NAJA selects 2 Cherokees for journalism fellowships

06/09/2017 04:00 PM
NORMAN, Okla. – Two Cherokee Nation citizens are part of the 10 student journalists selected as members of the 2017 Native American Journalist Fellowship class by the Native American Journalists Association.

CN citizens Kaitlin Boyse, a University of Central Oklahoma student, and Shea Smith, a University of Oklahoma student, will join eight other student journalists Sept. 4-10 at the National Native Media Conference as part of the Excellence In Journalism 17 Conference in Anaheim, California.

According to a NAJA release, the NAJF is an opportunity for Native students to deepen their reporting and multimedia skills while learning from tribal journalists and industry professionals from across the country.

“We are very excited for our incoming NAJF class and look forward to covering issues that matter to NAJA as well as Indian Country,” Victoria LaPoe, NAJA education chairwoman, said. “We look forward to our mentees learning not only from mentors, but from all members attending the conference.”

The other student journalists selected are:

• A.J. Earl, Portland State University, Comanche Nation,

• Aliyah Chavez, Stanford University, Santo Domingo Pueblo,

• Jaida Grey Eagle, Institute of American Indian Arts, Oglala Lakota Nation,

• Jorge Martínez, Brown University, Jñatro/Ñuu Sau,

• Kathleen Flynn, City University of New York, Turtle Mountain Band of Chippewa Indians,

• Priestess Bearstops, Minneapolis, Oglala Lakota Nation,

• Sarah Liese, University of Mississippi, Turtle Mountain Band of Chippewa Indians, and

• Tyler Jones, University of Kansas, Choctaw Nation.

Under the direction of Val Hoeppner, digital media consultant, and LaPoe, students will work with mentors Tristan Ahtone, 2018 Nieman Fellow and Kiowa Tribe of Oklahoma citizen; Graham Brewer, a journalist with The Oklahoman and CN citizen; Khloe Keeler, a reporter based in Colorado with KKTV 11 News and Ponca Tribe of Nebraska citizen; and Mark Fogarty, a correspondent with Indian Country Today Media Network.

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

“NAJA’s most important role in Indian Country is to create the next generation of storytellers. This exemplary class of student fellows, mentored by our experienced professionals, will soon find their paths into tribal and mainstream newsrooms where they will have a voice in a more fair and accurate portrayal of our communities and cultures,” NAJA President and former Cherokee Phoenix Executive Editor Bryan Pollard said. “I look forward to meeting them at the conference and would encourage our members to stop by the student newsroom to offer encouragement.”


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