The first training week of the 2024 in-person Maynard 200 Fellowship Program hosted by TCU Bob Schieffer College of Communication, concluded with a call-to-action. This year’s cohort of 32 editors and managers from diverse backgrounds were encouraged by the Maynard Institute’s Board Chair John X. Miller to take their top three lessons from Maynard 200 workshops and apply them in their newsrooms. Fellows explored benefits of new editing toolkits, management frameworks and thought-provoking discussions with long-time leaders in the industry, while furthering the values of diversity, equity, inclusion and belonging in journalism. This blog highlights key takeaways from faculty on editing, storytelling and community building, as well as testimonials from fellows who described their Maynard experience as transformational.

In the week’s concluding session, Maynard 200 Director Odette Alcazaren-Keeley lauded the fellows for their courageous conversations, including sharing direct experiences with barriers to a sense of their belonging in newsroom culture.

“We listened to each other with empathy and insight, which has been key to the success of our shared learning,” said Alcazaren-Keeley.

“Your voices on these issues are crucial as fellows…the totality of who you are is powerful. Continue to challenge ideas, challenge us, each other and yourselves. Know that alongside our Maynard 200 alumni, you represent the future of media. You have us now, as your newest community on the frontlines of this mini-movement especially amid ongoing upheaval, to dismantle systemic racism in our field.”

The Maynard Institute’s Director of Cultural Competency, Felecia D. Henderson serves as this year’s Maynard 200 Executive-in-Residence. Henderson and Alcazaren-Keeley worked together in crafting a high-impact, hands-on curriculum for the fellows that they could apply in their roles as editors and managers. Henderson said the 2024 curriculum is specifically aligned with what newsroom leaders are looking for in a professional development program because “frontline editors and managers are often thrust into crucial positions with little to no training.”

Fellows describe the first week of training as transformational

In addition to learning practical skills, another unique benefit of the Maynard 200 Fellowship professional development program is the opportunity fellows have to bond with a community of their peers. Some fellows shared heartfelt testimonials about their experiences in post-training surveys (shared below with permission).

The ability to meet so many curious, intelligent, and gracious journalists was a gift. I absolutely left the training both renewed and transformed. Teri Henderson, Baltimore Beat, Arts & Culture Editor
The Maynard 200 fellowship offers key support to front-line managers. With editing, coaching and management training, fellows can walk away with new tools and language to better engage with their reporters and the newsroom. Sabrina Bodon, The Sacramento Bee, Equity Lab Editor
The program was transformational. I feel inspired, energized, and more confident. Carmen Castro-Pagan, Bloomberg Industry Group, Team Lead (Editor)
The Maynard faculty were incredibly helpful during the first week of training. Many of the techniques they shared throughout the week came with real world examples that made it easier to translate their guidance to our own work. Kristopher Hooks, The Boston Globe, Money, Power, Inequality Editor
This was the first time in my career where someone distilled the basics of editing – what to look for and what techniques to use. I finally have an editor toolbox that I can use everyday. Fahmida Y Rashid, Dark Reading, Informa Tech, Managing Editor, Features
The first week of the Maynard 200 fellowship was extremely rewarding. It was refreshing and insightful to collaborate with such an esteemed group of journalists who are committed to their work! While all of the sessions were extraordinary, I found the editing sessions to be most beneficial. I walked away feeling empowered to utilize editing tips I learned. Erica McIntosh, WNPR, CT Public, Sr. Regional Editor, Southern CT
I did not realize how much of this I was missing and needing until I went through this past week, and knowing there's a community of folks I can reach out to is/will be invaluable. Kai Teoh, Dallas Morning News, Data & Interactives Editor
Political journalism really struggles with diversity, so, on some basic level, I just feel energized being around talented journalists of color who are making it work in the bigger ecosystem of our profession. It was therapeutic to be around so many news nerds. Darius Dixon, POLITICO; Deputy Managing Editor, Policy

Maynard 200 faculty and staff pictured (clockwise from top left): Michelle Johnson, Leslie Rangel, Merrill Perlman, Aaron Glantz, Delano Massey (seen on far right coaching fellow Matthew Vann), John X. Miller, Jean Marie Brown, Evelyn Hsu, Martin G. Reynolds, Felecia D. Henderson, Odette Alcazaren-Keeley, Cara Owsley, Steve Padilla, Tom Huang and Maria Carrillo.

