Collapse of news industry in Indian country endangers future generations
Collapse of news industry in Indian country endangers future generations
Article and photo by Brenda Norrell
Photo Gary Farmer with Ofelia Rivas, O’odham, and Arista LaRusso, Navajo, in Tucson.
The seriousness of the collapse of journalism in Indian country was pointed out by Gary Farmer, Cayuga, in Tucson. "Native people don't have any access to any form of media that reflects them. I think it’s quite significant in terms of our own self esteem and why we have such a high rate of suicide," Farmer said.
The fraudulent news coverage, and political and corporate spin, continues to endanger future generations. The news throughout Indian country -- in print, radio and magazines -- is increasing controlled by its owners, or advertisers, in the casino, oil and gas, and US spy industries, including the CIA's National Clandestine Services which controls by way of advertising dollars.
Here are the most censored issues this week:
The fantasy of the White House Tribal Nations Conference
The top censored story in Indian country this week is the fantasy of the White House Tribal Nations Conference. Wealthy politicians, even in Indian country, used the event for influence peddling, while the media failed to report the facts in a serious manner.
Aljazeera countered the fantasies and interviewed Ofleia Rivas, O'odham, who told the truth about how grassroots Native Americans are struggling to survive in Indian country. Each year Obama has decreased his time and involvement at the summit, which was originally to be a day for all tribal leaders to spend with the President at the White House. This year Obama spent only 30 minutes with Native leaders. The conference was in the Interior building, not the White House.
Censored News article 'The Uninvited' http://bsnorrell.blogspot.com/2012/12/the-uninvited-white-house-tribal.html
Watch Aljazeera program http://www.bsnorrell.blogspot.com/2012/12/aljazeera-counters-fantasy-of-obama.html
Obama's new promise of protecting sacred places
Instead of examining the facts, the media continues to publish and promote public relations spin with out engaging in serious journalism. While Obama makes new promises to protect sacred places, the Arizona Snowbowl continues with the desecration of sacred San Francisco Peaks. The Keystone XL tarsands pipeline, promoted by Obama in Oklahoma, continues to seize and destroy farmers' lands in east Texas, jailing farmers and the eldery who are protesting. Secretary of Interior Ken Salazar continues his efforts to steal Navajo water rights. The US continues to promote oil and gas drilling in the Arctic. Indian lands in North Dakota continue to be devastated by oil and gas drilling. Oil and gas pipelines threaten the Columbia River at the Oregon and Washington border. The Grand Canyon, and Lakota and Navajo sacred lands remain threatened with uranium mining. Devastation and disease continues from coal fired power plants and oil and gas drilling in Indian country. Radioactive tailings remain from the Cold War on the Navajo Nation.
Bolivia urged real climate change, and protection of Mother Earth, at COP18 in Qatar
While the wealthy coal burning and tarsands mining nations of the world continue their destruction, the Plurinational State of Bolivia continued the work this week of Indigenous Peoples who gathered in Cochabamba, Bolivia, two years ago, for the protection of Mother Earth and to uphold the Rights of Nature. Polluting industries and their co-opted nations continue to push for carbon market scams, as mining companies continue to carry out assassinations of Indigenous villagers struggling to protect their land in the Americas. Few Native American leaders in the US or First Nation leaders in Canada have assisted President Evo Morales and Bolivia in the struggle for the protection of Mother Earth.
Bolivia's statement to COP18 http://www.bsnorrell.blogspot.com/2012/12/bolivia-address-to-cop-18-in-defense-of.html
Scams with funding for Indigenous Peoples at the United Nations
Some organizations appearing to represent Indigenous Peoples with the United Nations are engaged in fraud and embezzlement. Meanwhile, other organizations supposedly representing Indigenous Peoples, have been taken over by wannabes, frauds. These individuals decided they were American Indians late in life when it became obvious that it would be lucrative to their careers, and their ability to receive large grant funding.
