NAJA announces 2013-2014 election results

Posted by Rebecca Landsberry on 07/24/2013

Media Release

Native American Journalists Association

NORMAN, Okla. -- The Native American Journalists Association (NAJA) elected five board members to new terms at the organization's annual National Native Media Conference in Tempe, Ariz.

The NAJA board of directors selected Mary Hudetz, West Regional Desk editor for the Associated Press, to serve as president. She served NAJA in the past year as vice president and chair of the 2013 conference planning committee. Jason Begay, assistant professor at the University of Montana, will serve as vice president.

He and three others were elected July 19 at the conference to serve three-year board terms. The others are:

  • Shannon Shaw Duty, editor of the Osage News
  • Eugene Tapahe, creative web developer at Brigham Young University
  • Dalton Walker, digital journalist at the Argus Leader in Sioux Falls, S.D.

Robert Ortiz, a journalist for the Southern Ute Drum, will serve one year to fulfill the term of a former board member who stepped down last year. Both Tapahe and Ortiz have served previously on the NAJA board. Begay was appointed to the board in April before running to seek a full term.

The board members elected will serve more than 330 NAJA member journalists across the United States and Canada. The board will continue to execute NAJA’s strategic two-year plan, which includes expanding member benefits. NAJA’s Native Health News Alliance and free legal hotline are two ways members will begin to see added value in 2013.

The board members elected over the weekend join current NAJA directors Mary Hudetz; Tristan Ahtone, reporter for KUNM and the Fronteras Desk; Mark Dreadfulwater, media specialist at Cherokee Phoenix; and Tetona Dunlap, features writer for the Twin Falls (Idaho) Times-News. 

Ahtone will continue to serve as treasurer, and Dunlap will remain secretary.

About NAJA:

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 increasing 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.