The NAJA Medill Milestone Achievement Award honors an individual who has made a lasting impact on media for the benefit of Native American communities and the general public relative to Native Americans. It celebrates and encourages responsible storytelling and journalism in Indian Country.
Judges for the NAJA-Medill Milestone Achievement Award will evaluate a candidate’s: body of journalistic work, contribution to society through outstanding journalism, recognition and respect from peers and community and contributions to the advancement of Native Americans in the field of journalism. Nominations may be submitted at the NAJA website, www.naja.com. Recipients are honored annually at the National Native Media Conference. The award includes a $5,000 cash prize and an invitation to speak with Medill faculty and students to further advance the representation of Native journalists in mainstream media.
The Native American Journalists Association serves and empowers Native journalists through programs and actions designed to enrich journalism and promote Native cultures. It was founded in 1984 as the Native American Press Association.
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.
This award is given jointly by Medill and NAJA. The jury considers nominees annually and may present one award per year.
2016 – Patty Talahongva, freelance journalist and former NAJA president
2015 – Denny McAuliffe, Washington Post Editor, Osage News Editorial Board Member, Reznet Creator and Director
2014 – Bryan Pollard, Executive Editor of the Cherokee Phoenix