The Osage News is an independent news organization covering the government, people, culture and daily life of the Osage Nation–within the Osage Reservation and throughout the world. We are based in the Capital of the Osage Nation, Pawhuska, Okla., with journalists covering local, national and international news relevant to the Osage people.
The Osage News is committed to producing accurate, fair and complete journalism to best serve our audience, the Osage people. Our journalists are expected to act with honesty, transparency and independence. We take all measures possible to avoid actual and perceived conflicts of interest.
We believe that an independent press is crucial to upholding the sovereignty of our tribal nation. We adhere to the following code of ethics in order to best uphold our representative government and perpetuate Osage culture, traditions and sacred values.
Code of Ethics
The Osage News adheres to ethical policies and standards set forth by the Society of Professional journalists (SPJ). These standards shall apply equally to Osage News employees, freelancers and all others engaged in gathering information on behalf of the digital news site. Our journalists go through extensive professional and ethical training and receive a copy of these ethical standards.
The Code of Ethics includes the following principles. (You can find the full Code of Ethics here at SPJ.)
Seek Truth and Report It
Ethical journalism should be accurate and fair. Journalists should be honest and courageous in gathering, reporting and interpreting information.
Ethical journalism treats sources, subjects, colleagues and members of the public as human beings deserving of respect.
The highest and primary obligation of ethical journalism is to serve the public. It is our duty as a newsroom to present news with integrity and to avoid perceived or real conflicts.
Be Accountable and Transparent
Ethical journalism means taking responsibility for one’s work and explaining one’s decisions to the public.
As an independent news organization, we strive to report news and information with fairness and balance. While being the official news organization of the Osage Nation, we base our news judgment on our loyalties to our readers and Osage citizens, and we are not directly beholden to the Executive, Legislative, or Judicial branches of the Osage Nation.
Our newsgathering is independent of commercial or political interests. We do not accept gifts, including paid travel, in order to avoid any conflict of interest –a situation in which our journalists could obtain personal benefit from actions or decisions made in their official capacity – or appearance thereof. When we rely on an organization for a product or access to an event, we are transparent about the relationship and note it within the relevant work. The newsroom is insulated from advertisers and underwriters by a firewall.
Shannon Shaw Duty, Osage from the Grayhorse District, is the editor of the award-winning Osage News, the official independent media of the Osage Nation. She is a graduate of the University of Oklahoma with a bachelor’s degree in Journalism and a master’s degree in Legal Studies with an emphasis in Indigenous Peoples Law.
She currently sits on the LION Publishers board of directors, the Freedom of Information Committee for the Society of Professional Journalists, and she is also a member of the Pawhuska Public Schools Board of Education. She served on the Board of Directors for the Native American Journalists Association (NAJA) from 2013-2016 and served as a board member and Chairwoman for the Pawhuska Johnson O’Malley Parent Committee from 2017-2020. She is a Chips Quinn Scholar, a former instructor for the Freedom Forum’s Native American Journalism Career Conference and the Freedom Forum’s American Indian Journalism Institute.
She is a former reporter for The Santa Fe New Mexican. She is a 2012 recipient of the Native American 40 Under 40 from the National Center for American Indian Enterprise Development. In 2014 she helped lead the Osage News to receive the Elias Boudinot Free Press Award. The Osage News has won Best Newspaper from the SPJ-Oklahoma Chapter in their division the past five years, 2018-2022. Her award-winning work has been published in Indian Country Today, The Washington Post, the Center for Public Integrity, NPR, the Associated Press, Tulsa World and others. She currently resides in Pawhuska, Okla., with her husband and together they share six children, two dogs and two cats.
The Osage News was founded in 1977 as the Osage Nation News by resolution of the 24th Osage Tribal Council. Since that time, different iterations of the newspaper have moved forward under various names.
In 2004, the Osage Nation News became the Osage News again and this time the name stuck. In 2008 the Osage News joined the Native American Journalists Association, the Oklahoma Press Association and the Society of Professional Journalists. Since that time the publication and staff have won numerous awards, including NAJA’s prestigious Elias Boudinot Free Press Award.
The Osage Nation Constitution, ratified in 2006, calls for Freedom of the Press. However, the Independent Press Act wasn’t passed until 2008 and was upheld by the Osage Nation Supreme Court.
The Osage News is the first American Indian tribal news outlet to become a member of The Trust Project, an international consortium of news organizations dedicated to integrity, transparency and accountability in the news industry. The project assists the public in making informed news choices within a free and responsible press.
