Editorial: Huge loss in closing of Indian paper
"Many Minnesota journalists were introduced to the unique challenges of reporting on Native American life, culture and reservation politics after the Red Lake school shooting in 2005.

One Star Tribune reporter, who'd flown into Red Lake just hours after the tragedy, tried to describe it to colleagues who followed later by car. There were no street signs. Roads sometimes were muddy paths through the woods. There was a deep distrust of outsiders, and they were not allowed to set foot in the lake or other sacred areas. The reservation itself was a sovereign nation dominated by clannish, charismatic leaders. "Consider this your first foreign assignment,'' the weary reporter advised.

It didn't take long for Twin Cities media to develop a deep appreciation for the journalist many met for the first time in those tumultuous days: Bill Lawrence. The founder of the Native American Press/Ojibwe News, Lawrence had long driven these same roads and grappled with the same challenges as he covered the Upper Midwest's sprawling, often overlooked reservations.

His beat may have been the most difficult, dangerous and yet rewarding news assignment in the state. Lawrence did an outstanding job, which is why his recent decision to close his newspaper after a terminal cancer diagnosis is a huge loss."

Get the Story:
Editorial: Losing a voice for American Indians (The Minneapolis Star Tribune 10/3)

Related Stories:
Bill Lawrence shuts down landmark newspaper (9/29)