Webinar helps launch Maynard scholarship

Oct. 16, 2020


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Three prominent journalists discussed the election, COVID-19 and racial reckoning during an Oct. 6 Zoom webinar, "Truth-telling in a Time of Turbulence," hosted by the University of Arizona School of Journalism.

The forum helped the school promote its new Nancy and Bob Maynard Diversity in Journalism Scholarship, which aims to increase diversity in media and bolster the careers of more journalists of color, while at the same time ensuring that news coverage delves into all segments of the nation's communities.

UA J-school alum Gilbert Bailon, editor of the St. Louis Post-Dispatch, moderated a panel that included Roll Call columnist Mary C. Curtis and Kevin Merida, editor-in-chief of ESPN's “The Undefeated."

The school hopes to raise $25,000 for an endowed scholarship for students interested in advancing the school's capacity to examine issues related to African Americans and/or supporting the success of the school's African American students.

The scholarship honors the late pioneering African American journalists Robert C. Maynard and his wife, Nancy Hicks Maynard, who had close ties to the UA School of Journalism through the Editing Program for Minority Journalists, which was held at the university for 20 years.

The Maynards bought The Oakland Tribune two years after Bob was named editor in 1979, becoming the first African Americans to own a major metropolitan newspaper. In 1977, the couple and seven other journalists co-founded the Institute for Journalism Education (IJE), dedicated to training journalists of color and improving minority representation in news media. Nancy was one of the first African American female reporters for The New York Times and later served as IJE president. In 1993, Bob died of cancer at age 56, and in his honor IJE was renamed the Robert C. Maynard Institute for Journalism Education. Nancy died at age 61 in 2008.

Forty-three years after its founding, the Maynard Institute continues to provide professional training for journalists of all backgrounds, in addition to hosting conferences and events focusing on diversity/inclusion in newsrooms and in news coverage.