March 16, 2009

Giago to start another newspaper

Charles Trimble comments on journalist Tim Giago's plans to start another Native newspaper:

Charles Trimble:  Never ending Wounded Knee storyTim has dusted off his big black cowboy hat and is saddling up to hunt down scoundrels who offend his own unique sense of justice and truth. As of April 1st, he will be publisher and editor of a new weekly newspaper, to be called the Native Sun News. The new journal, after it is up and running, will likely be sold to a tribal government as have the last several newspapers he has launched (all the while decrying the propensity of tribal governments to suppress freedom of their newspapers).

Spinning his business venture into a humanitarian crusade, he tells what motivates him to this risky decision, and again it’s those tyrannical tribal governments. In announcing his new business, Giago says, “For too many years tribal governments have run roughshod over their members without recourse. Indian Country needs a watchdog, one that does not fear turning over a rock to see what is under it.” This from the man who dedicated scores of column inches in his editorials and weekly “Notes from Indian Country” to lionizing OST President Dick Wilson and his goons who trampled human rights and Lakota people throughout the Pine Ridge Reservation in the 1970s. His other hero was Navajo chairman Peter MacDonald, who shut down the Navajo Times newspaper precisely for looking under rocks.

Amid the economic demise of newspapers nationwide, Indian country should be concerned about the Native press, and we should support Indian newspapers by advertising in them and subscribing to them. And I wish the best to any man or woman with the courage to begin another Indian newspaper in this harsh economic climate. Nonetheless, having seen members of my family on the receiving end of many attacks without recourse by Giago’s defunct Lakota Times, I cannot help but feel that we are in for a new wave of self-serving sanctimony and unending editorial attacks on those he considers critics, detractors or enemies.
Comment:  I guess Giago and Trimble aren't BFFs. <g>

I don't have a problem with editorial attacks on critics, detractors, or enemies. But I don't waste time on old sparring partners--e.g., Jim Sondergeld (right-wing fanatic), Mark Waid (comics writer), or Russell Bates (Kiowa sci-fi writer). After kicking their butts all over the map, I've moved on.

I don't recall Giago's columns from 10 or 20 years ago and I didn't read anything earlier. As Trimble notes, a lot of them are about AIM or boarding schools. Others are about mascots or gaming.

This isn't exactly a problem, but gaming, the newest of these topics, is 20 years old. Even if you limit yourself to the intersection of Native America and pop culture, as I do, there are several new topics every day. What does Giago think about these things?

Giago says he won't put the Native Sun News on the Internet. I'm guessing he'll reverse that decision or the newspaper will fail. Maybe both.

Below are some previous postings on Giago and Trimble. Note that Giago the "liberal" endorsed McCain while Trimble the "conservative" endorsed Obama. That's one point for Trimble, at least.

Giago's photo isn't Crazy Horse
Giago endorses McCain
Giago still undecided
Giago on Trimble's victimhood
Trimble on victimhood
Trimble to Indians:  Get over it
Giago vs. Gray on the candidates
Giago in Newspaper Hall of Fame
Giago notices casino benefits

For more on the subject, see Native Journalism:  To Tell the Truth.

9 comments:

kalisetsi said...

Hey, more Native media is good news to me. But in terms of NDN media, what I'd REALLY like to see is a Native "Hulu"-type website that features all of the indie flicks, documentaries, and tv shows related to indigenous peoples (across borders, in all languages). That would resolve some of the problems related to lack of funding for distribution, and the dispersion of NDN communities across all of the media markets where we are only a small chunk of the audience and not typically enough to warrant our own local programming (certain exceptions duly noted). I hope someone with money is working on that right now!! It's sorely needed.

Melvin Martin said...

Bringing Home the Dead

The heyday of Native American print media is long over. I am glad that I was there at the time to reap the benefits of strong print ad revenue as a sales rep for at least two publications, but Indian newspapers are well on the way to becoming a thing of the past.

