Wednesday, February 13, 2019

Native American Journalists Assn. to help Native media outlets cover tribal governments, which are often secretive

The Native American Journalists Association says it is creating a network of North American indigenous reporters and newsrooms to provide training, resources and support to Native American reporters covering tribal governments. The Indigenous Investigative Collective aims to promote transparency and accountability for tribal governments and protect whistleblowers by acting as a conduit for sensitive documents and news tips, according to a press release.

"NAJA believes that to safeguard tribal sovereignty and self-determination, tribal citizens must have access to information about their governments as well as their associated institutions and enterprises. This includes, but is not limited to, budgets, meeting minutes, records, business dealings, and deliberations. NAJA also believes that tribal sovereignty and self-determination are dependent on the transparency and accountability of tribal governments."

Many tribal governments have newspapers under their thumbs or have a hostile relationship with them. A few months ago, the Muscogee (Creek) Nation's National Council passed a law repealing press-freedom protections for its tribally funded media outlet.

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