Students at ASU Cronkite School dominate competition in National Native Media Awards

Thursday, July 25, 2019

Journalism students at Arizona State University’s Walter Cronkite School of Journalism and Mass Communication took home seven first-place awards during the 2019 National Native Media Awards, the most of any school in the nation.

The Native American Journalists Association announced that students at ASU won a total of 17 awards across radio, television, writing and online news categories for their in-depth coverage of issues important to Native American communities.

“The Cronkite School is dedicated to increasing both the quantity and quality of Native American news coverage to better serve Native communities regionally and nationally,” Cronkite Assistant Dean Rebecca Blatt said. “These awards are a testament to the outstanding work our students are producing and the Cronkite School’s increased efforts to cover tribes and Native people across the Americas.”

Earlier this year, Indian Country Today, a national news organization devoted to the coverage of Native American issues and communities, moved its newsroom from Washington, D.C., to the Cronkite School. The expansion of the digital media outlet includes the first-ever national television news program by and about Native Americans. 

Cronkite News, the student-produced and faculty-led news organization of Arizona PBS, has strengthened its coverage of indigenous communities. The media outlet took home 16 NAJA awards, including six first-place honors. 

Recent Cronkite School alumna Lillian Donahue took home the top award in the TV – Best Feature Story and Print/Online – Best Feature Photo categories. Her Cronkite News story, “Supai village residents are fearful for their future,” took an in-depth look at uranium mining in the Grand Canyon and its devastating impact on members of the Havasupai Tribe. 

The Carnegie-Knight News21 program, a national multi-university reporting initiative headquartered at the Cronkite School, also tied for first place in the Print/Online – Best Feature Story category.

ASU’s Turning Points Magazine received two honors for stories written by Cronkite alumna Taylor Notah. Notah won first place in the Print/Online – Best Feature Story category for her story, “Showdown on the Rez,” which highlighted the ASU-Baylor women’s basketball game held in Fort Defiance, Arizona.

The winners will be recognized during the National Native Media Conference in Prior Lake, Minnesota, on Sept. 18.