NAJA announces National Native Media Award winners

Southern Ute Drum Editor Jeremy Wade Shockley won accolades in the Best Feature Photo category for his photograph made at the Ft. Duchesne Bear Dance titled, “Honoring the flag.”
Public Relations Coordinator Trennie Collins and Drum Composition Technician, Robert L. Ortiz earned recognition for their collaboration with KSUT on “Awaking the Warrior Within — featuring the Dream Warriors.”
Robert L. Ortiz earned a spot in the Best News Photo category for his image of Veterans in the June feature titled “Celebrating Bear Dance, honoring Memorial Day.”
Southern Ute Drum Reporter/Photographer McKayla Lee won First Place for Best News Photo in the Professional Division with “Spirits run deep at Sand Creek.”
Jeremy Wade Shockley | SUDRUM
Trennie Collins | SUDRUM
Robert L. Ortiz | SUDRUM
McKayla Lee | SUDRUM

Southern Ute Drum nets 16 media awards in 2020 

The Native American Journalists Association (NAJA) recognized outstanding Indigenous journalism during a virtual ceremony held Thursday, Oct. 15. The annual competition recognizes excellence in reporting by Indigenous and non-Indigenous journalists from across the United States and Canada. 

The Native American Journalists Association presented more than 250 awards recognizing the best coverage of Indian Country during the 2020 National Native Media Awards virtual ceremony via Zoom. In response to the COVID-19 pandemic, NAJA postponed the 2020 National Native Media Conference until September 2021 in Phoenix, Ariz.  

Surpassing last year’s wins, the Southern Ute Drum staff earned a total of 16 media awards this year — setting a new record for NAJA accolades earned in a single year by the newspaper. 

 The wins were spread across the board, recognizing our publication’s excellence in writing, reporting, photography, videography and social media content. The Southern Ute Drum also received an Honorable Mention for General Excellence in our respective division, an award which lends itself to overall quality of content and newspaper design. The Drum competes in Professional and Associate Divisions I & II, with a newspaper print circulation below 5,000. 

Public Relations Coordinator Trennie Collins and Reporter/Photographer McKayla Lee took First Place in Best Multimedia category for their joint efforts on the “45th Annual Denver March Powwow” video feature. Drum Composition Technician, Robert L. Ortiz and Collins also earned an honorable mention for their collaboration with KSUT on “Awaking the Warrior Within — featuring the Dream Warriors.” 

Lee won First Place for Best News Photo in the Professional Division with “Spirits run deep at Sand Creek.” Ortiz won Third Place in the same category for “Celebrating Bear Dance, honoring Memorial Day.” 

 Lee took First Place in Best Health Coverage for her article titled, “Singing rivers red, for missing and murdered Indigenous women.” Collins won Third Place for “Sticker Shock takes over the Southwest.”  

 Lee won First Place in the category of Best Editorial for her piece titled, “Awareness for Missing and Murdered Indigenous Women.” She also earned an Honorable Mention for “All-star concert brings awareness to Aspen” in the category of Best Environmental Coverage 

In the category of Best News Story Lee took home First and Second place wins for “Preparations usher in spring celebrations” and “Youth leaders reunite at the University of Utah” respectively. Collins got an Honorable Mention for her article titled, “State Capitol honors Colorado’s first people.” 

Southern Ute Drum Editor/Media Manager, Jeremy Wade Shockley won First Place for Best Feature Photo in the Associate Divisions I & II Combined Categories for “Rodeo returns to Ignacio” in addition to a Third Place win in the same category for his photograph titled, “Honoring the flag.” 

 In the category of Best Photo of Native America, Shockley earned a Second Place win for “Pino Nuche honor the bear through dance.” In the Best Feature Story category Shockley’s article, “Ute elders share culture, tradition though seasonal stories was recognized for an Honorable Mention. 

 NAJA recently announced that, “The call for National Native Media Conference proposals has been extended through Feb. 1, 2021 to facilitate ideas, best practices in Indigenous media through training and workshops to support and enhance the knowledge and skills of journalists covering Indian Country.” September’s conference programming will focus on coverage of COVID-19 across Turtle Island and will be co-hosted in partnership with the Walter Cronkite School of Journalism and Mass Communication at Arizona State University. 





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