Native American Journalists Association Statement on NABJ’s Decision to Leave UNITY Journalists of Color


NAJA Members and Friends,

The Native American Journalists Association was alerted Sunday April 10th of the decision by the National Association of Black Journalists to pull out of the UNITY Journalists of Color alliance.  NAJA is disappointed but respectful of NABJ’s determination which they called a “business decision.”   NAJA still encourages members of NABJ to participate in the UNITY 2012 conference in Las Vegas next August.  This invitation is also extended to any person who is interested in attending UNITY 2012 and supporting our mission to promote and achieve diversity in the newsroom and in media coverage.  NAJA proudly welcomes anyone who is interested in learning about Journalists of Color and the important responsibility they uphold in today’s society.

The American Society of News Editors recently issued the results from its newsroom census and it showed that the overall number of Journalists of Color in the nation’s newsrooms fell to 12.79%.  The number of Native Americans in these same newsrooms again remains at less than 1%.  NAJA is disheartened by these statistics, especially when the 2010 census count shows an 18.4% increase in the Native American population in the U.S since the 2000 census.  This is unacceptable to NAJA and we will continue to advocate and support our members and their efforts to become more visible and prominent in newsrooms and media coverage across the country.

Rhonda LeValdo, President, Native American Journalists Association

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