2021 NAJA-NextGenRadio: Indigenous cohort announced

NPR’s Next Generation Radio Project partners with the Native American Journalists Association, Native Public Media, and Southern California Public Radio to host Indigenous-centered digital workshop

NORMAN, Oklahoma – The Next Generation Radio Project, in partnership with the Native American Journalists Association, Native Public Media, and Southern California Public Radio announced the 2021 cohort for the first year of NAJA-NextGenRadio: Indigenous. 

This five-day, digital-first workshop March 14-19 will center Indigenous stories and storytellers. The project is offered at no cost to early-career Indigenous journalists reporting in or near a tribal community, and is an immersive training opportunity to learn more about non-narrated audio storytelling, and other forms of digital journalism. 

The project will be conducted remotely due to the pandemic, with selected participants reporting from their communities, and is designed to enhance coverage of Indigenous affairs with Indigenous voices. Participants, paired with a more experienced partner and advisor throughout the workshop, will find and produce these multimedia stories.

2021 NAJA-NextGenRadio: Indigenous cohort:

Jessica Douglas (Confederated Tribes of Siletz Indians)
Indigenous Affairs Desk Intern, High Country News, Beaverton, OR

In June of 2020, Jessica Douglas graduated from the University of Oregon with a degree in journalism and minors in art and Native American studies. After graduating, she started a remote internship with High Country News, working as the Indigenous Affairs intern from July-December 2020 and was then offered a fellowship to work as the Indigenous Affairs fellow starting in January 2021. During her time at HCN, she has worked on a variety of stories ranging from Indigenous-led mutual aid organizations, Alaska Native hunting rights, Indigenous voting rights and the dispute of Bears Ears National Monument.

Kamiah Koch (Confederated Tribes of Grand Ronde)
Social Media and Digital Journalist, Smoke Signals, Portland, OR

Kamiah Koch has communications and public relations degrees from Western Washington University. Kamiah has been a reporter with the Confederated Tribes of Grand Ronde’s independent tribal newspaper “Smoke Signals” since 2019 covering tribal events, government programs and council elections.

Adreanna Rodriguez (Standing Rock Sioux Tribe)
Associate Producer, VICE Audio, Oakland, CA

Adreanna Rodriguez is a Native American/Chicana artist based in Oakland. She holds a Master of Arts in visual anthropology from San Francisco State University and a Graduate Certificate in documentary studies from the Maine College of Art in Portland, Maine. Her first radio job was working as an assistant reporter on a series about the Winnemem Wintu tribe for KALW San Francisco Public Radio. In the last half year, she has reported on two stories with her current employer, VICE Audio, with support from USC’s Health Journalism Fellowship.

Lily Sheoships (Confederated Tribes of the Umatilla Indian Reservation)
Radio Station Assistant, KCUW, Pendleton, OR

Lily Sheoships grew up on the Umatilla Indian Reservation as an enrolled tribal member. She has been employed with the Confederated Tribes of the Umatilla Indian Reservation since 2011, working various jobs, such as a cashier, a receptionist, a finance clerk, and now radio station assistant.

Taylar Stagner (Eastern Shoshone and Southern Arapaho)
Wind River Reporter, Wyoming Public Radio

Taylar Stagner is from Riverton, Wyo., and is completing her graduate degree while working part-time as a tribal reporter and researching digital humanities for an upcoming book chapter. She is interested in racial justice, Indigenous rights in contemporary systems of oppression, and gender/sexuality. 

Taylar’s journalism experience started when she served as an intern with Wyoming Public Radio in 2018 as a radio reporter/sound producer. Now, in her last semester at BGSU, she is the tribal reporter for WPR in a part-time position covering the COVID-19 pandemic and how it affects the tribal community on the Wind River Indian Reservation. Her reporting with WPR has almost exclusively focused on tribal issues. Currently, she is working on a story about Wyoming’s task force on the Missing Murdered Indigenous Women epidemic and the issue of food insecurity on the Wind River Indian Reservation.

2021 NAJA-NextGenRadio: Indigenous project staff

Project Founder/Director
Doug Mitchell – NPR’s Next Generation Radio Project

Managing Editors 
Jourdan Bennett-Begaye – Indian Country Today
Phyllis Fletcher – American Public Media 

Digital Editors
Lita Beck – USA Today
Alexis Richardson – Contest Strategist, Chief Innovation Officer, The Mom Edit

Audio Engineers
Selena Seay-Reynolds – Freelance Audio Engineer
Patrice Mondragon – Audio Engineer, Colorado Public Radio

Jonathan Thunder – Artist
Emily Whang – Freelance Illustrator
Ard Su – Freelance Illustrator

Erica Lee – Freelance Photojournalist
Kevin Beaty – Photojournalist, Denverite 

Brian Bull – Reporter, KLCC
Carrie Jung – Education Reporter, WBUR
Graham Lee Brewer – Associate Editor for Indigenous Affairs, High Country News
Savannah Maher – Rocky Mountain News Bureau, Indigenous Affairs Desk, KUNM
Christine Trudeau – Freelance Reporter

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