Columns by Dori J. Maynard

Chauncey Bailey Project: A Journalistic Collaboration

Monday, June 13, 2011

At a time when two reports are heralding the importance of journalistic collaboration in this age of rapid media transformation, an Oakland, CA jury succinctly made just that point when it convicted Yusuf Bey IV and Antoine Mackey of murdering journalist Chauncey Bailey.


Connecting with the Communities We Cover

Wednesday, May 11, 2011

There is something disorienting about living in a town where the perception and reality of your city are often sharply at odds.

Mention Oakland, CA, and the words may vary, but the response is often the same. “EW!” “I’m sorry about what’s happening to your city.” “That’s scary.” “It’s really been going through a rough patch.” “You live in Oakland? I’m scared to go there.”


Obama, Osama and a New Conversation

Wednesday, May 4, 2011

Last Friday’s Real Time with Bill Maher was playing when my brother’s text arrived telling me that Osama bin Laden was dead.

While much of the rest of the country waited for President Obama to address the nation, I watched conservative commentator Andrew Breitbart echo others calling for the release of the president’s college records and suggesting that he didn’t write his first book.


Reframing the Diversity Conversation

Tuesday, April 19, 2011

Lately there has been some discussion about how we can get the issue of diversity in journalism back on the table. Clearly the changing demographics and the growing gulf between journalists and the communities they cover have not sparked a renewed commitment to ensure that our newsrooms reflect our country.

Do we need to rethink how we start the conversation? And, do we also need to revisit our premises to make sure we’re on the same page?


Ring of Fire, Fault Lines and the News Media

Ever since I learned that I live on the Ring of Fire I’ve been obsessed. The kind of  “pore over maps, bolt down the furniture, pack up emergency bags for my car and office, and then wake up in the middle of the night wondering what else I can do to protect myself in case the long-predicted earthquake hits” obsessed.


Rep. Gabrielle Giffords and the National Conversation

We are a nation deeply divided, at times unable to agree about anything from the role of government, to the rights of citizens to even whether our president is a US citizen.

But for one brief moment on Saturday, it seemed as if we came together to condemn the violence that took six lives and severely wounded 14 others, including the target, U.S. Rep. Gabrielle Giffords.


Hours Before Rally to Restore Sanity: A Moment Less Than Sane

The Maynard Institute’s Fault Line Framework is a diversity tool that teaches people to talk to each other with the goal of understanding. Dori J. Maynard, who has been refining the framework, will write a regular feature about living on the Fault Lines. This is her first entry. 

A few hours before the recent Rally to Restore Sanity, the general manager of a Hampton Inn in Washington, D.C. kicked me out of his hotel, forcing me to stand on the street to wait for my colleague in 39-degree weather.


Nelson Mandela and the Gift of Hope

Somewhere in my house are several copies of South Africa′s 1994 election ballot. When I bought them, I was seeking more than just a piece of history. I was buying hope because they reminded me that the impossible can be possible if we stay true to our course.

By now, Nelson Mandela’s journey from prisoner to the presidency of South Africa, from mere mortal to moral icon, has been told so many times that it almost feels preordained.


In the aftermath of Oscar Grant and Johannes Mehserle

Two days after a Los Angeles jury found former BART officer Johannes Mehserle guilty of involuntary manslaughter, I overheard two white couples discussing the case over brunch. One of the men said it was ‚Äúinconceivable‚Äù that Mehserle knowingly shot Oscar Grant in the back as Grant lay facedown on a BART platform with his hands cuffed behind his back.

About that time, members of our Oakland Voices project were discussing the case and the ways in which “police violence plays out in our communities.”



It's Time for the Media to Integrate the Race Beat

Friday, April 9, 2010

By Dori J. Maynard.

This piece ran first on

During the debate over health care reform, some white protesters hurled racial epithets at black elected officials and even spit on one. Later that same week, the Atlanta Journal Constitution reported on a movement to have people write in "Confederate Southern American" as their race on the 2010 Census. Most recently, the governor of Virginia declared April Confederate History Month, initially issuing a proclamation that failed to mention slavery.