Wednesday, October, 9
Workshop 1. Covering Indian Country, Public Lands and Environmental Justice in the West
October 10, 2019
8:30 am - 3:30 pm
Room 386, CSU's Lory Student Center


Pre-registration and $60 fee required. Breakfast and lunch included. SEJ members only.

This workshop is full.

We’ll begin with the do’s and don’ts, pitfalls and possibilities when reporting in Indian Country and on tribal issues in an effort to push reporters past (stereo)typical coverage and toward stories that will enlighten both Native and non-Native audiences. Topics will include data reporting, best practices and ethics, three-dimensional coverage, and content analysis all designed to move newsrooms from using Native people as sources to be studied and reported on, to engaged audiences. Other sessions will examine Hispanic culture in the rural West and provide tips when searching for public lands records. We’ll end the day examining the state of public lands reporting and discuss how to weave holistic narrative into the discussion. Too often, stories focus on history and land ownership starting with white settlers, with little or no mention of Indigenous communities, past or present. This panel will provide resources for richer reporting on public lands and explore how embracing the mythology of an unsettled West can undermine ethical journalism.


8:00 a.m.    Breakfast served

8:30 a.m.    Introductions and set the stage for the day
Emcee: Judy Fahys, News Reporter, InsideClimate News

9:00-10:30 a.m.    Covering Indian Country and Tribal Affairs
Experienced reporters will share practical tips on how to cover Indigenous communities and produce culturally competent, high-impact work. From picking stories to maintaining relationships with communities, this panel will be ideal for newsrooms looking to cover tribal affairs effectively.

Moderator: Nick Martin, Staff Writer, The New Republic

Alastair Bitsóí, Communications Director, Utah Diné Bikéyah
Kalen Goodluck, Journalist and Photographer
Anna Smith, Assistant Editor, High Country News

10:30-10:45 a.m.    Coffee break

10:45 a.m.-Noon    Hispanic Culture and Environmental Justice in the West
From early Spanish explorers, Mestizos and recent Latin American immigrants, the West has a long storied history of Hispanic and Latino culture. But, increasingly, racism and environmental injustices plague many communities. Panelists will discuss the intersection of social, cultural, economic and environmental justice issues in Hispanic communities and everything from farmworkers' environmental health concerns to Latino conservation efforts.

Moderator: Yvette Cabrera, Independent Environmental Justice Reporter and 2019 McGraw Fellow

Armando Elenes, Secretary Treasurer, United Farm Workers
Chela Garcia, Director of Conservation Programs, Hispanic Access Foundation
Beatriz Soto, Latino Outreach Coordinator, Defiende Nuestra Tierra - Wilderness Workshop

Noon-1:00 p.m.    Lunch and Session: Attracting and Supporting Indigenous Staff
Whether your newsroom is new to covering Indigenous communities or you have experienced reporters on staff with connections to tribal affairs, the choices your newsroom makes can lead to success or ruin. This panel will offer practical advice for attracting, supporting and retaining reporters with experience in Indian Country with the goal of building the best team to create the best work.

Moderator: Nick Martin, Staff Writer, The New Republic

Brian Calvert, Editor-in-Chief, High Country News
Anna Smith, Assistant Editor, High Country News

1:00-2:00 p.m.    Mining Public Records for Stories on Public Lands
News is about change, and there’s been a whole lotta change in the management of U.S. public lands lately. The Trump administration is moving to open millions of acres to oil and gas development and recently put an outspoken critic of public lands in power at the Bureau of Land Management. This session will offer tips on how to dig out stories about what’s happening and what’s at stake.

>> Resources (PDF)

Moderator: Tim Wheeler, Managing Editor, (Chesapeake) Bay Journal and Chair, Freedom of Information Task Force, Society of Environmental Journalists

Jimmy Tobias, Independent Reporter
Tim Whitehouse, Executive Director, Public Employees for Environmental Responsibility
Laurel Williams, US Public Lands and Rivers Conservation Program, The Pew Charitable Trusts

2:00-3:30 p.m.    Public Lands Reporting From the Extremes: How to Cover Holistically
This panel will talk with reporters and editors covering anti-government groups, anti-American Indian organizations and other extremists, which often coalesce around conflicts over public land. Who is the public, and how does that echo through extreme views? Whose land is at the center of the debate, and whose land was it? We'll hear from local reporters and regional editors on how to cover public lands holistically from Bears Ears to Bundy to the Flathead Valley. The goal is to better prepare reporters who cover these conflicts, to seek the nuance and context to tell better stories whether they're freelance, local or national reporters.

Moderator: Anna Smith, Assistant Editor, High Country News

Brian Calvert, Editor-in-Chief, High Country News
Kalen Goodluck, Journalist and Photographer
Bill Morlin, Freelance Journalist

Add to my calendar


Create your personal schedule through the official app, Whova!

Get Started