Magazine article Editor & Publisher

Native Press Ungagged

Magazine article Editor & Publisher

Native Press Ungagged

Article excerpt

Navajo leaders make history by setting free 'The Navajo Times,' while an Idaho tribe repeats history by firing editor

There's been good news and bad news out of Indian country in recent days. The good news -- and history-making news, at that -- is that the Navajo tribal council voted overwhelmingly Oct. 23 to free from tribal government control the weekly Navajo Times, already one of the most aggressive newspapers publishing on a Native American reservation.

The bad news is that the very same week, the chairman of the Fort Hall (Idaho) Tribal Business Council of the Shoshone-Bannock Tribes fired the respected editor of the Sho-Ban News -- and even temporarily shut down the tribe-owned weekly while he whined about its coverage. Council Chairman Fred Auck was continuing a long and shameful tradition of tribal government interference with Native journalism when he fired long-time Editor Lori Edmo-Suppah, the treasurer of the Native American Journalists Association, because the paper was reporting both sides of the bitter recall campaign against him.

This interference is a story as old as American Indian journalism itself. The editor of the very first Native American newspaper -- the Cherokee Phoenix, founded 175 years ago in New Echota, Ga. -- was assassinated by fellow Cherokee disgusted with his editorial support of the forced migration of the tribe that became known as the Trail of Tears.

Still, the heartening fact is that Fred Auck and other bullying leaders who try to muzzle Native newspapers are on the wrong side of history now. …

Search by... Author
Show... All Results Primary Sources Peer-reviewed

Oops!

An unknown error has occurred. Please click the button below to reload the page. If the problem persists, please try again in a little while.