The following is a statement from Ronnie Washines (Yakama), the president of the Native American Journalists Association.
It was personally and professionally disheartening to hear that the voice of the Hopi Nation – the Hopi Tutuveni – will be silenced after December.
It is equally disheartening to hear reported by another newspaper that a Hopi tribal council member as calling the tribal newspaper “ineffective.”
A primary reason for existence of the Native American Journalists Association is to support Native journalists and Native newspapers. This development with the Tutuveni defeats that purpose.
NAJA can understand the Hopi tribal government having to cope with budget constraints and the need to balance the necessary services to their people and the financial capability to do so.
But, we also feel that completely eliminating the tribal newspaper does more harm to a government working to improve its financial situation.
A fully functioning government needs a voice that can disseminate updated news and information regarding the factual status of that government at any given time.
Newspaper, especially tribal newspapers, are in a position to provide accurate news reports from a unique vantage point and the Hopi tribal members should not be denied their accessibility to such an important news source as the Tutuveni.
NAJA remains confident the Hopi leadership will keep and open mind and heart with regards to working on continuing the services provided by the Tutuveni.
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