NAJA Legal Resource Room

Introduction

To date, there have been good faith efforts to understand the law and ethics of journalism in Indian Country. The next step is verifying, expanding and communicating this shared knowledge through the Native American Journalists Association (NAJA).

The NAJA Legal Resource Room aims to continue improving journalism in Indian Country.  NAJA promotes the best journalism by and about Native Americans through support and resources for Native people and media.

“Good journalism is good for indigenous peoples and bad journalism is bad for indigenous peoples,” Kevin R. Kemper (Choctaw/Cherokee) has said often in his writings and teachings about this topic. 

Kemper serves as intake liaison for the NAJA Legal Hotline and Media Resource Room as well as research fellow. 

Basic information about the NAJA members-only hotline can be found at: goo.gl/yqJooi, however, resources are available only to NAJA members. Not a member yet? Join a growing network of over 350 professionals, students and partners across the country who are dedicated to empowering the next generation of Native storytellers at:goo.gl/q8FfVK.

The NAJA Legal Resource Room assists members, media professionals, and the general public with information, education and resources concerning laws and ethics surrounding journalism in Indian Country.  As on organization, we encourage anyone covering Indian Country and working with Native media to consider the information provided an ongoing discussion for best practices.

For content suggestions or questions about submitting articles or materials, please email [email protected] or call 405-872-6107.  This is a collaborative project. Submitted information will be compiled and edited by Kemper.

Disclaimer

None of this information is legal advice, and NAJA does not take responsibility for the content at the links provided here. This is not an exhaustive list.  Please submit suggestions via email to: [email protected] or call 405-872-6107.  

Topics and subtopics (with some examples of links for articles and resources, listed by most recent date)

Journalism in Indian Country

  • Kevin R. Kemper, “Who speaks for indigenous peoples?  Tribal journalists, rhetorical sovereignty, and freedom of expression,” Journalism & Communication Monographs (Spring 2010).
  • Peter Saharko, “A reporter’s guide to American Indian law,” Reporters Committee for Freedom of the Press (Fall 2006), http://www.rcfp.org/node/103220.

 

Laws in Indian Country

Tribal Constitutions, Cases and Statutes

  • UANativeNet, Indigenous Peoples Law & Policy Program, James E. Rogers College of Law, University of Arizona, http://uanativenet.com/.

Federal Indian law

  • Santa Clara Pueblo v. Martinez, 436 U.S. 49 (1978) (explaining why certain parts of the ICRA do not have an enforcement mechanism with the federal government, and why tribes sort out those kinds of issues), http://www.oyez.org/cases/1970-1979/1977/1977_76_682.

Jurisdictional issues

State Indian law issues 

International laws

Laws and Ethics of Journalism in Indian Country

Freedoms of press and speech

Free press generally

  • Karen Lincoln Michel, ed., From the front lines: Free press struggles in Native America: Essays by Native Journalists, NAJA (1998).
  • Reporter’s privilege and shield laws 

The Internet

Representation

Criminal Libel

Privacy and Access

Photography and videography rules

  • Kevin R. Kemper, “Sacred spaces: Cultural hybridity and boundaries for visual communication about the Hopi Tribe in Arizona,” Visual Communication Quarterly (October-December 2012). 

Dealing with sacred knowledge 

  • Michael Brown, Who owns Native culture? (Harvard University Press, 2003) (this book and the supplement link provide an excellent overview about general issues of protecting Native culture around the world), http://web.williams.edu/AnthSoc/native/.
  • Kevin R. Kemper, “Sacred spaces: Cultural hybridity and boundaries for visual communication about the Hopi Tribe in Arizona,” Visual Communication Quarterly (October-December 2012).
  • Kevin R. Kemper, "You have to EARN access: A case study of Arizona tribes and reporting about indigenous religion around the Pacific Rim," Asia Pacific Media Educator (June 2013). ame.sagepub.com/content/23/1/1.full.pdf+html

Freedom of information and access to information

Intellectual property

Indigenous issues

  • Michael Brown, Who owns Native culture? (Harvard University Press, 2003) (this book and the supplement link provide an excellent overview about general issues of protecting Native culture around the world), http://web.williams.edu/AnthSoc/native/.
  • Federal and international intellectual property 

Plagiarism

Broadcast and electronic media regulations and issues

  • Kevin R. Kemper, “Tribal sovereignty means competition, broadband access, and economic development for Indian Country: A law and economics analysis of the efficiency of the FCC’s Standing Rock Sioux case,” Journal of Information Policy (2013), http://jip.vmhost.psu.edu/ojs/index.php/jip.
  • Donald Brown, Electronic media and indigenous peoples: A voice of our own?  (Iowa State Press, 1996). 

Ethics

  • Lawrence M. Hinman, Ethics Updates, University of San Diego, http://ethics.sandiego.edu/ (this Web site compiles lots of information about basic concepts and applied ethics). 
  • The National Ethics Association: http://www.ethics.net/about/ (this organization even provides background checks and certifications to be sure business people are honest).

More Resources

 

NAJA Legal Links