Support NAJA

About the Native American Journalists Association

The Native American Journalist Association is committed to increasing the representation of Native journalists in mainstream media and advocating for the fair and ethical coverage of Native people, communities and issues. We educate and unify our membership through journalism programs that promote fair coverage of Native communities and defend the rights of free press, speech and expression that are essential to telling our story.

We provide professional training and networking opportunities at our annual NAJA National Native Media Conference and develop partnerships with our colleagues in mainstream media to foster institutional and editorial change.

We also provide scholarships and other professional development opportunities to the next generation of Native journalists so they are equipped to meet the demands of a rapidly changing media market.

Your sponsorship is vital to us and we will not be able to achieve these important goals with your support. These are some of the ways your sponsorship will help us make a difference:

 

We develop and train the next generation of storytellers

We provide college scholarships to Native students, refer students to professional internships, and fund a group of Native American Journalism Fellows at our annual conference. These fellows produce coverage for the annual NAJA conference under the guidance of professional mentors who are NAJA members and working media professionals. These students are the future professional members of NAJA and will be the communications and public relations professionals for our tribes.

Your sponsorship will help us keep our promising young people engaged in storytelling so that we can provide a pipeline of talented young professionals for mainstream and tribal media.

 

We recruit and refer greater numbers of Native professionals into the industry

We are in the process of creating a comprehensive database of the media skills, attributes and professional goals of our membership. This, in combination with our partners in mainstream media, allows us to act as a critical referral service for our membership when large media organizations are hiring. Our ability to leverage our partnerships in this way helps us execute our mission to increase the number of Native journalists in the industry.

With your support, we will continue to grow this referral function and directly contribute to the increase of Native professionals in media.

 

We guide and influence mainstream reporting

We continue to forge partnerships mainstream journalism organizations to further our efforts to inform and educate mainstream journalists about their ethical responsibility to improve their coverage of Native people, communities and issues. We have produced and published reporting guides on covering the Indian Child Welfare Act, the Dakota Access Pipeline protests and tips on avoiding arrest when covering a protest. These are recent examples of how NAJA communicates with Native American journalists and the mainstream media to promote fair and accurate coverage of Indian Country.

This year, we will be publishing our next edition of the Reading Red Report to reiterate our stance that any reporting on teams that use Native mascots and imagery must abide by journalistic ethics.

Your sponsorship will ensure that this report is distributed to editors and publishers across the nation and that NAJA can continue to advocate for the abandonment of Native mascots in mainstream media.

 

We want to create a direct connection between Native experts and journalists seeking a Native perspective

We are in the development stages of producing a comprehensive tribal communications officer database that will serve to connect any journalist with the appropriate official in each tribe. We often see instances of mainstream reporting about a tribal issue with poor or no sourcing from the tribe or other relevant official. Mainstream journalists often cite an inability to find a source or receive a response as an excuse to perpetuate unfair and biased reporting. We hope to alleviate that problem by creating a public, searchable database of tribal communications officers and points-of-contact to make it easier for journalists to locate that necessary source.

Your support will help us create this important resource that will directly address this biased and harmful reporting.

 

We bring Native journalists together

Native American journalists continue to represent less than 1 percent of all journalists in the profession. With so few of us spread across the industry, it is vital that we be able to come together to train, recharge and rejoice in our common cause.

NAJA brings hundreds of journalists together each year, placing focus on the latest in reporting on Native American issues, improving tribal and community media models and developing digital skills to empower our members. The annual conference is our time to celebrate our unique contribution to our tribes and our cultures.

We encourage our sponsors to join us at our annual conference and contribute to our important program.

 

We advocate for a free and independent press in Indian Country

Tribal nations have the sovereignty to decide how they want to protect freedoms of press and information. While more and more move in this direction, many still do not.

We believe that tribal media should be fully empowered to tell our stories. When tribal media has the independence to report and share information in a manner that is consistent with fair and truthful industry practices, our people, communities and governments are stronger.

We are committed to good journalism and have a dedicated Free Press Committee and other resources for members to better understand the importance of journalistic ethics.  

NAJA has and will continue to develop a series of media guides to assist our members in the practice of fair and ethical storytelling.

 

We provide legal aid and resources for Native journalists

We provide important legal resources to Native journalists facing challenges reporting within their communities. We serve our members who meet want information and resources regarding media law and ethics, professional journalism practices and policies, and resources and expertise about the freedoms of speech, press and information in Indian Country.

Your sponsorship will ensure that we can continue to support Native journalists with an independent voice.