NAJA Releases Reporting Guides on Covering Dakota Access Pipeline Protests

Posted by Tristan Ahtone on 10/27/2016

NORMAN, Okla. - As protests and actions in opposition to the Dakota Access Pipeline (DAPL) grow, the Native American Journalists Association (NAJA) has been concerned by mainstream and tribal media outlets reporting on the issue. Concerns range from a lack of objectivity on the part of many reporters to blatant disrespect of subjects and sources by journalists parachuting into North Dakota.

NAJA advocates for the principles of ethical journalism especially when those principles act to ensure clear, in-depth reporting on Indigenous communities. In order to aid journalists and editors on the front lines or covering anti-DAPL actions from afar, NAJA has created two guides that offer practical reporting advice as well as ethics guidelines.

NAJA is hopeful these guides will be a useful resources for any media outlet covering the DAPL and will help improve coverage of the complex issue as well as the historic protests and actions that have taken place as a result. 

According to the guides, subjects, sources and spaces should be respected, individuals and tribes should be referred to by their proper names, audiences should be provided with diverse voices, and reporters should strive to go beyond the camp in order to provide needed context to the story. As well, NAJA urges journalists to be objective, refrain from participating in anti-DAPL actions in person or on social media, remain independent, and distinguish between news and opinion.

There is no cost to access the resource guides, which are available for download on the NAJA website at: http://www.naja.com/resources/reporters-guides-to-covering-dapl/ 

For additional resources and information on covering Indian Country, visit www.naja.com.