Drum wins General Excellence award

The Southern Ute Drum won five awards at the 2015 National Native Media Awards Conference. Awards included first place in General Excellence, third place in Best Layout, second place to Damon Toledo for Best Feature Photo and third place for Best News Story, and third place for Sacha Smith with Best Feature Story. The Drum Staff: [Top] Trennie Collins, Sacha Smith, Robert L. Ortiz, Damon Toledo. [Bottom] Fabian Martinez, Anthony Suina.

The Native American Journalist Association awarded The Southern Ute Drum with five awards, including the coveted General Excellence award, on Saturday, July 11.

The Southern Ute Drum competes in the Division I category, which includes native publications with a circulation under 4,000. The General Excellence award is judged on coverage of Native American issues, layout, design, adherence to AP style and overall readability.

“This is a big win for us, and the tribe,” Sacha Smith, media manager at the Drum said about winning the General Excellence award. “Year round we work hard serving the membership … that’s our top priority, but these awards are always a good motivator especially when we get recognized among fellow native publications.”

Other awards included third place for Best Layout, third place-Best Feature Story for Sacha Smith, third place Best Feature Story and third place for Best Feature Photo for Damon Toledo.

Previously, the Drum won five awards in 2014, eight awards in 2013, and six awards in 2012.

The NAJA conference also features a four-day conference for those in reporting, radio, video, and photography, with workshops that give tips and trainings.

Each workshop also brings to focus a specific theme, which changes from year to year; this year’s theme was “Empower Your Story.” The theme aimed to help reporters realize where they are now and incorporate the philosophy into the expression of their work.


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