This week we’re mourning the sudden loss of our dear colleague, veteran journalist Toni Randolph.
Toni’s work impacted so many people… the outpouring of memorials offer us some insight into the depth of Toni’s impact and the strength of her relationships.
We’re sharing just a few of them below.
Excerpts from Toni’s full obituary at mprnews.org:
“She was crucial in her work connecting us to new audiences around the state and training the next generation of young reporters,” MPR News executive editor Nancy Cassutt wrote to staff on Sunday.
She had a special devotion to young journalists — and steered the stories and reporting of countless high school and college students through MPR News’ Young Reporters Series and the University of St. Thomas’ ThreeSixty Journalism high school program, whose board she joined in February. At the time of her death, she was in the midst of preparing for the fall season of Generation Next’s [sic] young journalist classes. Her Young Reporters Series was honored with a 2015 Gracie Award by the Alliance for Women in Media.
“Just as Toni inspired countless young people, she has been one of the strongest voices for diversifying newsrooms — including our own,” Cassutt said Sunday. “May we all follow Toni’s example and build on her amazing legacy.”
Excerpt from Insight News:
“Toni embodied the true mission of NABJ by working to diversify public radio and by serving as a mentor to countless numbers of young NABJers,” said National Association of Black Journalists President Sarah Glover. “On behalf of the entire NABJ family, our heartfelt sympathies go out to those who loved her. Her memory will continue on through the lives that she has impacted.”
Excerpt from We Know How This Ends: Living While Dying, written by MPR colleague Cathy Wurzer:
This morning, as I stood in front of Toni Randolph’s desk, I noticed a small turtle, carved from a piece of pipestone, just above her computer keyboard.
The pipestone is sacred to Native Americans and the turtle spirit symbolic of health and longevity. It’s hard shell signifying protection and perseverance. Ultimately Toni wasn’t blessed with longevity nor protected from the ravages of cancer, but she leaves behind a bright legacy, certainly in the body of work she created, but most importantly in the people she helped nurture and mentor.
Finally, words from Minnesota Governor Mark Dayton, via mprnews.org:
Lt. Governor Smith and I extend our deepest condolences to the family, many friends, and colleagues of Toni Randolph as they grieve their tragic loss. During her 13 years with Minnesota Public Radio, Ms. Randolph told the stories of our citizens and communities, which contributed greatly to the recognition of our shared values and aspirations. The many young journalists, whom she inspired and mentored, will continue her legacy through their own careers for many years to come.
Photo and words by Cathy Wurzer: This is Toni Randolph’s desk in the Minnesota Public Radio newsroom. It is filled with notes, files and the other detritus accumulated by a news editor. It looks as if Toni will come back at any time, settling in behind the keyboard to edit newscasts and reporter’s stories, especially the stories of the fledgling reporters she loved to work with. Toni was a valued mentor and a champion of including more ethnically diverse voices in our stories and in the newsroom.