Maynard Forum

Allegra Bennett: An Appreciation

Michael Jackson’s “Thriller” album. Weather Report’s “Boogie Woogie Waltz.” McCoy Tyner’s “Understanding.” Prince’s “1999.” El DeBarge’s “All This Love.” Grandmaster Flash and the Furious Five’s “The Message.”

Allegra Bennett loved those tunes and many, many more. They were part of her broad and personal soundtrack in 1980s Baltimore where we worked together at The Baltimore Sun and were to become fast friends for the next 30 years.

Her high-octane love of music and having a good time — indeed, a joyful life — were central to her being. She loved having friends over for barbecues and parties in her big backyard on Sequoia Avenue.

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Robert Montemayor, part of Pulitzer-winning LAT team, has died

Robert Montemayor, a Pulitzer Prize-winning journalist, media executive, author, and educator, died Oct. 22 at the age of 62. He had suffered from cancer and had recently moved back to his hometown of Lubbock, TX from Bloomfield, N.J.

Born in Tahoka, TX, he started his journalism career as a feature and news writer for the Dallas Times Herald and then the Los Angeles Times, where he was a member of a team that won the 1984 Pulitzer Prize Gold Medal for Meritorious Public Service.

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Evelyn Hsu Appointed Executive Director of Maynard Institute

“Evelyn Hsu is a champion for diversity in journalism and the right leader for Maynard at this important junction. She brings to the office a sense of history about the organization as well as a keen sense of how we move forward in the digital era,” said Mark Trahant, chair of the institute’s board of directors. [Read more]

Martin Reynolds to Lead Maynard Strategic Planning Project

The Maynard Institute for Journalism Education is proud to announce appointment of Martin G. Reynolds, Bay Area News Group senior editor, to a 12-month fellowship to lead the institute through a strategic planning and implementation process. [Read more]

Maynard Institute adds new board members

The organization also announced this week the addition of three members to its board of directors:

  • Debra Adams Simmons, vice president of news development at Advance Local and a 2016 Nieman Foundation Fellow.

  • Dickson Louie, principal, Louie & Associates, CPA, and visiting assistant professor at the University of California, Davis, Graduate School of Management.

  • Kevin Merida, managing editor, The Washington Post.

Mark Trahant and Richard Prince Discuss Confederate Flag at The Freedom Forum

Video of Maynard board chair Mark Trahant and Maynard columnist Richard Prince discussing Confederate flag and sports team names with Gene Policinski of The Freedom Forum. (Click on the image or follow this link to view the video.)


The 2015 POLITICO Journalism Institute

The second POLITICO Journalism Institute wrapped up in Washington DC on June 12. The program is a Maynard Institute partnership with POLITICO and American University.

The program brought 12 students from colleges around the country to Washington DC for an intense eight-day immersion in political reporting.


Dori J. Maynard Memorial at the Newseum, Washington, DC

About 250 people gathered at the Newseum in Washington DC on Monday, May 4 to pay tribute to Dori Maynard, the late president of the Maynard Institute for Journalism Education.

Maynard died in February of lung cancer. She was 56.

More than a dozen speakers including Donald E. Graham, former chairman of the Washington Post Co., praised  Maynard's work to diversify the news industry.

The full video of the memorial can be viewed here.


The War Fought by Black Journalists at Home

By Dorothy Gilliam and Jacqueline Trescott

         Many important accounts of the Civil Rights Movement remain hidden, and near the top of that list are the lives of black journalists who recorded the dramatic news as the actions moved from Montgomery, Ala. to Greensboro, N.C. to Selma, Ala.

         In the 1930s, some journalists stole into the South by bus at night to avoid the Klansmen who sent written notices to black newspapers warning that they would “take care of any nigger reporters who stick their nose in our business here again.” Some of the journalists wore overalls and muddy shoes as they carried their wobbly Royal portable typewriters wrapped in brown paper so they looked like a pack of clothes.

          Some reporters also carried false credentials in case local authorities became suspicious of their roles. They often mailed their articles at night, sending them with trusted Pullman Porters on the midnight Illinois Central train heading north, back to the headquarters of their newspapers or magazines.


A Letter to the MIJE Family from Evelyn Hsu

Dear MIJE Family and Friends:

All of us at the Maynard Institute were moved by the wonderful tributes to Dori Maynard on her untimely death last month.

