Lani Hansen/Senior Reporter
OKMULGEE, Oklahoma – Every year the Native American Journalists Association recognizes Indigenous and non-Indigenous journalists from across the country on their excellence in reporting.
NAJA received more than 730 entries this year in categories from student level to professional level. Mvskoke Media received five awards under the Professional Division II – Print/Online, one under Professional Divisions II & III – TV and one under Professional Division II – Multimedia, making a grand total of seven for the newly reinstated independent tribal media.
Mvskoke Media Director Angel Ellis received two awards in the Professional Division II – Print/Online. Under the category for Best News Story, Ellis placed second for her coverage on “Former MCN Chief sentenced to prison.” Under the Excellence in Beat Reporting category, she placed third for the story, “SCOTUS opinion impact coverage.”
Reporter Morgan Taylor received one award in the Professional Division II – Print/Online. Taylor placed third in the Best Elder Coverage category for the story, “Veteran makes tribute to other veterans.”
Radio Specialist Gary Fife received one award under the Professional Division II – Print/Online. Under the category for Best Column, Fife placed first for “Emvpanayv: One Who Tells the Story.”
Assignment Editor Jerrad Moore received one award under the Professional Divisions II & III – TV for Best Newscast. Moore’s work on “Previously censored interview with Dr. Monte Randall leading a citizen initiative petition to restore free press at MCN,” placed him at third in the category.
Ellis and Moore received one award together under the Professional Division II – Multimedia. The pair placed second for “Anne Townsend Edwards discusses being a Muscogee foster parent.”
Mvskoke Media editorial staff and Mvskoke Creative received first place for General Excellence under Professional Division II – Print/Online for the Mvskoke News.
According to the press release from NAJA, more than 250 awards were distributed to the best coverage of Indian Country.
NAJA usually hosts an in-person conference but in response to the COVID-19 pandemic, the 2021 National Native Media Conference has been postponed until Aug. 25-27, 2022 in Phoenix. This year, the awards ceremony will be held virtually on Oct. 28 at 3 p.m. Central Standard Time via Zoom.