Drum takes home top honors at NAJA, earning best-ever 13 awards

Science & Discovery: Second-place Best News Photo
Fiesta Days Rodeo: Second-place Best News Photo
Tri-Ute Games: Second Place Best Sports Photo
McKayla Lee | The Southern Ute Drum
Jeremy Wade Shockley | The Southern Ute Drum
Trennie Collins | The Southern Ute Drum

The Native American Journalists Association awarded The Southern Ute Drum 13 honors in its National Native Media Awards competition, including a first-place win for General Excellence and a first-place for Best Digital Publication, an all-time high for the newspaper. Winners were announced in a press release from NAJA on Thursday, July 11. The Drum competes against all other newspapers in Indian Country with a circulation of up to 5,000.

The Drum also garnered a third-place for best layout in our division, awarded to Composition Technician Robert L. Ortiz.

Newspaper Editor, Jeremy Wade Shockley garnered four awards in photography for his coverage of rodeos, and cultural events; competing in the “associate” categories, which are open to non-Native employees of tribal newspapers. Shockley won second-place Best Feature Photo: TriUte Games Archery; second-place Best News Photo: Fiesta Days Rodeo; second-place Best Photo of Native America: Southern Utes Dance under blue bird skies; and third-place Best Sports Photo: Bull fighting across the American West.

Photographer/Reporter McKayla Lee was recognized for her photography and writing, bringing home three NAJA awards in her first year working on staff as a reporter for the Southern Ute Drum. Her article titled, “Living hope, mental health” earned her a third-place win in Best Health Coverage. Lee took home first-place and third-place wins in the category of Best News Photo for a photograph titled Science & Discovery and coverage of the Tres Rios Rodeo, respectively.

Public Relations Coordinator, Trennie Collins won three awards for photography. Second-place Best Sports Photo: TriUte Games for her coverage of the Ute Warrior Challenge at Lake Capote; second-place Best Feature Photo: Sam Burch Memorial; along with third-place Best Feature Photo: Bear Dance in full swing.

“It is wonderful to receive this kind of recognition from our peers in Indian Country,” Shockley stated. “As the Editor of this publication I truly believe this reflects on the quality of work we do for the membership, these accolades are not just a win for the newspaper, but for the Tribe.”

The Southern Ute Drum’s previous best at the NAJA awards dates back to 2013, when the Drum staff brought home a total of eight awards including first-place in General Excellence.



Like it? Share it!