Recap: “Indigenous Media, Empowering Indigenous Voices” – U.N. Panel

We held an interesting panel discussion called, “Indigenous Media, Empowering Indigenous Voices,” last week at the United Nations to commemorate International Day of the World’s Indigenous Peoples and brought together Indigenous journalists who share news for, by and about their communities from their corner of the world.

In case you missed the interactive panel discussion,  here’s the video:

Indigenous Media, Empowering Indigenous Voices

Screenshot of of the LIVE webcast of “Indigenous Media, Empowering Indigenous Voices” organized by the United Nations Secretariat of the Permanent Forum on Indigenous Issues.

The panelists were: Nils Johan Heatta, Chairman of the World Indigenous Television Broadcasters Network; J. Kehaulani Kauanui, a professor at Wesleyan University and radio producer; and Angel Tibán Guala, Director of the television of Movimiento Indígena Campesino de Cotopaxi (TV MICC).

Our expert discussants were: Monika Ille – Director of Programming, Aboriginal Peoples Television Network, Canada; Keoni Lee – General Manager, ‘Ōiwi TV, Hawai’i; Emil Her Many Horses (Ogala Lakota, United States), National Museum of the American Indian, “Our voices on the Air : Reaching new audiences through indigenous radio”

And, we screened videos from: Komi Television (Russian Federation); TV MICC (Ecuador); Indigenous Information Network (Kenya); DJ Atama Katama (Malaysia)

I was thrilled that there was tons of buzz on Twitter and Facebook about the day and the panel itself, especially given the significance social media has in enabling every day people to share news that is important to them without the costs required for a broadcast TV studio or radio station.

I really thought I’d be nervous moderating the panel (which lasted nearly 4 1/2hours!), but I wasn’t.  I felt really comfortable sitting on stage, leading the conversation and soliciting questions from the audience.

The highlight of the day was getting to meet U.N. Secretary General, Ban Ki-moon!  Aside from providing a poignant address, he took a great photo!

Amy Stretten with United Nations Secretary General, Ban Ki-moon.

Another fun moment was the interview I did before the panel with a Slovenian radio station:

Radio Student FM 98.3 “Staroselci Na Twitterju”

While I have no idea what is being said (aside from my interspersed sound bites), it’s a pretty interesting listen.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Did you happen to catch the panel discussion?  If so, please let me know what you thought about it in the comments section below!

Let’s keep the conversation surrounding Indigenous media going!  Feel free to tweet me @AmyStretten.

Have a great day!

-NativeJournalist

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Good News and Updates!

The semester is finally drawing to a close, which means I am 2/3 of the way done with grad school!  This final week of classes will either make or break me, as I have a tremendous amount of work to complete before the Summer begins.

However, I have great news!  I recently found out that I am one of eight winners of the UNITY: Journalists of Color / United Nations Programme on HIV/AIDS 2011 Global Reporting Fellowship!  Here is some information about this amazing opportunity:

UNITY: Journalists of Color is teaming up with the Joint United Nations Programme on HIV/AIDS (UNAIDS) to offer unique international reporting opportunities to young journalists from its alliance partners.

The June 8-10 UN High-Level meeting on AIDS will be among the most important to take place in recent years around AIDS issues where world leaders will take stock of global response after 30 years and remember the human toll of the epidemic – the 25 million people who have died of AIDS. The leaders also will renew commitments and agree on innovative strategies to achieve a world free of HIV infections, AIDS-related deaths and stigma of discrimination.

The meeting will feature speeches by global leaders, including the Secretary General, presidents and royalty. There will also be performances by popular musicians.

The gathering presents an excellent opportunity for young journalists interested in honing their skills in international affairs, especially at a time when many news organizations in the United States are reducing international reporting.

UNITY will bring two young journalists from each partner organization to the United Nations from June 6 – 11 to report on the High Level meeting. They will be joined by four young journalists from Asia, Africa, Latin America and Europe. The journalists will work collaboratively to produce print, online and broadcast reports during the meeting under the guidance of professional journalists from alliance partners and the Inter Press Service, the developing world’s leading provider of information on global issues.

I am so excited to begin this amazing experience and can’t wait to meet the other participants, mentors, and diplomats!

In other news, I am also thrilled to announce that I will be interning at the Aboriginal Peoples Television Network in Winnipeg, Canada this summer!  I was fortunate to receive internship offers at two other U.S. news organizations that were incredibly hard to turn down.  (Seriously though, you have no idea!)  But, I am the “Native Journalist” and aside from choosing the international reporting concentration at the CUNY Graduate School of Journalism (which means I am required to intern at a news organization outside of the U.S.), I also feel like this could be a once in a lifetime opportunity to see what life is like for our Indigenous brothers and sisters up north. I am really excited to be working beside seasoned professionals who have dedicated their careers to telling under-reported stories for and about Native people.

Another reason for choosing to spend the summer at APTN in Winnipeg is to begin working on my capstone project.  At CUNY we are required to complete a major print/multi-media/broadcast/etc. project (like a thesis) in our final semester (in addition to the work required for our four classes).  So, to lighten my load and allow for a possible Fall internship (at the anonymous “dream” news organization I turned down), I thought it would be a great idea to start shooting this summer!

