm looking forward to a very productive and exciting year working with her," he said.

Earlier this spring, while accepting an award, Comiskey spoke of the dual role she will play as interim director.

"I have always believed that both journalism and teaching are callings," she said. "In both professions you have great responsibilities and great privileges. And you can change lives for the better every day."