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.