Nieman News

Bryan Monroe

Bryan Monroe, then president of the National Association of Black Journalists, outside of CBS headquarters in New York in 2007

Bryan Monroe, a 2003 Nieman Fellow with an impressive resume that included leadership roles at the National Association of Black Journalists (NABJ), Ebony and Jet magazines, and Knight Ridder Newspapers, died after suffering a heart attack at his home in Bethesda, Maryland, on January 13. He was 55.

Monroe, who led NABJ from 2005 to 2007, was the Verizon chair and a professor at Temple University’s Klein College of Media and Communication. While he was assistant vice president of news at Knight Ridder Newspapers from 2002-2006, he helped lead journalists at the (Biloxi, Mississippi) Sun Herald to the 2006 Pulitzer Prize in Public Service for their coverage of Hurricane Katrina. He went on to lead coverage of the 2008 presidential election as vice president and editorial director of Ebony and Jet magazines, and he conducted the first post-election interview with President Barack Obama. He also had the last major interview with Michael Jackson before the pop star’s death in 2009.

Beginning his career as a photojournalist, with stints at The Seattle Times and elsewhere, Monroe was hired at The Mercury News in San Jose, California in 1991, and he held a variety of roles there, eventually becoming deputy managing editor before leaving for Knight Ridder in 2002.

After serving as a visiting professor at Northwestern University’s Medill School of Journalism, Monroe joined CNN in 2011 as editor for He became an associate professor at Temple in 2015, and also served in recent years as co-chair of the International Women’s Media Foundation.

Monroe is survived by his fiancée, two children, a sister, and his father.