NAJA reschedules 2020 National Native Media Conference

Native American Journalists Association reschedules annual conference for 2021, extending all program deadlines due to COVID-19

OKLAHOMA CITY — In response to the COVID-19 pandemic, the Native American Journalists Association has postponed the 2020 National Native Media Conference until 2021. The decision to reschedule the annual conference was based on guidelines from the WHO, the CDC and tribal and state officials to ensure the safety of all. 

In a letter addressed to the membership, NAJA President Tristan Ahtone said the board appreciates the patience and understanding of members, attendees, sponsors and exhibitors as leadership considered this difficult decision. 

“Safety is our number one priority and we believe that waiting until next year to gather together and celebrate our work is the most responsible option to avoid potential outbreaks or additional strains on already stretched finances,” Ahtone said.    

NAJA will announce new conference dates soon and will maintain the partnership with the Walter Cronkite School of Journalism and Mass Communication at Arizona State University, in co-hosting the rescheduled 2021 conference in Phoenix, Arizona. 

Membership and Elections
All current NAJA memberships will be extended for a year. Members who have already paid their annual dues through 2021 will automatically be extended through 2022.  

Annual membership extensions are the first step in responding to the NAJA COVID-19 Membership Survey, which will continue to inform and support the organization’s next steps for COVID-19 relief. The survey will remain open indefinitely for member feedback. All respondents that complete the survey will be entered in a drawing to win a weekly $25 Amazon digital gift card each Friday throughout the month of May.

Updated information on the 2020 NAJA Board of Directors election will be shared as soon as it becomes available.  

Native American Journalism Fellowship and Scholarships
Native American Journalism Fellowship applications are open through May 31, 2020. The NAJA Education Committee is considering options for hosting the student newsroom and encourages students to apply in order to be considered for the 2020 class. NAJA will announce updates on NAJF by June 1. 

NAJA will award 2020 NAJA-Facebook Journalism Project Scholarships. Applications are open through the extended deadline of May 31, 2020. 

Lodging at the Hyatt Regency Phoenix
NAJA will share updated information on the hotel room block at the Hyatt Regency Phoenix as soon as it becomes available for 2021. The discounted room rate is $199 per night and attendees with any existing reservations should cancel dates in 2020. 

Conference Program Proposals
The call for National Native Media Conference proposals will be extended throughout 2021 to facilitate ideas, evolving COVID-19 coverage and best practices in Indigenous media through training and workshops to support and enhance the knowledge and skills of journalists covering Indian Country. Conference programming will focus sessions on covering the pandemic across Turtle Island.

Contact NAJA to discuss opportunities for branding, sponsored content, a presence in the 2021 National Native Media Expo and more. An updated 2021 sponsorship guide will be available soon. 

National Native Media Awards
NAJA is still accepting entries for the 2020 National Native Media Awards through the extended deadline of May 31. Entries will be submitted using the BetterBNC Media Awards Platform

Recipients may request direct shipping at cost and outlets and individuals will be invoiced according to the number of items in the shipment. NAJA will share additional information on awards disbursement as soon as it becomes available.

Sponsorship and Exhibition
If your organization would like to propose a sponsored session to be featured during the largest gathering of Indigenous journalists in North America, contact NAJA to discuss opportunities for branding, sponsored content, a presence in the 2020 National Native Media Expo and more.

Contact Rebecca Landsberry at for more information or to schedule a meeting.

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