Mon Jul 22nd, 2013
The Native American Journalists Association on Saturday, July 20 awarded The Southern Ute Drum an all-time high of eight honors in its national Media Awards competition, including a first-place prize for general excellence for the third year in a row.
Three members of the Drum staff traveled to Tempe, Ariz., for the awards ceremony and three-day conference: Media Manager Ace Stryker, Composition Technician Robert L. Ortiz, and Photographer/reporter Jeremy Wade Shockley. Also making the trip were Southern Ute Chairman Jimmy R. Newton Jr. and three staffers of KSUT Tribal Radio.
In addition to general excellence, the Drum team also won first place for best layout in its division for the third year running. The Drum competes against all other newspapers in Indian Country with a circulation of up to 5,000.
Individually, Stryker and Shockley competed in the “associate” categories, which is open to non-Native employees of tribal newspapers.
Stryker won first and second place for best news story — for coverage of a tribal case before the U.S. Supreme Court and of an endangered fish recovery program, respectively — and first place for best photo for a shot of a White Mesa, Utah, basket weaver.
Shockley won second place for best photo for his shot of a Blues Brothers tribute band at Ignacio Bike Week.
Ortiz, competing in the categories open to enrolled tribal members, won two second-place photography awards. He was recognized in best feature photo for a shot of a Four Corners health walk and in best news photo for a shot of the Stateline Fire last summer.
“It’s an honor to be recognized by our peers in Indian Country, but of course we are here first and foremost to serve the tribal membership, not just win awards,” Stryker said. “We hope these awards are an indication the Drum is improving and becoming a better newspaper each year.”
Previously, the Drum won six NAJA awards in 2012, four in 2011 and four in 2010.