UA Students Form Second Chapter of Journalists’ Association

Students in the University of Arizona department of journalism have formed the second student chapter of the Native American Journalists Association.

NAJA, headquartered on the University of Oklahoma campus in Norman, “serves and empowers Native journalists through programs and actions designed to enrich journalism and promote Native cultures,” according to the organization’s website.

NAJA was one of the participating organizations of the Unity Journalists of Color Convention that the Democratic presumptive nominee Barack Obama addressed on Sunday, July 27.

Thirteen students, undergraduate and graduate, representing five different tribes have joined the UA group, NAJA said. It added that a private donor was covering the membership dues and the academic institutional membership. Jeannine Relly, an assistant professor of practice in journalism, will serve as the group’s adviser.

Candace Begody, a member of the Navajo Nation and a journalism major, is credited as the driving force behind the chapter’s formation.

Begody, who has a minor in American Indian Studies, says she hopes the student chapter will create and publish a news magazine that covers the nations in Arizona, a state with 22 tribes, of which 21 are federally recognized.

The journalism department has 11 majors and pre-majors who have self-identified as Native American. NAJA members plan to hold elections for chapter.

The other student chapter of NAJA is at the University of Montana School of Journalism.

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