Maynard Forum

Minority reporters increase in TV, drop in radio

Minority workforce numbers have increased in several areas of broadcast media, but minority news personnel hiring has not kept pace with the overall population growth of non-white residents, the latest research on newsroom diversity by the Radio Television Digital News Association and Hofstra University shows.

The annual survey found minorities in 23.1 percent of the jobs in newsrooms at non-Hispanic TV stations. In radio newsrooms, minority representation fell by 0.4 percent and remained especially low (5.6 percent) at commercial stations. Newspaper numbers are expected later this summer. Minorities comprise about 38 percent of the U.S. population.

The complete report can be found at and a sharable infographic on race and ethnicity in the newsroom at


Can Media-Shaped Perceptions Be Deadly?

By Martin G. Reynolds
Senior Fellow
The Robert C. Maynard Institute for Journalism Education

OAKLAND - The slayings of Alton Sterling and Philando Castile have shaken the nation and brought to a head the festering tensions between people of color and law enforcement.

Members of the press across the country are hard at work, thoughtfully reflecting how to make sense of this, and how best to cover the slayings of Spencer, in Louisiana, and Castile, in Minnesota, and the five Dallas police officers gunned down after a peaceful protest in that city Thursday night.
We have all been shaken, but we have a job to do.

[Read more]


Best Voices of 2015 - 2016

From the very beginning, at the orientation weekend in July, the Oakland Voices 2015 correspondents shared a connection that no one could really explain. It started during a writing exercise and they just clicked. That bond would help them navigate stories about resilient family members, neighborhood businesses trying to make a difference, community organizers providing essential services and their own reactions to President Barack Obama’s executive order regarding gun violence and regulations. They organized two successful, informative community forums on displacement, Oakland’s major issue. They made discoveries about their own neighborhoods and took on complex issues such as gentrification and human trafficking. They highlighted delightful and unusual holiday celebrations in their communities. At the end of the program, they said they felt they had found or rediscovered their voices and plan to continue to tell the stories they see around them. Here are some of the highlights of their work. - Brenda Payton, Oakland Voices Coordinator

They became advocates for healthy lifestyles. They reminisced about childhood inspirations. They celebrated the vibrancy of their evolving city, but with caution. They understand when change happens, people get left behind. The Sacramento Voices cohort for 2015-16 created a remarkably diverse body of work, writing about their South Sacramento communities with insight, depth and passion matched by no other media platform. Equally compelling was the quality of the writing. The pieces here reflect not just accumulated knowledge and snapshots of 10 lives lived in a specific place and time, but a unique community literary accomplishment of enduring journalistic craftsmanship. - Robert Graswich, Sacramento Voices Coordinator

 - Part 2 -

Rep. Barbara Lee Town Hall on Gun Violence Highlights Impact on the Community
By Rosalinda Hernandez
Oakland Voices

Kids learn joy of food. Even eggplant
By Audreyell Anderson
Sacramento Voices


Oakland Voices Graduation 2016

Oakland Voices correspondents reflect on what they learned during the 10-month program.

Video by Randy Filio


CIR and MIJE announce the Dori J. Maynard Senior Research Fellows program

The Center for Investigative Reporting and The Robert C. Maynard Institute for Journalism Education are pleased to announce the launch of the Dori J. Maynard Senior Research Fellows program.

Continuing and deepening the work of both organizations, the program is designed to bring together researchers from diverse backgrounds and disciplines to examine the intersection of race, power and media. Their research will be a resource for media organizations, academic institutions, foundations and others.

The program is named for Dori J. Maynard, the late president and CEO of the Maynard Institute who worked tirelessly to push the news media to accurately reflect the diversity of the nation. She died Feb. 24, 2015 in her home in Oakland, CA after a battle with cancer.

She was 56.

The fellowship will be led by Lindsay Green-Barber, Ph.D., CIR’s director of strategic research.

We are pleased to announce the first cohort of senior fellows:

  • Meredith Clark, Ph.D., assistant professor at the Mayborn School of Journalism at University of North Texas and a graduate of the Maynard Media Academy for managers.

  • Jana Diesner, Ph.D., assistant professor at University of Illinois Urbana-Champaign’s iSchool and affiliate at the Department of Computer Science.

  • Laura K. Nelson, Ph.D., postdoctoral research fellow in the Management and Organizations Department in the Kellogg School of Management at Northwestern University and affiliate at the Northwestern Institute on Complex Systems. In September, Nelson will become an assistant professor in Northeastern University’s Department of Sociology and Anthropology.

Joaquin Alvarado, CEO of CIR, said, “We are excited to collaborate with the Maynard Institute to honor and extend the legacy of leadership, learning and courage the institute has provided in journalism. I can think of no better way to celebrate Dori than by pursuing the mission she was so dedicated to. CIR is committed to these principles and values and models them every day we come to work.”

