Cherokee Phoenix wins NAJA award for General Excellence

BY D. SEAN ROWLEY
Senior Reporter
10/09/2020 09:00 AM
Main Cherokee Phoenix
Shown is the Feb. 15, 2019, issue of the Cherokee Phoenix. It was one of three issues the news organization entered in the Native American Journalists Association’s General Excellence category. ARCHIVE
NORMAN – After sorting through more than 550 entries, the Native American Journalists Association has named its winners for the 2020 National Native Media Awards.

The Cherokee Phoenix has been awarded first place for General Excellence among print circulations in Professional Division II, which includes publications with circulations between 5,000 – 10,000.

First place for best layout was jointly awarded to Travis Snell, assistant editor, and Mark Dreadfulwater, digital media coordinator, for their design work.

Winning first place among publications with circulations of 10,000 or less for best news story was reporter Chad Hunter for his report “(David) Walkingstick disqualified from Cherokee Nation chief’s race,” published in May 2019.

“It is always great to have our team recognized for their work,” said Tyler Thomas, Cherokee Phoenix executive editor. “I believe we have the best news team in Indian Country and awards like these affirm that belief. I thank all of our staff for their dedication to our citizens. They all have a passion for what they do and it shows through the quality of their work.”

With the exception of 2011-13, the Cherokee Phoenix has entered the NAJA awards every year since 2001 and has won more than 100 awards, including the prestigious Richard LaCourse Award for investigative journalism in 2003 and the Elias Boudinot Award in 2001 for becoming an independent news organization. Overall, the Cherokee Phoenix has won more than 30 first place, more than 30 second place and more than 20 third place NAJA awards. It also has won 12 General Excellence awards.

The NNMA annually recognizes the best work of journalists in their coverage of Indian Country and Native issues. Due to the COVID-19 pandemic NAJA has postponed its annual National Native Media Conference until September 2021, and this year’s NNMA award winners will be acknowledged during a virtual ceremony held through Zoom on Oct. 15.
About the Author
Sean Rowley was hired by the Cherokee Phoenix at the beginning of 2019. Sean was born a long time ago in Tulsa, where he grew up and attended Booker T. Washington High School as a freshman before moving to Pawnee County and graduating from Cleveland High School in 1987. 

He graduated sans honors from Northeastern State University in 1992 with a bachelor of arts in mass communication with emphases in advertising and public relati ...
david-rowley@cherokee.org • 918-453-5560
Sean Rowley was hired by the Cherokee Phoenix at the beginning of 2019. Sean was born a long time ago in Tulsa, where he grew up and attended Booker T. Washington High School as a freshman before moving to Pawnee County and graduating from Cleveland High School in 1987. He graduated sans honors from Northeastern State University in 1992 with a bachelor of arts in mass communication with emphases in advertising and public relati ...

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