Wednesday, July 06, 2011

Tribal council shuts down newspaper in N. Calif.

An editor of a Native American newspaper in northwestern California said the paper will have to stop publishing until editors can justify their news content and the paper's budget, reports Aaron Mackey of the Reporters Committee for Freedom of the Press.

"The staff of the Two Rivers Tribune met with the Hoopa Valley Tribal Council on Tuesday after the council's chairman issued a memo late last week that abruptly shut down the paper," writes Mackey. "In the memo, Tribal Chairman Leonard Masten said the paper would be closed immediately because it was losing money and because of controversial articles about marijuana." The region is a hotbed of pot production.

Managing Editor Allie Hostler said some members of the council discussed creating a board to review news content before publication, which she called "a potential censorship board." (MapQuest image; click on map for larger version)

Kevin Kemper, a University of Arizona journalism professor who specializes in Native American media issues, told Mackey that the newspaper's closing violated the Hoopa Valley tribe's constitution and the U.S. Constitution. (Read more)

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