Dori Maynard dies at 56; journalist was champion of newsroom diversity

Dori J. Maynard, champion of diversity in journalism, dies at 56

Dori J. Maynard, a former journalist and president of the Robert C. Maynard Institute for Journalism Education, has died, the organization announced. She was 56.

Maynard died Tuesday at her home in West Oakland, according to the Oakland-based institute, which is named after her father and has trained dozens of minority journalists over more than three decades. She had lung cancer, said Evelyn Hsu, senior director of programs and operations at the institute.

In a statement posted on its website, the Maynard Institute said she "advocated tirelessly ... reminding all that the work of bringing the diverse voices of America into news and public discourse is more vital than ever."

She had been president of the institute since 2001, according to a biography on its website, and was a member of the board of the American Society of News Editors. She previously wrote for the Bakersfield Californian and the Patriot Ledger in Quincy, Mass., and covered politics briefly for the Detroit Free Press. Born May 4, 1958, in New York, Maynard was a graduate of Middlebury College in Vermont.

In 1993, Dori Maynard and Robert C. Maynard became the first father-daughter duo to be appointed Nieman scholars at Harvard University, according to the institute.

Robert Maynard co-founded the institute in 1977 in an effort to train minority journalists and promote accurate representation of minorities in the news media. He was the editor of the Oakland Tribune when he bought the paper in 1983, becoming the first African American to own a major metropolitan newspaper.

Maynard is survived by her mother, Elizabeth Rosen of Woodstock, N.Y.; a sister, Sara-Ann Rosen, of Los Angeles; and two brothers, David Maynard of Long Beach and Alex Maynard of San Diego.

Social media tributes from journalists across the country honored Maynard on Tuesday night and Wednesday morning. 

“In her quietly intense way, [Dori Maynard] made a profound difference in American newsrooms. RIP, our friend,” tweeted David Boardman, president of the American Society of News Editors.

Gwen Ifill, managing editor and anchor of “PBS NewsHour,” tweeted: “Very sad to hear this morning of the passing of [Dori Maynard], a champion for journalism diversity.”

Copyright © 2018, Los Angeles Times


7:03 a.m.: This article was updated with additional details and background. 

The first version of this article was published at 10:12 p.m. on Feb. 24.

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