Pavel Mayer, senior editor of NPR News, has died at the age of 46 after a battle with brain cancer. In a story about Mayer’s death, the news organization wrote that he’d been suffering from the illness for the past year and was “one of the very few people to leave with a ‘Cancer Trumps Cancer’ bumper sticker on his Subaru.”
Mayer was the only holdover from his day-to-day reporting at NPR that was on the news site at the time of his death. His credits included work as a news writer and online producer at the Washington Post, and, before that, with the Times at its International Herald Tribune. He also served as a producer at Bloomberg TV’s “Money-Sound Bites,” according to NPR.
Nate Silver wrote about his former colleague in a tribute in The New York Times:
“The two of us covered the midterms of 2002. It was a midterm that everyone, me included, knew was going to be close. It was a midterm in which Republicans had gained control of the House. It was a midterm that took place between an extraordinary terrorist attack on our own soil and the war on terrorism. I’ll never forget Pavel’s explanation of the midterm margins — ‘It’s the Republicans that time forgot!’ — and his delight in being able to put across our misgivings to such a large audience.”
In a message to NPR staff, managing editor David Bohrman wrote that Mayer was an “exemplary” journalist. “He brought the same positivity and ‘be the change you want to see in the world’ attitude to everything he did,” Bohrman wrote. “He had a love for trains, and NPR Rail started out as a Friday-night podcast about trains and blogs, and now exists online as an all-purpose culture show with most everything from single tracks to busier tracks.
“We never got around to doing a Magnum Opus in honor of his legacy, but from our place at NPR, we can always remember him as an exemplar of our belief that deeply informed journalism on complex issues still has the power to change things,” Bohrman added.
Mayer began his journalism career in journalism at the Boston Globe, where he reported for the newspaper’s San Francisco bureau, and worked at The New York Times’s international desk. In 1999, he joined NPR as a weekend radio anchor, and in 2001, he was named senior news editor of NPR’s radio news.
His death marks a sharp loss for NPR. He had long been considered a rising star in the newsroom. Seth Masket wrote that he was “one of the few people in journalism still dedicated to the idea that morning and evening TV shows shouldn’t have multiple female hosts.” He also lauded Mayer for his journalistic intelligence, describing him as “a cog in a very skilled newsroom.”
Read the full story at NPR.
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