I see only one nationally distributed Indian newspaper as surviving the next five years (a paper that isn't propped up via casino revenues): "News From Indian Country" - it's been around forever and is extremely popular among the Great Lakes tribes - and it is the only Indian newspaper that I would ever subscribe to.

Even a powerhouse publication, Native Peoples Magazine, has seen ad revenue plummet by more than 60% over the past two years.

kalisetsi said...

All print media is struggling- not just Native print media. But you are absolutely right. Online is the best way to go for Native media.

dmarks said...

I've been to Great Lakes Native-run shops, and have not seen that newspaper. I'm wondering if its success was such that it has been sold on the newsstand anywhere.

Melvin Martin said...

To: dmarks -

I don't know anything about how successful individual vendor sales are for News From Indian Country, however, I divide my time between the Southwest and the Great Lakes area, and I know that a LOT more people (Indian and non-Indian) in Michigan, Wisconsin and Illinois (Chicago more specifically) and Canada subscribe to this particular paper than any other.

They also have an excellent website, too.

I should add that the only times I have seen any of the larger Indian newspapers available to the public by way of vendors were at major Indian events where the publications were sold at the papers' respective booths.

I (and I worked in "Native" print media for ten years) prefer NFIC over any of the existing papers as their news coverage is far MORE comprehensive than the other papers - and the opinion section is always highly objective no matter what the controversy.

As an Indian person, NFIC is the newspaper that best fufills my needs for Indian news in a print format.

Indian Country Today is oftentimes a mere propaganda mill for the Oneida Indian Nation, and they also suffer from a profound dearth of timely news stories that NFIC covers one to two weeks ahead of ICT.

Plus, one last thing that ICT has done in the recent past that really sticks in my craw is that they nominated some of their own editorialists for the Pulitzer Prize.

Stephen said...

"This from the man who dedicated scores of column inches in his editorials and weekly “Notes from Indian Country” to lionizing OST President Dick Wilson and his goons who trampled human rights and Lakota people throughout the Pine Ridge Reservation in the 1970s."

I see he loves repeating AIM myths; AIM (a domestic terrorist org in their heyday) didn't go against Dick Wilson because he was 'trampling human rights' they were just pissed that he won the election. In other words they couldn't accept the will of the people they appointed themselves to represent and they couldn't except defeat like adults. (I could be wrong but at one point AIM was seriously considering bombing Wilson's house let's also remember that they commited at least one bombing).

The myths and lies about Wilson (ie death squads) were thoroughly disproven by Giago. If Wilson and co. were so evil why did AIM have to spread lies about them? Also if we want to talk about human rights abuse we should start with AIM.

Who occupied and terrorized a village leaving them homeless? Who committed a bombing? Who cowardly murdered two FBI agents? The answer of course is AIM.

Stephen said...

Also as an Irish-American I'm not a huge fan of AIM (who as Giago proved made pine ridge worse) who've shown support for the IRA, the same people who inflicted decades of terrorism and cruelty upon Ireland. Nice people AIM associates with eh?

Rob said...

From what I've seen, News from Indian Country has a mix of original stories and Associated Press stories that are about a week old. For instance, today (Monday, March 23) its top story under "Latest News" is the mascot vote at Carpinteria High. I believe that vote occurred Tuesday, March 17. Working at PECHANGA.net as I do, I consider that story old news, not new news.

Indian Country Today also uses wire stories, but it does a lot of original reporting on national issues. I don't know about the print version, but I consider the online version essential reading. Along with PECHANGA.net and Indianz.com, of course.

JASmius said...

Well, Rob, for being somebody beyond whom you've moved (after being sure to use me to try to get over with your readership), I seem to have left a great deal more of an impression on you after - what's it been, fourteen years? - than you ever did on me.

Guess you could say I "moved on".

But thanks for the look back. You'll understand if I remember the glory days a smidgen differently. {s}