UT Chattanooga, ’89
Davan Maharaj approached his time at UT Chattanooga as any future journalist would: with curiosity and a focus on finding a good story. That curiosity is why he attended a different church in Chattanooga every Sunday to give him a window into the city and into how people lived.
A native of Trinidad, Maharaj moved to Chattanooga after an uncle relocated for a job. Although he had been a reporter in the Caribbean, it was during his time at UTC that Maharaj refined his journalism career.
“Chattanooga was a godsend because it was a place that was welcoming and a place where we could remake ourselves by absorbing this really special education that we got there,” he says.
After graduation, Maharaj headed to California for an internship at The Los Angeles Times. Now, he’s editor-in-chief and publisher of the Los Angeles Times Media Group, overseeing the largest daily newsgathering organization in the western United States. He added publisher to his title in March 2016 after having been named editor and executive vice president in 2011.
He has led the newsroom to three Pulitzer Prizes—including the breaking news award for coverage of the 2015 mass shooting in San Bernardino, California.
“I always thought about doing the right thing in the moment and being righteous. That’s why I got into journalism. It’s about doing good and making a difference. It sounds trite, but it has the benefit of being both corny and true,” he says. “My experience at UTC truly prepared me for that.”
Part of the Tennessee Alumnus‘ 100 Distinguished Alumni feature.