IJA Roundtables

The Indigenous Journalists Association is hosting a series of roundtable discussions to enhance understanding and awareness of the unique challenges and opportunities when covering Indigenous communities.

Produced by IJA associate director Bryan Pollard, the series will highlight important issues affecting Indigenous people and communities, and examine best approaches to ensure accurate and fair reporting of stories that all too often go unreported.

New installments in this series will be announced through the IJA newsletter, website and social media, and are open to the public. IJA Roundtables will feature IJA members and other experts close to the stories discussed, and questions from the audience in attendance are encouraged.

All roundtables will be recorded, and videos will be posted to this page and the IJA YouTube channel for public reference.

Previous IJA Roundtables

Bad Press

The Indigenous Journalists Association, Society of Professional Journalists and News Leaders Association held a virtual roundtable March 17, 2023 during Sunshine Week to discuss the documentary ‘Bad Press’ which follows the struggle for free press at Muscogee Nation.

Winner of the U.S. Documentary Special Jury Award for Freedom of Expression from the Sundance Institute, ‘Bad Press’ follows Ellis as she and her colleagues fight for truth and transparency in the wake of the Muscogee Nation National Council’s repeal of the 2015 Free Press Act.

Health Equity

The Indigenous Journalists Association and the Association of Health Care Journalists hosted the Health Equity: Aging and Health Care Disparities in Indigenous Communities webinar June 2, 2022 to help journalists explore challenges facing Indigenous elders as they seek to age with dignity.

Health Equity Reporting

The Indigenous Journalists Association and the Association of Health Care Journalists hosted the Health equity: Medical studies, trials and sourcing webinar April 14, 2022 to help journalists learn how (and when) to report on medical studies, find sources and do good, evidence-based reporting on deadline.

Health Equity System

The Indigenous Journalists Association and the Association of Health Care Journalists hosted ‘Health equity: For Whom Does the System Work?’ March 24 on the subject of health equity and how the U.S. health care system works – or doesn’t, depending on who you are and where you live.

Covid Vax

This webinar is the first in a three part series and explores successes and challenges of vaccination programs and shares data from the American COVID-19 Vaccine Poll, a national survey focused on overcoming obstacles to full and equitable vaccination coverage.

The discussion includes efforts to increase vaccination rates in Indigenous communities and research focused on pathways to overcome remaining vaccine hesitancy in Indigenous communities to ensure further rates of vaccination.

Authentic Authorship

This roundtable is intended to help non-Indigneous editors and producers understand the nuance and complexity of Indigenous connections to better examine Indigenous claims by sources and authors. Join host Gabe Galanda and Indigenous panelists as they discuss important aspects of identity including citizenship, enrollment, descendancy, kinship, blood quantum, DNA testing, and federal and state recognition.

Legal Support

Join moderator Sterling Cosper (Muscogee Creek) and panelists from the Reporters Committee for Freedom of the Press as they discuss legal resources available to Indigenous journalists through the Local Legal Initiative and other programs of the RCFP.

Media Malpractice

Join moderator Deb Krol (The Arizona Republic) as we examine the common tropes and stereotypes non-Indigenous journalists in mainstream media continue to portray when they report on the pandemic and its disproportionate impact in Indian Country. How can non-Indigenous reporters and outlets avoid these bias-reinforcements while empowering more culturally conscious, accurate, and contextual reporting? Our panelists will discuss and offer solutions.

Domestic Violence

Join moderator Mallory Adamski (National Indigenous Women’s Resource Center) for a discussion about how domestic violence rates have increased during the COVID-19 pandemic, where victims face an escalated risk of violence due to self-isolation and stay-at-home orders. This roundtable is co-sponsored by the NIWRC, and their expertise will help journalists better understand this issue to improve coverage of this underreported crisis.

Covering Covid

Join moderator Mary Hudetz (Seattle Times) as she leads a discussion about the unfolding COVID-19 pandemic in Navajo Nation with Diné journalists covering this important story.

Journalism Work

Join IJA partners Mathison and the Asian American Journalists Association in a discussion about best practices for finding new job opportunities during the pandemic.

McGirt Decision

Join host Graham Lee Brewer as he moderates a discussion about the recent U.S. Supreme Court ruling in the McGirt v. Oklahoma decision and feature discussions with Indigenous journalists and attorneys near this story, and the challenges they’ve encountered reporting on the ruling and its implications.

Youth Abuse

Join Francine Compton (APTN) for this panel that focuses on an investigation launched by the Aboriginal Peoples Television Network investigative team that uncovered systemic abuse of Indigenous youth, and led to an independent inquiry into police practices.


Join panel moderator Jourdan Bennett-Begaye (Indian Country Today) as we discuss the problem of health departments not including Indigenous people in their racial demographic data even in areas with high numbers of Indigenous residents. This reinforces the “invisibility” of these communities that were already at risk during a global pandemic. The panel will discuss how journalists might navigate these barriers to ensure inclusive, contextual and responsible coverage of the pandemic and its impact on Indigenous people and communities.

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