Setting the bar high in journalism history

ULM Hawkeye

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Contributions of many great African American achievements can be seen through different careers around the world.

The first African American female reporter for the New York Times was Nancy Hicks Maynard. Born as Nancy Alene Hall on November 1, 1946, in Harlem, New York, she attend­ed Long Island University and graduated with a journalism de­gree in 1966.

Maynard began her journal­ism career as a copy girl and re­porter with the New York Post. She was hired for The New York Times in September 1968.

Maynard and her husband founded the Maynard Institute for Journalism Education in Oakland, California. The Oak­land Tribune became the first major metropolitan daily news­paper to be owned by African Americans.

The Tribune won a 1989 Pulitzer Prize for photographs of the San Francisco Bay area earthquake. As the first presi­dent of the Maynard Institute, she helped establish the orga­nization as the nation’s prime agent of change for newsroom diversity. Maynard’s advocacy persuaded the American So­ciety of Newspaper Editors to pass the Year 2000 Goal, which called for the full integration of journalists of color on U.S. newspaper staffs.

In 1998, the National Asso­ciation of Black Journalists pre­sented her with its annual Life­time Achievement Award.

On September 21, 2008 Maynard died of multiple organ failure at UCLA Medical Cen­ter in Los Angeles. Maynard’s legacy will continue to live on through future journalists and reporters