NORMAN, Okla. – Earlier this year, the Native American Journalists Association (NAJA) was disheartened by mainstream reporting on several cases involving the welfare of Native American children.
In response to the arbitrary reporting on this issue, the NAJA Board of Directors has collaborated with the National Indian Child Welfare Association to release a media guide to aid reporters and editors when covering cases that fall under the Indian Child Welfare Act (ICWA).
NAJA is hopeful this guide will be a useful resource for any media outlet covering ICWA and will help improve coverage of a complex and significant issue for American Indians / Alaskan Natives.
Ethical journalism should always inform coverage of intricate laws such as ICWA, which directly involve children and families in the Native American community.
According to the guide, some ICWA cases may be newsworthy, however, the way journalists report these stories can encourage anti-Indian sentiments and influence negative behavior toward tribes and tribal citizens.
There is no cost to access the resource guide, which is available for download as a PDF on the NAJA website at: http://www.naja.com/resources/covering-icwa/.
For additional resources and information on covering Indian Country, visit www.naja.com.