Thanks to Rebecca Sommer at Earth Peoples for sharing this article on the embezzlement: http://earthpeoples.org/blog/?p=3207
Fraudulent and unethical news reporting in Indian country
In the news coverage of Native American issues, there is an increase in plagiarism by armchair journalists, who receive a paycheck for appropriating the hard work of others. Reporters are usually not present and do not know the facts.
The news in Indian country, in print, radio and magazines, is largely controlled by its advertisers and owners: Casinos, oil and gas companies, and US spy organizations, including the CIA's National Clandestine Services which controls by way of advertising dollars.
Indian country news continues to be manipulated and controlled by the casino industry. Many of the online news sources are either owned by Indian Nations with casinos, or depend on casino advertising for their revenue.
In both cases, the voices of grassroots people are increasingly silenced, since the owners give preference to influence peddling politicians and private agendas. This includes the media owners private agendas of influencing court cases and gaining federal contracts. Others posing as journalists violate ethics and secretly receive funding for public relations. Still others pose as journalists while secretly using the information, and funding, for college dissertations.
The facts are censored when traditional people fight the development of casinos or protest for justice. The rise in gambling addictions for Indians and non-Indians is censored. The amount of casino revenues going to non-Indians -- casino management companies, attorneys, lobbyists, outside charities, and the states -- is also censored.
The fact that many Native Americans suffer in desperate conditions, even though the tribe has a lucrative casino, is censored. This includes the Tohono O’odham Nation, which owns a lucrative casino, Desert Diamond, and brings in millions, while most O'odham people live in desperate conditions.
The Tohono O'odham Nation prevents authentic journalism. The radio station is within the department of the tribal chairman, and the legislative council prohibits outside news reporters from covering its sessions. The US Border Patrol agents and Tohono O'odham police stalk, harass and abuse O'odham activists.
In the mainstream news, a lack of understanding of the issues, or romanticizing of American Indians, results in frivolous, biased or irrelevant news. Wannabes continue to write distractions, taking attention away from crucial issues.
In the bordertowns, including Flagstaff, Arizona, and in the Dakotas, racism against Native Americans results in bias in reporting, in many local newspapers and radio stations.
In urban newspapers in Arizona, the news is often biased.
Cities in Arizona, which waste water, are now dependent on stealing Navajo and Hopi water rights, and seizing their water to maintain the dirty coal fired power plant Navajo Generating Station, which provides electricity to the Southwest.
While non-Indians use the electricity, many Navajos have no electricity, and suffer the diseases from coal mining and power plants.
In southern Arizona, like most of the United States, news reporters usually don't show up to cover Indian issues and do not report the facts. If they do show up, it is a hit and run. If they don't show up, the result is plagiarism or a quick phone call.
Mohawks Fearless and Uncensored
Mohawk John Kane, radio host at Let’s Talk Native Pride, is uncensored in Indian country. Kane writes in a recent column, "My Sovereignty is not the American Dream."
“My birthright was not stripped by the children who escaped the oppression of their parents. Time did not erase my sovereignty. I was not conquered. I did not pledge allegiance to them. Their courts cannot make me theirs. Their legislatures cannot declare me one of them. No chief, no council, no president, no state, no province, no nation can just claim my birthright. My sovereignty comes from Creation. http://www.letstalknativepride.blogspot.com/
Kahentinetha, Mohawk publisher of Mohawk Nation News, is an uncensored voice speaking for true sovereignty and global Indigenous rights. Kahentinetha celebrates the victory for Palestine in her most recent column, stating that it is a victory for Indigenous Peoples.
“We insist on justice first, to join the International Court, file complaints against banker/corporatist war criminals and their agents, dismantle illegal settlements and settlers, sue the colonizers, return of our possessions and sovereign control of our air space, land, waters.” http://www.mohawknationnews.com
Also see: Gary Farmer and the need for authentic media in Indian country, at Censored News: http://bsnorrell.blogspot.com/2012/12/gary-farmer-empowering-authentic-native.html
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Brenda Norrell is a contributor to Narco News. Norrell has been a news reporter in Indian country for 30 years, beginning at Navajo Times. After serving as a longtime staff reporter for Indian Country Today, she was censored and terminated. She created Censored News as a result, now in its seventh year.