Inclusion is at the heart of thinking and acting as journalists. The complex issues we face as a tribal nation require respect for different viewpoints. Race, ethnicity, tribal citizenship, class, age, gender, geography and other aspects of identity all affect point of view. Reflecting these differences in our reporting leads to better, more nuanced stories and a better-informed community.
As the primary news source for the Osage Nation, we prioritize hiring Indigenous journalists and professionals who understand and appreciate the unique identity of being Indigenous in the United States. This includes lived experience, knowledge of culture, connection to land, respect for tradition and other Indigenous values. We seek to hire and contract with professionals who reflect this diversity.
Diverse Staffing Report
Osage News staff diversity, self reported:
- Five of six staff reported tribal affiliation, including: Osage Nation (3), Eastern Band of Cherokee Indians (1) and Colorado River Indian Tribes enrolled as Hopi (1).
- Five of six staff are American Indian/Alaska Native alone or in combination with another race, and one is white.
- Five of the six staff identify as female and one as male.
- A third of staff identify as straight, one sixth as LGBTQ+ and three preferred not to answer.
- The average age among those who reported their age is 45.
- No staff have a veteran status.
Verification and Fact Checking
Every single article we publish is checked for accuracy and credibility. Osage News reporters have primary responsibility for reporting, writing, and fact-checking their stories. In addition, before a story is published, the reporter reviews all facts and sources with an editor.
In our news stories, facts must be traced to a primary source. Journalists are expected to write with fact-checking in mind, and should be ready to provide source material and to discuss and respond to questions.
We take many steps to ensure accuracy:
- We investigate claims with skepticism; question assumptions; challenge conventional wisdom; confirm information with subject-matter experts; and seek to corroborate what sources tell us by talking with other informed people or consulting documents.
- We verify content, such as technical terms and statistics, against source documents or make clear who is providing the information.
- We may share relevant components of a story with a primary source or an outside expert to verify them.
- We provide hyperlinks in the story to facts and any source material that can be found online.
The Osage News stands by the information as accurate, and if it’s not, we will change it as quickly as possible and be transparent with our readers about the magnitude of the error.
There are times the Osage News needs to use confidential sources to serve our people and their right to self-governance. Responsible journalism in the public interest may depend on confidential sources who give journalists information that powerful people seek to keep secret.
We make every effort to pursue information on the record. Best Practices in journalism dictate that we use appropriate sources and fully identify them. The public is entitled to as much information as possible to determine the reliability of sources.
Our ability to protect sources allows people with important information to come forward and expose matters of public interest. If we do not properly protect our confidential sources, potential sources will not trust us. This compromises our ability to expose abuses of power in tribal, state and federal governments.
The repercussions to sources in tribal communities could be legal, job-related retribution or personal safety. Those risks often extend to their sources’ families.
We know readers may be skeptical of anonymous sources, wondering whether they are credible or what may motivate them. When the press overuses or abuses the use of unnamed sources, the public loses trust.
We understand that skepticism and value the public’s trust, which is why we have a process in place to vet sources before they appear in a news story.
We do not provide anonymity to those who attack individuals or organizations or engage in speculation. Unnamed sources are not allowed to be the sole basis of the story.
Anonymous sources are a last resort, but some stories cannot be told without allowing sources to go unnamed.
How we decide on anonymity
- When a source requests anonymity, reporters first seek to change the person’s mind and to determine the reason the person wants to go unnamed.
- The material is information and not opinion or speculation, and is vital to the report.
- We weigh the potential impact and importance of the information on the lives of community members and its potential influence on public policy.
- We determine if the source is reliable and is in a position to have direct knowledge of the information.
- We consider the extent of personal or professional hardship and possible danger the source may face if his/her identity becomes known.
- Reporters will then try to find other sources willing to be named. If that approach fails, an editor becomes involved. The Osage News editor decides whether to grant anonymity.
In addition, we follow the Associated Press Protocols for identifying sources, which include the following definitions. These ground rules will be set at the onset of the interview with a source.
These are the AP’s definitions:
On the record. The information can be used with no caveats, quoting the source by name.
Off the record. The information cannot be used for publication.
Background. The information can be published but only under conditions negotiated with the source. Generally, the sources do not want their names published but will agree to a description of their position. Osage News reporters should object vigorously when a source wants to brief a group of reporters on background and try to persuade the source to put the briefing on the record.
Deep background. The information can be used but without attribution. The source does not want to be identified in any way, even on condition of anonymity.
If Osage News publishes information from an anonymous source, we will explain in the story, in as much detail as possible, why we agreed to anonymity.
Corrections and Clarifications
The Osage News is dedicated to news reporting that is accurate, factual, and complete. We’ve developed verification and fact-checking protocols, but we recognize mistakes may happen.
