Cronkite School Teams up with the University of Oklahoma to better Serve Native American Communities

Tuesday, Feb. 9

  

By Jamar Younger

The Walter Cronkite School of Journalism and Mass Communication at Arizona State University is partnering with the University of Oklahoma’s Gaylord College of Journalism and Mass Communication to expand coverage of indigenous communities.

Under the collaboration, students from Cronkite News and Gaylord News will publish stories on both news organizations’ websites, share story ideas and pair up students to cover developing news stories. Students from both schools share a newsroom in ASU’s new Ambassador Barbara Barrett and Justice Sandra Day O’Connor Washington Center, located three blocks from the White House, from which they cover national news about indigenous issues.

In addition, both news organizations distribute student work to more than 100 partner news organizations around the country. These media outlets will now have access to stories from both Cronkite and Gaylord students.

The Cronkite School and Gaylord College both have prioritized coverage of Native American communities and issues through reporting programs and classroom teaching. The Cronkite School is home to Indian Country Today and covers indigenous communities extensively through its Cronkite News service, the news arm of Arizona PBS. This semester the school also is offering a reporting course focused exclusively on indigenous communities.

Gaylord College, the home of the Native American Journalists Association, just concluded a 41-part series entitled “Exiled to Indian Country” that was distributed by its Gaylord News service. This semester the college also launched the Bob Burke Native American Reporting Center that will train reporters to work in indigenous communities.

“This collaboration between the Gaylord News program and our friends at Cronkite will provide badly needed coverage of Native American communities in Oklahoma and Arizona, as well as nationally,” said Ed Kelley, dean of the Gaylord College. “The networks both programs have established through media partners across the country will distribute Gaylord and Cronkite students’ stories, to the benefit of news consumers. This alliance not only gives young journalists more opportunities to hone their skills but also a greater understanding of Native issues.”

Cronkite News recently posted its first story from Gaylord about a prom dress that calls attention to missing and murdered indigenous women, now part of an exhibit at the Smithsonian National Museum of American History. Other stories that have been shared include the legacy of Indian boarding schools and the Cherokee Trail of Tears.

“This is just the beginning,” said Kristin Gilger, interim dean of the Cronkite School. “By combining forces and amplifying each other’s work, we can fill a gap in coverage that has persisted for way too long. We’re excited to see where this collaboration takes us.”

The Cronkite School and Gaylord College have worked together on a number of other programs supported by the Inasmuch Foundation, formerly the Ethics & Excellence in Journalism Foundation, established by Oklahoma journalist Edith Kinney Gaylord in 1982. The foundation provides fellowships for Cronkite and Gaylord students to participate in the national Carnegie-Knight News21 program headquartered at Cronkite and supports professorships at both schools.