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Dori J. Maynard, longtime champion of diversity in journalism, dies at age 56
 
(February 25, 2015) Dori J. Maynard, president of the Robert C. Maynard Institute for Journalism Education and longtime champion of diversity in journalism and civic life, died Tuesday, Feb. 24, at her West Oakland home. She was 56. Maynard died of lung cancer and kept her illness closely held. "It was a gentle passing surrounded by family and close friends," longtime friend Sally Lehrman said.
 
Bob Butler, president of the National Association of Black Journalists, said "You can hardly put into words how important the work Dori and the Maynard Institute did to train young people of color for careers in journalism and how the institute trained the media to write fair stories about communities of color."
 
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. Since 1977, the Institute has trained more than 5,000 media managers and journalists to create change in media organizations across the country. Alumni have gone on to influence change in organizations such as the New York Times, Washington Post, Al Jazeera, and The Cleveland Plain Dealer.
 
Maynard became president of the Institute in 2001. In that role, she kept alive the memory and the goals of her father, Robert C. Maynard, a co-founder of the Institute and publisher of the Oakland Tribune, and Nancy Hicks Maynard, also an Institute co-founder, co-publisher of the Tribune and Dori Maynard's stepmother.
 
Earlier in her career Ms. Maynard was a reporter at the The Bakersfield Californian, The Patriot Ledger, and the Detroit Free Press. Maynard's journalistic acumen and body of work earned her the opportunity to be a part of Harvard University's prestigious Nieman Fellowship program. Her selection for the program in 1993 was noteworthy, because it made Maynard and her father, the first father-daughter duo to complete the fellowship.
 
It was her idea to begin a column about developments in the news industry which first appeared on the MIJE website in 2002. The popular "Journal-isms" feature by columnist Richard Prince was an alternative to the online media column by Jim Romenesko, a staple of the industry, but Maynard considered its focus too limited. "That's why we started it, actually," Maynard said. "I was so disturbed by Romenesko. There was [rarely] any notice of people of color."
 
"Dori was an incredible journalist, and an incredible leader. She was a fierce advocate who was committed to the cause of promoting exceptional journalism at the hands of exceptional talent. Her fierce determination, her focus, her vision, her candor will surely be missed. The journalism community is all the more better thanks to Dori's tremendous contributions. She will be missed," said Butler.


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