August 2020

Indigenous Peoples and Human Rights

Wednesday, September 22, 2021

Missing in Journalism: National news coverage of Diné Sáanii for Justice March


Screenshot from live video by Censored News.



Missing in Journalism


By Brenda Norrell
Censored News


Where is the regional and national news coverage of the tremendous 
Diné Sáanii for Justice March, on Friday?

A news search today shows only an article by KNAU Radio, and a photocopy of the Gallup Independent print edition.

Normally, and unfortunately, paid reporters use a combination of plagiarism, rewrites and phone calls to cover Indian country. Even this is missing.

As for local media, they usually provide actual journalism and post quickly on the web. Where is it today?

On Friday, outside the Navajo Nation Council Chambers, Dine' women said they would no longer be silent as victims of disrespect, abuse and violence.

Dine' women called on the Navajo government to fund an office for investigations and prosecutions of missing and murdered Dine'. They asked that funds be re-allocated for this office, instead of renovating the new building in DC that the Navajo government purchased during the pandemic.

The lack of immediate online reporting is a story in itself, as the national and regional media ignore missing and murdered Indigenous Peoples, and fail to have reporters present in Indian country for authentic journalism.

It also reveals the oppression in news rooms, where the truth is censored, hidden, distorted or delayed to avoid impact and carry out specific agendas of editors and publishers.

KNAU Radio reports, "At the march, Former Council Delegate Genevieve Jackson called for greater representation of women within the Navajo Nation Council. 'How are we going to achieve balance and harmony when it's male-dominated?' Jackson asked amid applause."

The national and Southwest news media relies heavily on public relations spin, regurgitating the press releases of politicians, but there is little serious investigative reporting.

There has been little media coverage of how the Navajo government is actually spending the $2.5 billion in federal virus relief. Meanwhile, Dine' volunteers are still raising their own funds and delivering water and food to desperate Dine', including isolated elderly, and the sick and dying.



KNAU Radio Flagstaff

Censored News coverage as it happened.

Gallup Independent N.M.

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About the author
Brenda Norrell has been a reporter in Indian country for 39 years, beginning at the Navajo Times during the 18 years that she lived on the Navajo Nation. She was a stringer for Associated Press for five years, and USA Today for seven years, covering the Navajo Nation and federal courts. Her articles, including travels with the Zapatistas and coverage in Mexico and Bolivia, have appeared in national and international media.
After serving as a longtime staff reporter for Indian Country Today, she was censored and terminated in 2006. She created Censored News, which has no ads, grants, salaries or revenues. She is now blacklisted by mainstream media.

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