Curriculum designed by industry leaders and rooted in real-world examples

“Fine-Tuning Your Story Pitch” and “Mounting and Managing the Big Project” with Aaron Glantz

Aaron Glantz is California Bureau Chief and Senior Editor at The Fuller Project, the global newsroom focused on women. A two-time Peabody Award winner and finalist for the Pulitzer Prize, he is a seasoned manager of complex projects, who delivers excellence simultaneously across mediums and newsrooms so that stories land with maximum velocity. His work has sparked new laws, dozens of Congressional hearings, and investigations by the FBI, DEA, Pentagon inspector general, and the United Nations Special Rapporteur for extrajudicial, summary, or arbitrary execution. A former foreign correspondent who worked as an unembedded journalist in Iraq, Glantz is the author of four books, among them 2019’s Homewreckers, which tracks hedge fund profiteering off the 2008 financial crisis.

Glantz presented two sessions “Fine-Tuning Your Story Pitch” and “Mounting and Managing the Big Project.” During his session on best practices for managing a big project, Glantz explained, “It’s really important that your big project be aligned with your newsroom’s mission.”

He advised fellows to become advocates for the big project. “Nobody advocates for your story as well as you do. You know your story. You know the stakeholders, you’re building relationships,” Glantz said.

“Some of you are at local outlets, you want to have a local story that’s going to speak to these greater, bigger themes. And when you really have a winner is when you can have a story that can hit in multiple metros at the same time…It’s so hard to cut through the fog, your reporting will cut through more if the stakes are high, if people can say this is an issue on my block, in my neighborhood, in my community.”

“AI: What You Need to Know” with Michelle Johnson

Michelle Johnson is an Emerita Associate Professor of the Practice in Journalism, Boston University. She retired from BU in 2022, where she taught a variety of courses focused on online journalism and multimedia storytelling. Johnson is a former editor for the Boston Globe and She is currently an Expert in Residence with BU’s Spark! program, an experiential learning and innovation lab based in the Center for Computing and Data Science.

For more than 20 years, Johnson conducted multimedia training workshops for student and professional journalists for a variety of organizations, including the Online News Association, the Maynard Institute, the National Association of Black Journalists, the National Association of Hispanic Journalists, and the Association of LGBTQ Journalists.

Johnson hopes her presentation emboldens fellows with an understanding of “the potential and pitfalls of AI, and that this will prepare them to take part in conversations that will shape policies in their newsrooms and organizations going forward.”

“Improving Collaboration between Reporters and Photographers” with Cara Owsley

Cara Owsley is a national award-winning visual journalist/director of photography at The Cincinnati Enquirer. In 2018 The Cincinnati Enquirer won a Pulitzer Prize in the local reporting category. The story “Seven Days of Heroin” was recognized by the Pulitzer board “for a riveting and insightful narrative and video documenting seven days of greater Cincinnati’s heroin epidemic, revealing how the deadly addiction has ravaged families and communities.” Cara was a photojournalist and photo editor for the project.

Before working for The Enquirer, Cara was a staff photojournalist at The Times-Picayune in New Orleans, The Sun Herald in Biloxi, Mississippi, and The Repository in Canton, Ohio. She has been in the industry for 28 years. Cara found her love of photojournalism while attending Western Kentucky University where she earned her Bachelor of Arts degree in photojournalism.

Owsley stressed in her talk that the key ingredient in improving the collaborative work of reporters and photographers is communication. She explained: “involve the photo staff in the beginning stages, not after interviews…Work as a team and support each other.”

“Holistic Resilience and Finding Work-Life Harmony in Turbulent Times” with Leslie Rangel

Leslie Rangel is an Emmy-nominated and United Nations-recognized journalist, morning news anchor and author. Her journalism is community-focused at the intersection of equity and social injustice. She’s a 2023 recipient of the The Chauncey Bailey Journalist of Color Investigative Reporting Fellowship. She’s spent 12+ years working in newsrooms and is a certified yoga, mindset, meditation and life coach. Rangle is also the founder and CEO of The News Yogi Coaching, on a mission to cultivate soul centered spaces and conversations that allow high-achieving marginalized folks to feel seen and see themselves. She provides mental wellness and holistic leadership coaching to high-achieving humans, particularly those who are often the firsts in their family from a non-dominant culture.

Rangel’s keynote fittingly capped an insightful week, and she started by leading fellows and faculty in a grounding meditation. This pause was impactful, amid relentless demands of the news cycle, ongoing turbulence across media spaces, and also the globe.

She exhorted this next generation of news leaders to: “Remember to be a human first, journalist second. Normalize living sustainably in our industry and actually take action to rest. Remember, it’s okay to ask for help. It’s okay to admit you’re not okay. It’s okay to prioritize yourself.”