Our task now is to continue her legacy and the work of helping the media better reflect our diverse society.

Our goals remain the same. Our work will continue, as Dori had urged it must. Now, we are fashioning new strategic directions.

Whenever I’ve faced a big task at the institute, I think about our founders, a wondrous group of journalists who were far ahead of the time.

These nine journalists were black, white, and Hispanic. They included Bob Maynard, for whom this organization is now named, his wife, Nancy Hicks Maynard, Dorothy Gilliam, Frank Sotomayor, Steve Montiel, and Leroy Aarons, who would later found the National Lesbian & Gay Journalists Association. Our board chair, Mark Trahant, is Native American. I’m proud to be the institute’s first Asian American executive.

Our founders saw needs and built solutions, at times serving themselves as teachers in training programs for journalists of color. Their ideas were widely copied by academia and by the industry.

This is now another time that requires creative solutions. We have the opportunity to teach and train through a variety of methods and mediums. We can train cross-generationally, not just from older to younger. All can be teachers; all are learners.

I’ve had the opportunity to speak with many of you in the weeks since Dori’s death. You’ve asked what you can do to help the institute.

So, I ask this: Think of the problems. Think of possible solutions. Think of something you could build. Think of experiments the institute could try. What could you teach? What do you want to learn? What can we do so money is not a barrier?

Let me know your thinking. I can be reached best at



MIJE Board Statement on Passing of Dori Maynard and Future of the Institute

MIJE Board statement. March 1, 2015

Dori J. Maynard recently asked the board of directors to think about what the Maynard Institute should look like in the next twenty or fifty years. How does the institute celebrate the legacy of its founders? How do we reframe the mission in an era of social media to provide opportunity to those who want to practice journalism? And, how do we improve the content of the news media so that America is accurately reflected as the most diverse generation in history moves onto center stage?

Dori Maynard’s untimely death makes these questions even more critical. The Institute has never been about a single leader. There have been extraordinary voices from the beginning, of course, Bob Maynard, Nancy Hicks Maynard, Leroy Aarons, John Dotson, Charles Jackson, and so many others who have shared a passion for an inclusive news media.

The Institute has always changed over its history. When the institute began in 1974 it was primarily a training program designed to open the opportunity into newsrooms. Then the Institute followed with an editing program at the University of Arizona at Tucson that trained reporters to be frontline editors. In another remarkable effort, the Management Training Center at Northwestern University, took the same idea focused on news management, helping to create a ready pool of talent.

Thousands of journalists from all backgrounds took advantage of these training programs. The Institute also evolved and built leadership programs at Harvard as well as increasing capacity of individual news organizations. MIJE has always figured out what’s required for the times and matched that with the resources available. And, as Dori pointed out, this is one of those eras.

Meeting Sunday by conference call, the MIJE board embraced Dori’s longer range questions about the Institute and is taking immediate steps to determine the future. A board task force, chaired by Martin Reynolds, will look at short- term steps needed to ensure that MIJE remains as relevant today as the program that was launched at Columbia University a generation ago.

That task force will be followed by a formal strategic planning process.

Board task force: Martin Reynolds, Paula Madison and John X. Miller.

The Maynard Institute for Journalism Education board of directors Sunday named Evelyn Hsu as acting executive director of the organization.


Dori J. Maynard: A Legacy of Fierce Love

By Sally Lehrman

Dori J. Maynard, a fierce and courageous warrior for diversity in journalism and public discourse, employed three powerful weapons: Passion, grace, and love.

In an era of financial and technological disruption throughout journalism, Maynard insisted that newsrooms honor their highest purpose. The news must teach each group of society about the others’ realities and concerns, engaging everyone in addressing the problems of the day. No one could be marginalized. No one could be typecast and repeatedly excluded from our daily lives as criminal, victim or outsider without a useful point of view.

Over the last year of her life, this challenge grew ever more urgent to Maynard. Cities across the country were erupting in rage in response to the killings, one after another, of unarmed black men by law enforcement. In the news, images of African Americans had expanded only slightly – from perpetrators to victims, too. Depictions of Latinos remained monochrome -- the angry, troubled or dependent immigrants. The contributions of Native Americans and Asian Americans had almost entirely disappeared. In notes for an upcoming speech, Maynard urged, “For the sake of the country, for the sake of ourselves, this cannot continue.”

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