The Native American Journalists Association will provide resources to support transparency and responsibility through the IIC
Norman, Okla. – In a historic step to support investigative journalism in Indigenous communities, the Native American Journalists Association (NAJA) launched the Indigenous Investigative Collective (IIC).
Aimed at providing training, resources, and networked support to Indigenous reporters covering the day-to-day activities of their tribal governments, the IIC will support transparency and responsibility in Indigenous communities by securely handling sensitive documents, data and news tips.
In what could be a significant shift for accountability in Indian Country, NAJA has responded to press-blackouts and opaque tribal government structures by working to empower Indigenous journalists to work safely, and securely, with whistleblowers.
NAJA believes that to safeguard tribal sovereignty and self-determination, tribal citizens must have access to information about their governments as well as their associated institutions and enterprises. This includes, but is not limited to, budgets, meeting minutes, records, business dealings, and deliberations. NAJA also believes that tribal sovereignty and self-determination are dependent on the transparency and accountability of tribal governments.
For the launch of this initiative, NAJA has developed a set of baseline security standards, training and protocols that news organizations will need to adopt in order to become members of the IIC. At this stage, we welcome partners, foundations, and free press advocates to help build a network of investigative journalists in Indian Country.
Press freedom in Indigenous communities is the exception, not the rule. To enable Indigenous journalists to accurately report despite press-blackouts and opaque government structures, NAJA believes it is critical to provide support and tools for journalists to work with whistleblowers in an ethical and responsible way.
If you are a whistleblower in possession of information regarding financial mismanagement, discrimination, harassment, disenfranchisement, disenrollment and/or other unethical, and/or illegal behavior by government or enterprise, IIC members will want to hear from you.
For more information, please contact IIC@naja.com.