Rhonda LeValdo, President NAJA

Phone: 785-304-6624



Disney courts Indian Country, ignores Native media


NAJA supports inclusion of diverse media in coverage of "The Lone Ranger"


Media Release

Native American Journalists Association


NORMAN, Okla. -- The Native American Journalists Association was informed that press junkets associated with the premiere of the movie "The Lone Ranger" have been well attended by journalists but not by Native journalists.  


While Disney has attempted to reach out to Native American audiences with the film, they have curiously forgotten to invite media from Indian Country to cover it.


National Native News, a national Native American radio program based in Albuquerque, N.M., made several requests for access to a press event in Santa Fe, N.M., June 19, however, these were not granted. Disney did issue a response to NNN at the conclusion of the event.


A large portion of the film was shot on the Navajo Nation. While some Native media groups were contacted about attending the film's premiere in Oklahoma, the New Mexico premiere has Native media groups that should have also been included in press events. New Mexico is home to 22 tribes, nations and Pueblos, as well as many NAJA members and Native reporters.

NAJA has always strived for the inclusion of diversity in media. With "The Lone Ranger" featuring a prominent actor portraying a Native American, in a film largely shot on Native land, we are left with two answers to why tribal media has not been involved in coverage: Disney forgot to reach out to Native reporters, or Disney purposefully ignored Native reporters.


Both possibilities raise additional, troubling questions.

NAJA urges Disney to grant credentials for future events to Native American media outlets so they can report alongside their counterparts. With a constant lack of ethnic diversity in mainstream media, NAJA asks that Disney include Native reporters and allow actual representatives of Native nations the opportunity to report on issues and films that attempt to represent Native people. 





About NAJA:


NAJA serves and empowers Native journalists through programs and actions designed to enrich journalism and promote Native cultures. NAJA recognizes Native Americans as distinct peoples based on tradition and culture. In this spirit, NAJA educates and unifies its membership through journalism programs that promote diversity and defends challenges to free press, speech and expression.  


NAJA is committed to increasing the representation of Native journalists in mainstream media. NAJA encourages both mainstream and tribal media to attain the highest standards of professionalism, ethics and responsibility.


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