“Finding the Heart of the Story” with Tom Huang

Tom Huang is Assistant Managing Editor for Journalism Initiatives at The Dallas Morning News, where he edits enterprise stories, oversees the newsroom’s internship program and leads the newsroom’s community-funded journalism initiative, which seeks philanthropic support of public service journalism.

Huang walked fellows through the 5 focusing questions that editors can ask to help guide reporters to find the heart of the story and become better storytellers. He says he “starts with questions that spark a writer’s imagination… I push the writer to think harder about the story’s theme…and try fresh approaches to storytelling,

According to Huang, these questions that he uses as an editor were developed by David Von Drehle and Chip Scanlan:

  • Why does the story matter?
  • What is the point of the story?
  • Why are we telling the story now?
  • What does the story say about life, the world and the times we live in?
  • What is the story truly about - in one word?

“Coaching for Story” with Maria Carrillo

Maria Carrillo is a consultant and coach after spending 36 years in seven newsrooms. She was enterprise editor at the Tampa Bay Times and Houston Chronicle and, before that, managing editor at The Virginian-Pilot. She has edited dozens of award-winning projects, frequently lectures on narrative journalism and co-hosts a podcast (WriteLane) about craft.

Carrillo stressed that building trust and relationships based on mutual respect to each other’s expertise, is foundational in the effective partnership between editors and writers. Her session aimed to “grow editors’ confidence as coaches, and give them tools to help guide writers to tell better stories.”

“Editing for Tone” with Merrill Perlman

Merrill Perlman spent 25 years at The New York Times in jobs ranging from copy editor to director of copy desks, in charge of all 150-plus copy editors at The Times. Now, she coaches writers and editors in self-editing, grammar, language and clarity, where her clients have included the Poynter Institute, Honolulu Civil Beat, The Philadelphia Inquirer, The Weather Channel, FoxNews, The Monterey Bay Aquarium Research Institute and the U.N., as well as communications companies, corporations, law firms and foundations. She’s a freelance editor who has worked for such places as Center for Public Integrity, Investigative Reporting Workshop, ProPublica, Rosetta Books and Amazon Kindle Singles.

According to Perlman, it is imperative for “editors to make sure that each sentence and word is in service of the story. They also need to watch out for unintended bias in adjectives and labels.”

“Editing Techniques” with Steve Padilla

Steve Padilla is editor of Column One, the front-page showcase for storytelling at the Los Angeles Times. He joined the Times in 1987 as a night police reporter but soon moved on to editing. He helped guide the Times’ Pulitzer-winning coverage of a botched bank robbery in North Hollywood in 1997.

In his 36 years with the Times, he has edited a wide variety of subjects—national politics, higher education, California state news and religion among them. Before his current assignment, Padilla was enterprise editor on the foreign-national desk. He also served as director of Metpro, the Times’ training program designed to bring diversity to newsrooms.

Padilla summed up his talk with the hope that the fellows will remember that “when editing or coaching writers, positive direction, rather than negative, often produces good results—they’re longer lasting and the process is more fun, too.”

“Name it, Claim it and Aim it: Leveraging Your Strengths” with Jean Marie Brown

Jean Marie Brown is an associate professor of professional practice in the Department of Journalism at TCU’s Bob Schieffer College of Communication. In addition to serving as a full-time faculty member, she is also director of student media.

A former newspaper executive, Jean Marie spent most of her professional career working for Knight Ridder and later, for McClatchy newspapers. She held management positions at The Fort Worth Star- Telegram and The Charlotte Observer. Her management career included time as a deputy features editor, city editor, assistant managing editor and managing editor. She directed local news coverage for the Arlington and Northeast edition of the Star-Telegram. Her strengths as an editor were line editing, story idea generation and staff development.

The Gallup Strengths Assessment and 1:1 coaching sessions with fellows by Prof. Jean Marie Brown has been a pillar in the Maynard 200 curriculum since its pilot. In this pivotal process, she explains how we as leaders can name, claim and aim our strengths in order to leverage them – in work and relationships.

Brown encouraged fellows “to lean in and own who you are, make other people accept who you are…and to celebrate yourself for the things that you do really well.” She stressed that it is critical “to bring our authentic selves to our newsrooms.” She added “that in understanding our strengths and of our team members, you are able to recognize what you do best, and you let other people do what they do best.”

