Native American Journalism Fellowship

About NAJF

The Native American Journalists Association has developed a highly successful student training program that has become a cornerstone in the organization’s commitment to raising the next generation of storytellers. 

The Native American Journalism Fellowship (NAJF) for college students now stands alone as this country’s single most important career pipeline created specifically for aspiring Native American journalists.

NAJF is a partnership between NAJA, the University of Montana and the Newseum Institute, and an extension of NAJA's former Native Voice program.

NAJF is an opportunity for college students to develop reporting and multimedia skills from tribal journalists and news industry professionals from across the country. The topical focus for this year's fellowship will be election reporting, as the country gears up for the 2016 presidential elections. Students will also report on issues surrounding the 2015 National Native Media Conference.

Fellows will receive:

  • Multimedia Training
  • Tips for Producing Effective Coverage of the 2016 Presidential Elections
  • A Professional Mentor
  • Immersion in an On-Site Newsroom Experience
  • Skills for Job-Readiness
  • Access to Jobs and Internships
  • Three (3) credit hours through the University of Montana

NAJF is an unpaid fellowship, however, travel expenses including: air fare, food and accommodations during the on-site newsroom immersion will be covered by NAJA.  

Immediately upon selection, NAJ Fellows will be assigned to a professional media mentor and receive story assignments. Fellows will be notified of their application status by May 2015.

History

NAJF Through the fellowship, students gain hands-on experience in a newsroom during the National Native Media Conference, as well as year-long multimedia training and mentoring from professional journalists.

NAJA’s leadership takes pride in our students’ work, believing it holds a connection to the long-held storytelling traditions found within our Native cultures. Our programs have helped aspiring journalists land jobs in the industry. Some former students have gone on to become journalism educators themselves.

Location

During the on-site portion of the NAJF, student will work in a newsroom-style setting with journalists from tribal and mainstream media. Mentors work closely with students to provide guidance and editorial direction. Student reporters will primarily cover the Native American community near the National Native Media Conference site. In 2015, this will be Washington, D.C.

Objectives

"My decision to become a journalist can be attributed to life-changing experiences I had at UNITY and NAJA conferences. Having NAJA's support has taught me that as one journalist, you can make a big difference in the world." -- Ramona Marozas, KBJR 6 | Northland's CW

Students will gain a deep sense of accomplishment and understanding of what it takes to be a successful journalist after a week of meeting deadlines and new challenges. Together, they produce a newspaper and television news and radio packages.

Throughout the week, guest speakers and select visitors attending the National Native Media Conference will deliver brief presentations and take part in question-and-answer sessions with the students. On Friday, students will be recognized at an event held in their honor to showcase completed news stories and give students -- especially those preparing to enter the field soon -- an opportunity to network with professionals and recruiters attending the conference.

Apply 

Click here to apply for the 2015 Native American Journalism Fellowship. The NAJF application deadline is April 17.

Meet some of NAJA's former Native Voices students:

Dalton Walker is the web editor and social media manager for The Gazette in Colorado Springs, Colo. He also serves on the NAJA board of directors as chair of the membership committee.

He is a former digital reporter at the Argus Leader in Sioux Falls, S.D. He reported for NAJA's Native Voices newspaper in 2005, which was produced at the University of Nebraska in Lincoln. Working on the newspaper gave Dalton an early look at the school where he would later earn his journalism degree. He says the NAJA program helped him understand what can be accomplished when a strong organizational structure is in place, and introduced him to an important mentor -- Lincoln Journal Star reporter Kevin Abourezk. Dalton credits Kevin's mentoring with providing key support during his academic career. 

Tetona Dunlap is a features reporter at the Times-News in Twin Falls, Idaho. Tetona also currently serves on the NAJA board of directors as secretary.
 
A member of NAJA since high school, she has been the recipient of several NAJA scholarships and she took part in the Native Voices program during UNITY 2004, when she was a student photographer at the convention in Washington, D.C. Later, Tetona served as a NAJA mentor during the 2008 UNITY conference in Chicago and 2009 Native Voices program in Albuquerque, N.M. She has worked at The Associated Press in Seattle, The Washington Post and the Oklahoman in Oklahoma City. She worked at the Kansas City Star for three years as a photojournalist/videographer before attending the University of Montana School of Journalism where she received her masters degree in journalism in 2011.

Jason Begay is the director of Native American journalism projects at the University of Montana School of Journalism. He graduated from the school in 2002, with the help of NAJA scholarships and the opportunity to grow as a reporter through the Native Voices program. He has worked at The New York Times, The Oregonian and the Navajo Times, where he spent six years before accepting his current position.

Past program: 2013 Native Voice News