We distinguish between corrections (for mistakes) and clarifications (for vague or misleading content). If you believe a story we have published is inaccurate, please contact the editorial team:
- Email: email@example.com
- Call: 918-287-5668
- Write: Osage News, 604 Kihekah, Pawhuska, OK 74056
As soon as it becomes clear that an error has been made and the correct information can be determined, the work will reflect the new information. This includes old articles or videos still accessible to the public that have since been found to be misrepresentative or wrong.
The fact a correction has been made will be noted at the bottom of the corrected story and on the Corrections and Clarifications page. If a correction is needed in the print edition, it will run on the Editorial page.
The correction will include the correct information, a reference to the incorrect information, and the time and date of the correction.
A serious correction that calls into question our broader decision-making might require a special editor’s note.
If we publish incorrect information on social media, we will correct it on that specific platform.
Reader Engagement and Feedback
At the Osage News, we believe we have a responsibility to engage with the Osage community on the values, issues and ideas of the day, and that we have much to gain in return.
Our readers are frontline witnesses to life in our communities. They have a stake in maintaining and improving the quality of life for the Osage Nation. Their knowledge and insights help us decide what to cover and how to cover it.
We invite your comments and complaints on news stories, suggestions for issues to cover or sources to consult.
You may also contact us by email, phone, or mail:
Shannon Shaw Duty, editor, firstname.lastname@example.org
Osage News office: (918) 287-5668
Our office is located at:
604 Kihekah Ave
Pawhuska, OK 74056
Ownership Structure, Funding and Grants
The Osage News is owned and partially funded by the Osage Nation. As the official news source for the Osage people, the independence and freedom of the Osage News are protected by law.
This news organization is committed to transparency in our ownership structure and funding sources. We cite potential conflicts of interest on the same page as the relevant work. We are owned by the Osage people and are funded through a mixture of general operating support from the Osage Nation as directed in the Independent Press Act, advertising revenue and grants from charitable foundations. In the 2022 fiscal year we had the following revenue:
- We received grants for community news collaboratives, investigative reporting, financial sustainability, and journalism impact from Institute for Nonprofit News, Google News Initiative, LION Publishers Sustainability Audit, and the Racial Equity in Journalism Fund.
- We receive less than $5,000 of our advertising revenue from government agencies.
All original Osage News stories are accompanied with the byline of the journalist(s) who wrote and reported the story. Each byline links to that journalist’s staff page, where you can view their name, photo, topic expertise, contact details, job title, languages spoken and archive of their other stories.
Stories that are not primarily written by an Osage News staff member will have a “Osage News” byline. These stories include press releases and other community content that was drafted by someone externally but reviewed and approved for publication by Osage News staff.
About The Trust Project
The Trust Project is a global consortium of news organizations that implement standards of transparency, called Trust Indicators, to help audiences evaluate the quality, integrity and reliability of journalism. Osage News joined The Trust Project in 2023.
- WHAT INFORMATION DO WE COLLECT?
Personal Information You Disclose to Us
During your visit and use of our Website and services, we collect certain data that you provide to us when you fill out opt-in forms, contact forms, and surveys, when you purchase products and/or services, and when you enter your information for giveaways and/or competitions.
The personal information that you provide to us can be your name, email address, location, and occupation. Moreover, if you are purchasing products, then you are also providing us with payment and address information. (However, your payment information is not stored in our system because purchases are processed through payment processors.) Therefore, should you have any questions about payment activities and/or information, contact the specific payment processor directly.
Outside of the European Union (“EU”)
If you are outside of the EU and enter your information to receive a freebie, make a purchase, respond to survey, register for a free training, or participate in a webinar, then we will automatically enroll you to receive our newsletter and updates.
If you do not wish to receive any communications from us, you can opt out by clicking on the unsubscribe link located at the bottom of the emails.
In the European Union
If you are in the EU and opt to receive a freebie or participate in a free training, register for a webinar or live event, or purchase a product, your email address will not be added to the email list to receive our newsletter and updates unless you affirmatively consent to it.
If you change your mind at any point and do not want to receive electronic communication, simply unsubscribe.
If you have trouble unsubscribing by clicking the link at the bottom of the email, simply email us at email@example.com and request to be unsubscribed from future emails.
Visitors’ Rights Under GDPR
As someone who resides in the European Union, you are entitled to exercise certain rights that you are given under the General Data Protection Regulation (GDPR).
Any information or data that you chose to provide us will be kept with Osage News until one of these happens: (1) you ask Osage News to DELETE the information and/or data; (2) Osage News decides to STOP USING the existing data processors, or (3) Osage News decides that the cost of retaining the data outweighs the value in retaining it.
