Ed. Note: Indianz.Com was invited by the Office of the First Lady to cover the event on Monday, February 9.
"Nearly a decade after it was written here that a relevant Native journalism, among other things, should champion the protection and enhancement of American Indian rights in national and world affairs, a predicament confronts our industry.
The national Native press is experiencing limited access to major events during a history-making year of news regarding Indian peoples. This era of change and transparency still has not afforded the Native American press a seat in the room, despite a respectful relationship with Obama staffers during his campaign.
The stringent rules governing who can participate in the White House Press Corps effectively eliminate the Native media, which generally are owned or largely supported by tribal government. Journalists, then, must rely on mainstream sources to gather information about news relevant to Indian country. Often this results in a lack of nuance or understanding about Indian sovereignty or culture, shortchanging Native peoples as well as American society.
First lady Michelle Obama recently made a major announcement germane to Indian country and policy and was gifted with a traditional shawl during a visit to the Department of Interior, but not a single member of the Native press was present to record the occasion. The wonderfully important moment made news, but unfortunately, it was told by the mainstream press with little regard for the symbolic and real significance of the day."
Get the Story:
Editorial: Being present for the story
(Indian Country Today 2/13)
First lady’s interior visit highlights lack of Native press access
(Indian Country Today 2/12)
First lady touts Indian agenda at Interior