Students from Arizona State University swept up 13 awards — 10 of them first-place prizes — in the Native American Journalist Association’s 2021 National Native Media Awards.
Primarily in print and online categories, ASU students received more first-place prizes than any other student publication in the country.
“One of the best things about the Cronkite News newsroom is the wide range of experiences and interests our journalists bring to the table,” said Cronkite News Director Allysa Adams. “There are so many stories ‘waiting to be told’ and we encourage our journalists to find those stories that impact underserved communities.”
Cronkite News, the student-produced and faculty-led news organization of Arizona PBS, earned four awards, with three of them being first-place accolades.
This year, the NAJA revised competition rules for students. Only indigenous students can compete in the “student” division, while non-indigenous students and non-indigenous professionals compete together in the “associate” division. ASU took 10 awards in the indigenous “student” category and two in the “associate” category.
McKenzie Allen-Charmley, Cronkite News reporter and officer for ASU’s NAJA chapter, took ASU’s only award in the professional division for her story about the health risks that the lack of indoor plumbing poses in nearly one-third of Navajo Nation households.
“McKenzie has a passion for issues related to native communities and when she brought this story to our attention, we greenlit it immediately,” said Adams. “I think her passion and sincerity to learn about the topic came through, which enabled her to get her sources to really open up.”
Here is a list of ASU winners in the student division:
- Turning Points Magazine Podcast by Chance Dorland and Taylor Notah – First Place for Radio / Podcast – General Excellence
- Navajo Firewood by McKenzie Allen-Charmley for Cronkite News – First Place for TV – Best Feature Story
- Protesters at border wall site on Hia-Ced O’odham territory ends in standoff by Raphael Romero Ruiz for Azcentral.com – First Place for Print / Online – Best News Photo
- Live más: Overnight at the Taco Bell on Apache by Joseph Perez for The State Press – First Place for Print / Online – Best Feature Story
- My mom is a nurse in the face of a pandemic by Joseph Perez for The State Press – Second Place for Print / Online – Best Feature Story
- The tight-knit Town of Guadalupe by Noah Huerta for Turning Points Magazine – Third Place for Print / Online – Best Feature Story
- Indigenizing archives by Shalanndra Benally for Turning Points Magazine – First Place for Print / Online – Best Feature Photo
- Opinion: Forgotten Footsteps by Raphael Romero Ruiz for The State Press – First Place for Print / Online – Best Editorial
- Native Scholar Comic by Danielle Lucero for Turning Points Magazine – First Place for Print / Online – Best Column
- Turning Points Magazine – First Place for Print / Online – Best Digital Publication
Here is a list of ASU winners in the associate division:
- Native American veterans still struggling to get the health care they were promised by Madeline Ackley for Cronkite News – First Place for Print / Online – Best Coverage of Native America
- Pandemic shines light on complex coexistence of modern times, traditional ways on Navajo Nation by Anthony J. Wallace for Cronkite News – Third Place for Best Coverage of Native America
Here is a list of ASU winners in the professional division:
- Many Navajos face pandemic without running water, tribal members urged to lift each other up by McKenzie Allen-Charmley for Cronkite News – First Place for Best Health Coverage
Awards will be presented to the winners during the 2021 National Native Media Awards virtual ceremony on Oct. 28 via Zoom. Registration for the event is open and is available here.