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NAJA accepting Project Phoenix applications through May 6

April 1st, 2013 All Day - May 6th, 2013

NORMAN, Okla. – The Native American Journalists Association (NAJA) is now accepting applications through May 6 for Project Phoenix, an annual program that aims to introduce Native American high school students to journalism.

During the course of a week, students accepted into the program learn the basics of news writing, photography and multimedia as they report stories under the guidance of professional journalists who serve as mentors. Students' work appears in a printed newspaper and online.

The students of both Project Phoenix and Native Voices, NAJA's college program, meet in the host city of the association’s annual conference. The site of Project Phoenix this year is Arizona State University's Walter Cronkite School for Journalism and Mass Communication. Program dates are July 14-20. The 2013 National Native Media Conference will be held July 18-21 in Tempe, Ariz., in conjunction with Native Public Media.

Project Phoenix this year is made possible by a generous contribution from the Ak-Chin Indian Community. Tribal Chairman Louis J. Manuel Jr., said the Ak-Chin Indian Community is dedicated to supporting NAJA’s mission.

“The Ak-Chin Indian Community is supportive of the efforts NAJA instills in motivating and developing our current and future media hopefuls. Our vision is to provide opportunities to Native Americans where possible and NAJA is a huge proponent in striving for that goal with Native journalists and media,” Manuel said.

“We are grateful the Ak-Chin Indian Community has become a partner this year in our effort to continue our mission,” said NAJA President Rhonda LeValdo. “Our student programs hold an important place in our commitment to raising Indian Country’s next generation of storytellers.”

The 2013 National Native Media Conference will be held at the Mission Palms Hotel and Conference Center in Tempe. Visit www.naja.com/students to learn more about NAJA's student programs and to begin the application process.

Project Phoenix honors the first Native American newspaper, The Cherokee Phoenix, which was first printed in New Echota, Ga., on Feb. 21, 1828. It was published in both English and Cherokee using the Cherokee alphabet, making it also the first bilingual newspaper in North America.

In keeping with NAJA's mission, Project Phoenix seeks to expose high school students to the powerful world of journalism and how it impacts Indian Country and the rest of the nation.

Several Project Phoenix graduates have gone on to pursue journalism as their college major and career.

NAJA serves and empowers Native journalists through programs and actions designed to enrich journalism and promote Native cultures.

NAJA recognizes Native Americans as distinct peoples based on tradition and culture. In this spirit, NAJA educates and unifies its membership through journalism programs that promote diversity and defends challenges to free press, speech and expression. NAJA is committed to increase the representation of Native journalists in mainstream media. NAJA encourages both mainstream and tribal media to attain the highest standards of professionalism, ethics and responsibility.