“We admire the work and the leadership of The Center for Investigative Reporting, and we are thrilled to be partners with them in advancing innovative research and thoughtful discussion of  race, power and media,” said Evelyn Hsu, executive director of the Maynard Institute.

Maynard board member Martin G. Reynolds said, “This research collaboration with CIR reflects a new strategy for an invigorated institute that seeks to develop research that shows, unequivocally, the value of achieving diversity in staffing, coverage and revenue.”

Of the senior research fellowship initiative, Jonathan Kaufman, director of Northeastern University’s School of Journalism, said, “This project demonstrates the growing intersection of data, data analysis and journalism. Collaboration between universities, nonprofits like CIR and the Maynard institute and media partners is the future of deeply-reported, high-impact journalism. Northeastern is proud to be at the cutting edge of this new field.”

Starting this month, CIR and the Maynard Institute will host a series of Equity Exchanges with key stakeholders and potential collaborators to discuss the project and get feedback on research questions the fellows will examine.

The Robert C. Maynard Institute for Journalism Education is the nation’s oldest organization dedicated to helping the news media accurately portray all segments of society, particularly those often overlooked, such as communities of color. The institute has been the pre-eminent organization working to support journalists of color, while pushing newsrooms across the nation to achieve diversity in coverage, hiring and business. The organization is coming out of a strategic planning process to reimagine itself to serve media in the 21st century. Part of that service centers on research to help support the need for diversity and equity in media.

Founded in 1977, The Center for Investigative Reporting is the nation’s first independent, nonprofit, nonpartisan media organization dedicated to public service journalism. CIR empowers the public through groundbreaking investigative storytelling that sparks action, improves lives and protects our democracy. Over the last three years, CIR has convened academic researchers, media makers and others to undertake collaborative research projects and advance the field.

The announcement of this collaboration coincides with the anniversary of the Washington, D.C., memorial honoring Dori Maynard. Hundreds gathered at the Newseum on May 4, 2015, to remember her as a champion of diversity and a friend and mentor to many. This fellowship is a tribute to her memory and her work.


Oakland Voices Community Forum on Affordable Housing

At the Oakland Voices community forum on affordable housing earlier this month, expert panelists offered an unusually optimistic view of ways to secure affordable housing in Oakland, in spite of the city’s housing crisis. Strategies ranged from constructing housing for teachers, securing impact fees from developers to fund affordable housing and linking livable wages to issues of housing. The panel made it clear that the city has many tools to accommodate its working class families and residents.


Dorothy Butler Gilliam Honored With The Anne O'Hare McCormick Trailblazer Award

Maynard Institute board member was honored last week by the directors of Anne O'Hare McCormick Memorial Fund with the group's first trailblazer award. Following are excerpts from Gilliam's remarks on accepting the award:

I was privileged to be a part of, to have an eye on the struggle – and to survive – some of the events that resulted in the transformation of this country, of my America — from separate and brutally unequal to an African-American president in the white house.

I grew up in the south.   In 1941, when I was five years old, my family moved from Memphis to Louisville.  My father, a minister in the African methodist episcopal church, was assigned to build a new  church – which he did.

In Louisville, I lived segregation.  My neighbors were black.  We lived in the segregated neighborhood south of downtown Louisville known as St. Catherine.  My classmates were black.  I attended the segregated neighborhood school for the colored.  Yes, before we were black, before we were african-americans. The colored.  That is what we were called before we were negroes.

[Read more]


Bob Maynard’s vision of news via computer recalled as East Bay newspapers consolidate

By Brenda Payton

I was in a meeting with Bob Maynard. It must have been in the early ’80s. When he took over as editor of the Oakland Tribune, he was the first African American to lead a mainstream daily newspaper. But that wasn’t the topic of discussion at the meeting.

“You know, one day people will not be getting their news from newspapers,” he said, holding up a Tribune. “They’ll be reading it on their computers.” 

Even 30-plus years later, I remember his words. We looked at him as if he were crazy. No newspapers? News on the computer? What was he talking about? (I thought he might have mentioned the word “Internet.” But looking back, his observation predated common references to that term, first used in 1982, according to

[read more]


Inspirational words for Sac Voices

Sacramento City College journalism professor Dianne Heimer and Sacramento Voices alum Burt Clemons used heartfelt and inspirational words to describe the importance of community journalism at a Sacramento Voices training workshop in February.

Heimer examined how traditional media outlets overlook stories in many South Sacramento neighborhoods, unless the stories involve crime.

“You are the only people who can tell the real stories from those neighborhoods, because you live there and are part of the community,” she said. “This is a significant and wonderful opportunity.”

[Read more]


Community Forum Keeps Us Safe

From kitchen fires to downed power lines, community members learned essential safety skills at a Sacramento Voices Community Forum and Town Hall organized by Voices correspondent Marianna Sousa, with assistance from correspondent Kalaisha Totty. The highly successful event was held Jan. 28 at the Sacramento City College Student Center.

“The issue of safety effects all of us, from babies to elders, even your pets,” Sousa told the audience.

[Read more]