The idea for this project came from an interview I conducted with Tonya Gonnella Frichner about her work with the United Nations Permanent Forum on Indigenous Issues.  In the interview she mentioned the high number of Aboriginal women and girls who have been murdered and gone missing from all parts of Indian Country.  Specifically, how sex trafficking is hurting the Indigenous community in Canada.

Since this conversation, I have done a great deal of research into this issue and would like to make this my focus of my capstone.  The other day I came across the below video.  I would like to do something in a similar vein.  Check it out.  It’s hard to watch, but it is my hope that creating a piece like this will call attention to this important issue.

-NativeJournalist

CNN’s Soledad O’Brien Wins NABJ Journalist of the Year Award

SAN DIEGO, CA –

NABJ Journalist of the Year and CNN Anchor and Special Correspondent, Soledad O’Brien, offers advice on how to be a successful journalist to CUNY Graduate School of Journalism students.

Amy Stretten with Soledad O’Brien

Last week I had the privilege of meeting CNN Journalist, Soledad O’Brien, whom the National Association of Black Journalists honored with the Journalist of the Year Award at their 35th annual convention and career fair in San Diego, California. O’Brien shared with me what has made her such a successful journalist. “Ultimately what you’re known for is just being solid and incredible. You want to stick out? Then you know what, put your head down and do your work. Be the person everyone can go to. Be solid and consistent.”

Who better to offer advice to incoming and returning J-School students than Soledad O’Brien? As a CNN Anchor and Special Correspondent, as well as a reporter for the CNN ‘In America’ unit, O’Brien has reported on the Black, Latino, and gay experience in America.

Maria de la Soledad Teresa O’Brien who is a member of the National Association of Hispanic Journalists and the National Association of Black Journalists was raised by an Afro-Cuban mother and an Australian father of Irish and Scottish heritage and is the fifth of six children, all of whom graduated from Harvard University. She grew up on the affluent North Shore in the community of St. James on Long Island, New York. Now, a Manhattan resident, she is raising four children with her husband, Bradley Raymond who is an investment banker whom she met at Harvard.

One might say O’Brien has the market cornered, being a journalist who represents more than one community. Her advice on how to report in a growing multi-cultural world is to “Go and see for yourself…The problem when you’re talking about multiculturalism is that people like to sit at a desk and report about a community. Get on a plane and…figure it out! Walk among the people. See where there’s tension, see where there’s joy, see what the real situation is. Have some personal experience because that’s where you’re going to get your stories. Stories are not going to come from reading six articles – they never do. Stories come from saying, ‘Wow! There’s something really interesting going on in my neighborhood. What’s going on there?’ You’re not going to get it from reading. Anybody can tell a good story, but you have to be there to witness it with a recorder.”

In a news release published on the NABJ website, organization President Kathy Y. Times said, “Soledad’s work in the ‘Black in America’ series…was an example of great reporting, and through her work and platform she shared the stories in our communities that often go untold. She is truly worthy of NABJ’s Journalist of the Year honor.” In speaking about her award, O’Brien says, “It’s an incredible honor because I think when you are judged by your peers…it’s very significant. It was a complete shock to be told that I won it. I’m really proud of it. We’ve done some ground-breaking work.”

Ground-breaking work indeed. The second installment of the ‘Black in America’ series, for which O’Brien was primarily being honored, was CNN’s most-watched documentary series of 2009. In it, O’Brien explores the way in which people have gotten involved in their communities to make a significant impact and improve the Black American experience. Later that year CNN premiered ‘Latino in America’ which, in a similar vein, delves into the diverse experiences and obstacles facing the Latino community as well as the impact Latinos have on America.

Speaking about her award further, O’Brien says, “I hope it’s an honor that’s at the beginning of my career and not an end of career kind of honor.” I am most certain this is among many accolades O’Brien will receive for her work. We will be seeing much more of O’Brien this year when her upcoming CNN specials ‘New Orleans Rising’ and ‘Black in America: Churched’ air on August 21 and October 14, respectively.

-NativeJournalist

Native American Journalists Association thanks conference goers for a successful event

2010 Native American Journalists Association Conference Logo

ST. PAUL, MINNESOTA – In an e-mail to it’s members, NAJA says thank you for helping make the 2010 Native Nations Media Conference a success:

We would like to thank all of our members, presenters, mentors, students and everyone else who contributed to our successful 2010 conference. It was great to see new and familiar faces in St. Paul, and we look forward to meeting with you all again next year!

Thank you!

For a list of the winners of this year’s Native American Journalists Association awards, click here.

-NativeJournalist

Amy Stretten, Winner of the 2010 Consumer Health Advocate of the Year Award!

Consumer Health Advocate of the Year Award

WASHINGTON, DC – Families USA awarded me the Consumer Health Advocate of the Year award at the Health Action 2010 conference!…Well, me and the other hundreds of registrants who were in attendance, to encourage us all to continue to advocate for health care reform.

-NativeJournalist