As a consumer and/or visitor on our Site who is located in the European Union region, you have the right to request access to your data that Osage News collected on you and stores it.
You are within your rights to demand to know exactly what data and information Osage News has collected on you. Keep in mind that some parts of this data was provided by you personally, while others were gathered through cookies and pixels.
You have the right to withdraw consent on a date that you previously gave us consent to collect and process. The right to withdraw consent applies to any future processing of that data. However, any data that has been collected and processed previously based on valid consent is lawful and not subject to liability based on any legal grounds.
You also have the right to request erasure of your data and all your information from Osage News’s data storage. Once you request that your data be erased from Osage News databases, we have thirty (30) days to comply with your request. If it’s impossible to comply within 30 days, then Osage News will respond to the Visitor’s request and let them know about the issue and also give them a reasonable time as to when their request for deletion will be honored.
Aside from rights such as request to access, request to delete and rectify, an EU user also has the right to place restrictions on the data processing itself. This means a user can limit certain things that Osage News can and cannot do with their data. You can choose to limit transfer of your data to third-party businesses (unless it’s essential for Osage News’s basic functions).
You further have the right to file a complaint with a supervisory authority who oversees and handles issues related to the GDPR.
Lastly, it’s Osage News duty to inform you that we only require information that is reasonably necessary to enter into a contract with you. We do not collect any unnecessary data, and any information we acquire is used for legitimate business purposes such as growing and scaling our business, or being able to provide satisfactory customer service to you and other users.
Information Collected Through Third-Party Sources
During the time you visit and use our Site, certain limited data are collected from public databases, marketing partners, social media platforms, and analytics sources.
The types of data collected about you from other sources are your location, your computer system, which pages you have visited on our Site, how long you spend on each page, your IP address, your country, and possibly even your social media profiles and referrals.
- CHILDREN’S PRIVACY AND DATA
This Website is not intended for children under the age of 13. We and this Website do not knowingly and intentionally collect any personally identifiable information from children under the age of 13. If you are under 13 years of age, please do not use or provide any information on this Website. Do not use any third parties that might have links present on this Website. Do not provide your name, address, phone number or any payment information.
If a parent or guardian believes that this Website unknowingly collected personally identifiable information from a child under the age of 13 in its database, please contact us at once at firstname.lastname@example.org, and we will do our best to immediately remove any and all such information from our database.
- HOW DO WE USE THE INFORMATION WE COLLECT FROM YOU?
Information Collected from You
We use the information we collect from you to send you targeted marketing and promotional communications. If at any time you indicated an interest in a particular field related to our Site, then we and/or our third-party marketing partners may use this relevant information to send you additional communication regarding similar products/services.
If you do not want to receive any marketing and/or promotional communication, you can opt out at any time by UNSUBSCRIBING from either a particular list or topic or from all the emails coming from us by clicking on the unsubscribe button located at the bottom of every email you receive.
Information Collected from Third-Party Apps and Tools
Any information collected from third-party tools is used for statistical and analytical purposes and for evaluating and making improvements to our Site. This automatically collected information will not include personal information data.
- WILL WE SHARE YOUR INFORMATION WITH ANYONE?
We respect your privacy and the value of your information. We do not share, disclose, sell, lease or rent your information to anyone or any third party without your express consent.
Only under limited circumstances will necessary information be shared with third parties. Here are the situations in which we will share your information:
- You gave us express consent to do so;
- You entered into a contract for recurring payments—for this reason, your information will be processed on an as-needed basis to uphold the agreement;
- Performance of a contract—if you are obligated to pay or perform an action, and you fail, we reserve the right to share necessary information with a third-party company, such as a collection agency or an attorney; and
- Mandated by law—if legal proceedings are initiated, and there is a subpoena (unlikely, but better to be prepared than surprised).
- EMAIL COMMUNICATIONS & POLICIES
If you decide to contact us through email, we reserve the right to retain the content of your email messages, your email address, and our responses.
Your privacy is important to us. Therefore, your email address will never be shared, sold, or leased to any third-party members.
In compliance with the CAN-SPAM Act, any and all communications sent from our Company or Website will clearly state who the email is from, who the email is for, and how to contact the sender.
Furthermore, should you wish to not receive any more emails, you can click on the “Unsubscribe” link located at the bottom of the email.
Editorial Standards and Policies >
Ethics Policy >
Code of Ethics >
Editorial Independence >
Founding Date >
Diverse Voices >
Diverse Staffing Report >
Verification and Fact Checking >
Unnamed Sources >
Corrections and Clarifications >
Reader Engagement and Feedback >
Ownership Structure, Funding and Grants >
Byline Policy >
About the Trust Proiect >