By Terri Hansen
That was the same month Wikipedia administrators deleted the entry for the Native American Journalists Association—for the second time.
Wikipedia is the popular online encyclopedia that uses the unique wiki platform—wiki is a Hawaiian word meaning fast—that any user with a basic knowledge of its language can edit.
Wikipedia lists 76 organizations under the category, “American journalism organizations.” It includes boxing, soccer and baseball writers associations. It includes the associations of Asian American journalists, black journalists, Hispanic journalists, Korean American journalists, lesbian and gay journalists, and UNITY: Journalists of Color, of which NAJA is a member. But unlike their journalism cohorts, they’re non-existent to Wikipedia.
It’s not for a lack of effort on the part of journalists who also act as Wikipedia authors.
According to Wikipedia’s documented history on the matter, a Wikipedia administrator who goes by NawlinWiki deleted the NAJA entry in January 2010 due to what Wikipedia terms its lack of notability.
Or perhaps it's the idea that Indians are so "savage" and "uncivilized" that they can't be professional journalists. A bunch of dropouts, drunks, and criminals, Wikipedia's editors might think. Have any of them even gone to college or held a white-collar job? How could they do anything these days worth a Wikipedia entry?
In other words, it sounds like racism to me. Once again, Indians "win" the Oppression Olympics. They're the only minority journalists deemed unworthy of a Wikipedia entry.
For more on Native journalism, see Amnesty International Honors Native Reports and Native Journalists = Foreigners?
Below: Rhonda LeValdo, NAJA president.