Three-year plan addresses membership growth and priorities
The Indigenous Journalists Association (IJA) board of directors, staff and invited guests developed a new three-year strategic plan, guided by the annual membership survey, during a planning meeting earlier this year in New York City.
The previous strategic plan concluded in 2020 and 2023 marked the first time in nearly four years that the organization was able to meet in-person to develop a new strategy, due to the COVID-19 pandemic.
The 2023-2026 strategic plan was developed by engaging IJA leadership towards data-driven decision-making and analyzing the current membership’s needs and interests. Strategic planning sessions were led by former NAJA executive director Pamela Silas, who has facilitated the organization’s strategic planning since 2015.
Four goals were set for the next three years, with a number of objectives already completed or in the works.
1) Expand membership structure to support continued growth
- New website
- Visit tribal media newsrooms
- Create chapters
- Expand partnerships
- Connect to colleges, universities and high schools
2) Elevate standards and accountability in Indigenous journalism
- Produce Indigenous journalism resources book
- Analyze mainstream media training needs
- Awareness campaign for storytelling as a right to self determination and freedom of expression
3) Establish IJA as leading voice in journalism
- Marketing 40th anniversary and name change
- Establish and strengthen key partnerships
- Move rapid response to operations
- Develop more youth programs in 2024 and 2025
4) Review and revise governing documents
- Contract attorney to update bylaws
- Governance committee to guide bylaws updates
- Update governing documents post name change
- Present updated/draft bylaws to membership for feedback
- Membership votes on updated bylaws
In alignment with these goals, IJA will continue to identify and educate against the use of negative stereotypes of Indigenous peoples in news coverage and respond as necessary to inaccuracies of Indian Country. Through the Indigenous Media Initiative (formerly the Red Press Initiative) IJA continues to provide training for mainstream newsrooms on cultural competency, equity and bias awareness and technical support to Indigenous newsrooms as well as reporting resources for covering Indigenous communities.
The IJA board and staff will meet to update the progress of the 2023-2026 strategic plan in Spring 2024. A report to members will be made during the annual membership luncheon at the Indigenous Media Conference (IMC), at the Omni Hotel in Oklahoma City, July 24-27, 2024.
About the Indigenous Journalists Association
The Indigenous Journalists Association’s mission is centered on the idea that accurate and contextual reporting about Indigenous people and communities is necessary to overcome biases and stereotypes portrayed in popular and mainstream media. Expanding access to accurate news and information is essential to an informed citizenry and healthy democracy, across tribal, local, state and national levels.
For more than 40 years, Indigenous journalists across the United States and Canada have worked to support and sustain IJA. Originally formed as the Native American Press Association in 1983, the organization has grown from just a handful of reporters to a membership of nearly 900, which includes Indigenous journalists, associates, educators and partners.