Fault Lines® with Professor Jean Marie Brown and Martin G. Reynolds

One of the Maynard Institute’s mainstay professional development offerings is a series of trainings for newsrooms based on the Fault Lines® methodology. Designed by founder and namesake Robert C. Maynard, the Fault Lines® framework helps newsrooms address bias along lines of race, gender, sexual orientation, generation, geography, class and more, as they apply to journalists, news coverage, newsroom collaborations and community engagement. This keynote session was co-led by Professor Jean Marie Brown and the Maynard Institute’s Co-Executive Director, Martin G. Reynolds.

Prior to joining the Maynard Institute leadership, Reynolds was senior editor for community engagement and training for Bay Area News Group and served as editor-in-chief of The Oakland Tribune between 2008-2011. His career with Bay Area News Group spanned 18 years. Reynolds was also a lead editor on the Chauncey Bailey Project, formed in 2007 to investigate the slaying of the former Oakland Post editor and Tribune reporter.

Reynolds is also co-founder of Oakland Voices, a hyperlocal storytelling project that trains residents to serve as community correspondents that first launched in 2010 as partnership between the Oakland Tribune and the Maynard Institute. He was named as Digital First Media’s Innovator of the Year for his work on Oakland Voices.

In his opening remarks at the 2024 Maynard 200 Fellowship session, Reynolds spoke about the challenging and vital role the 2024 Maynard 200 fellows play in their newsrooms.

“Here you are. Frontline editors, navigating it all. You have among the most challenging jobs in all of journalism. Sitting at the nexus of the community, the organization and the storytellers.”

He added, “This program is about equipping you with the skills, but perhaps even more importantly…this is about community so that you have what you need to be supported, to be seen, to be cared for as you move through this journey.”

Hands-on coaching and mentorship that makes a difference

Fellows benefited from hands-on breakout sessions that were customized to tactical coaching workshops relevant to editors across three primary platforms:

  • print/digital led by Maria Carrillo and Steve Padilla
  • photography led by Cara Owsley
  • broadcast led by Delano Massey

Delano Massey, a Maynard Institute alum, has been serving as a Maynard 200 mentor for the last 2 years. In 2024, Massey served as the coach for the broadcasting breakout coaching sessions. He shared his multi-layered experience in this space, including the importance of creating and leveraging influence. He is currently managing editor for Local at Axios, overseeing operations across 30 markets. He was also the former supervising producer of the Race & Equality Team at CNN. His impact extends from major outlets like CNN and the Associated Press to local platforms like News 5 Cleveland, WKYT, and the Lexington-Herald Leader.

Coaches also held one-on-one office hours with fellows.

Reconvening in July thanks to generous supporters

Fellows and faculty alike expressed an eagerness to reconvene in a few months for the July weeklong training sessions. In addition to the generous university partner host TCU Bob Schieffer College of Communication, the 2024 Maynard 200 Fellowship would not be possible without the support of Craig Newmark Philanthropies, the Hearthland Foundation, McClatchy and individual donors.

This program is about strengthening newsroom leaders for a sustainable future in media. The cohort of 2024 marks a special milestone. When the fellowship program launched in 2018, the Maynard Institute set the goal to provide professional development to two hundred journalism professionals and the 2024 fellows have exceeded that goal.

During the March training, the Maynard Institute’s Co-Executive Director Evelyn Hsu shared the pivotal history that is part of the fellowship surpassing its mission, through the lens of the vision and legacy of the institute’s nine founders.

The next round of sessions in July will conclude with a special celebration to honor this achievement while acknowledging the marathon continues.

About the Maynard Institute

For more than 45 years, the Maynard Institute has fought to push back against the systemic lack of diversity in the news industry through training, collaborations and convenings. Founded by Robert C. Maynard, the Institute promotes diversity and antiracism in the news media through improved coverage, hiring and business practices. We are creating better representation in America’s newsrooms through our Maynard 200 fellowship program, which gives media professionals of color the tools to become skilled storytellers, empowered executives and inspired media entrepreneurs.

About the Maynard 200 Fellowship

Maynard 200 is the cornerstone fellowship program advancing the Maynard Institute’s efforts to expand the diversity pipeline in news media and dismantle structural racism in its newsrooms. It is designed for and serves the next generation of media leaders, storytellers, editors and entrepreneurs, in order to advance their career growth and leadership power in newsrooms and organizations. The professional development program provides customized training courses, resources and 1:1 mentorship by industry professionals, to fellows who have represented a wide spectrum of racial, gender and geographic backgrounds.


For more information about the Maynard 200 Fellowship, please reach out to: Maynard 200 Director, Odette Alcazaren-Keeley at