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Cronkite Students Shine at National Native Media Awards

June 15, 2018


Adriana de Alba, Cronkite School

Recent graduate Adriana De Alba is among the Cronkite students who received honors in the Native American Journalists Association's National Native Media Award.


News coverage of Native American issues, a top priority for Arizona State University’s Walter Cronkite School of Journalism and Mass Communication, is being recognized nationally. 

The Native American Journalists Association announced that Cronkite students won eight National Native Media Awards across broadcast, writing and online news categories for coverage focusing on issues of importance to Native American communities – tied for the most of any school in the nation and representing nearly a third of all NAJA student awards. 

Cronkite News, the student-produced and faculty-led news division of Arizona PBS, took home seven of the awards, sweeping the Print/Online – Best News Story category.

Cronkite News stories included Cronkite student Isaac Windes’ first-place piece on how the FCC’s decision to rein in low-cost telephone service impacts Indian Country. Adriana De Alba also won a first-place award in TV – Best Feature for a Cronkite News story on Navajo students thriving in a veterinary sciences program.

Carnegie-Knight News21, a national reporting initiative based at the Cronkite School, took second place in Print/Online – Best Feature Story for a story on Native American tribes stressing the need for clean water.

“Far too often, issues critical to Native Americans go unreported by local and national media outlets,” said Cronkite School Dean Christopher Callahan. “The Cronkite School is trying to produce impactful journalism that helps these communities while also preparing the next generation of journalists to cover Native American issues with depth, sensitivity and sophistication. We are extremely proud of their hard work and the support and guidance they receive from our gifted faculty.”

The awards will be presented in July during the NAJA Convention in Miami. The annual competition recognizes excellence in reporting by Native and non-Native journalists across the U.S. and Canada. NAJA received more than 500 entries across seven student and professional categories. 

NAJA serves and empowers Native journalists through programs and actions designed to enrich journalism and promote Native cultures. For more than 30 years, NAJA has remained committed to increasing the representation of American Indian journalists working in media, while encouraging both mainstream and tribal media to attain the highest standards of professionalism, ethics and responsibility. 

The complete list of Cronkite’s NAJA Native Media Award winners:

TV – Best Feature

First: Adriana De Alba, “Veterinary Science,” Cronkite News

Second: Katie Bieri, “Border Wall,” Cronkite News

Print/Online – Best News Story 

First: Isaac Windes, “Advocates Worry FCC Changes to Lifeline Could Hit Indian Country Hard,” Cronkite News

Second: Lily Altavena, “Hopi High Hires Investigators to Examine Special Education,” Cronkite News 

Third: Tanner Stechnij, “Hopi to Elect New Leaders as Planned Plant Closure Threatens Tribe’s Financial Future,” Cronkite News

Print/Online – Best Feature Story

Second: Lauren Kaljur and Macee Beheler, “Native American Tribes Fight for Clean Water and More Money,” Carnegie-Knight News21 Troubled Water

Third: Taylor Notah, “Navajo School Instills Resilience in Diné Youth Through Language Continuance Efforts,” Cronkite News

General Excellence in Student Coverage

Second: Cronkite News