The award–winning journalist, teacher and mentor had served as executive director, news and public affairs, for KQED Public Radio since 1991.
The KQED community mourns the death of KQED Public Radio’s Executive Director, News and Public Affairs, Raul Ramirez, who passed away today at age 67 after a brief fight with esophageal cancer. In his 22 years at KQED Public Radio, Ramirez led its award-winning state and regional news service and was instrumental in building it into a top-rated public radio station. Ramirez was recently awarded the 2013 Distinguished Service to Journalism Award by the Society of Professional Journalists, Northern California Chapter. In 1999, the same organization honored him with a Career Achievement Award. Ramirez was deeply committed to preserving the high standards of journalistic integrity, public service and investigative reporting, and has long been a vocal advocate for diversity in journalism.
“Since he joined KQED in 1991, Raul has played a central role in expanding and shaping KQED news and public affairs,” said Jo Anne Wallace, vice president and general manager of KQED Public Radio. “Raul’s commitment to journalism ethics was a major influence on all of the work we’ve done at KQED. He insisted on fact-based, accurate reporting that avoided the sensational and, instead, told meaningful stories about the impact of news and issues on the lives of ordinary people.”
Wallace added: “Raul was a man of ideas, and he had a huge heart. He cared deeply about colleagues and friends he worked with. Our reporters and producers, hosts and news anchors loved talking with him about stories ideas and coverage they’d like to do in the future. He directed the newsroom day to day, and he mentored and taught his staff to become better journalists. He will be missed extraordinarily by all of us at KQED.”
“In more than 20 years in leadership roles here, Raul Ramirez has definitely left his mark on KQED’s journalism and both KQED and the community we serve are the beneficiaries,” said John Boland, KQED president. “Raul always insisted on the highest levels of quality and ethics with a deep respect for the intelligence of our audience. In his memory, we will always aspire to the high standards he set for us.”