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Native American Journalists Association

January 11-12, 2013

Strategic Plan, 2013 2015

TABLE OF CONTENTS: A. Purpose and process for strategic planning B. Capturing history, core values, goals and implications moving forward C. Analysis of current environment SWOT analysis D. Strategic priorities matrix E. Strategic priorities narrative


2013 2015 NAJA Strategic Plan


The NAJA board of directors chose to conduct a strategic planning process at this time for a variety of reasons: 1. The selection and hiring of a new Executive Director 2. The approaching 30-year anniversary of the organization 3. The need to revitalize the value of NAJA membership given the massive changes in the field of journalism The process for strategic planning took place during a board/staff retreat and was facilitated by incoming Executive Director Pamala Silas. The process was divided into four sessions -- Session One: Capturing lessons, history, core values, goals and challenges; Session Two: Analysis of the current environment; Session Three: Identifying Strategic Priorities; Session Four: Planning Year 1, 2 work plans. The detailed work plans are being finalized for implementation purposes. They include goals, objectives, activities, timelines and outcomes for each strategic priority. Those detailed work plans will not be a part of this written report.


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Given NAJA is approaching its 30th year anniversary, it is important that we capture key moments in NAJAs history and formalize with consensus how and why NAJA was originally formed, its core values and mission, and the impact it has had. It is also critical that NAJA continue to Page3of15 2013 2015 NAJA Strategic Plan

respond to the massive changes that have occurred in the field of journalism and its impact on NAJAs members. Along with NAJAs strong history, we have a rich resource in our long-time members who remain involved in the organization. As the board leadership has changed over time, a new dedicated group is Page4of15 2013 2015 NAJA Strategic Plan

stepping up to play a role in NAJAs future. They recognize that it is important that there remains a strong link to NAJAs past, holding on to core values while they meet the challenges of the rapidly changing field of journalism. Participants listed a few highlights by decade, notable moments in NAJAs past and what was Page5of15 2013 2015 NAJA Strategic Plan

happening in the world of journalism and Indian country during the same time period. They acknowledge d that more details on NAJAs history are needed. Along with asking members to contribute through the public posting of this document, the strategic plan includes gathering that history as a key strategic Page6of15 2013 2015 NAJA Strategic Plan

goal. The 30th anniversary provides a great opportunity to synthesize and pass on that history to newer members.


Indian Country

FIRST 10 YEARS -Formation of Native American Press Association -Launching the free press fight -Providing material to non-Natives who cover Native issues -First Conference held, 1984 -Leaders taking initiative to meet and establish an organization -Stereotypes of Natives abundant -No Native voice in mainstream media -NAGPRA passed

SECOND 10 YEARS -NAJA joins with other groups to form UNITY -Gives scholarships to students -Creates student programs such as Project Phoenix to inspire high school students

LAST 10 YEARS -Moved from South Dakota to Oklahoma -Joint training with Gaylord College -Education program staff was added

-Cobell lawsuit filed -Native voices being heard -Reservation newspaper explosion -Mascot issues -Independent Native newspapers

-Access to Internet in Native communities grows -Cobell settlement reached -Numerous reservation newspapers collapse for variety of reasons


2013 2015 NAJA Strategic Plan

Field of Journalism

-Wounded Knee/Alcatraz garnered media attention -Main media in form of newspaper print moves to TV -Narrative journalism takes hold -Native issues not picked up by mainstream media -Native American Calling/National Native News founded -Broadcast and print journalism are two major mediums.

-Creation of 24 hour cable news -Internet takes hold -Newsroom cutbacks

-Aquash investigation -Indian Country Today dominance -Tribal justice DOJ issues move to the forefront -Idle No More demonstrates power of social media -Native presence grows on the Web through such outlets as Lastrealindians, and Reznet -Mobile technology increases information access -FCC expands broadband focus -Technology - print to mobile -Multimedia journalism more prominent -Social Media -Changing media business models -Recession -Notion of a journalist expanded -Increasing role of foundations driving public policy -Non-profit news organizations growing -Digital journalism grows CHALLENGES: - Freedom of the press in Indian Country - Increasing the number of journalists in mainstream media - Educating of Native journalism

VISION/GOALS: - Move from subjects to reporters - Inspire others to enter the field - Respond to misrepresentation and misinformation of Natives - Advocate for freedom of the press Page8of15

CORE VALUES - Give mentorship where needed - Support independent news reporting - Find truth and tell it - Foster in-depth research - Help others understand Native communities 2013 2015 NAJA Strategic Plan

- Focus on professional development of tribal media

students - Internal conflicts in Indian Country


SWOT analysis of Strengths Weakness, Opportunities and Threats. It is important that we name and create some consensus around the current realities affecting NAJA. This influences our priorities for both the organization, as well as the value we bring to the NAJA membership as they operate in the journalism space. STRENGTHS Good framework for student projects Strong mission statement Many tribes represented in the membership WEAKNESS Membership benefits under-developed and unclear Infrastructure of business operations needs updating Membership process needs upgrading OPPORTUNITIES Increased interest in partnership from other journalism organizations Growing requirement of transparency possible with new leadership Unique position of NAJA to assist with the shaping of the media landscape THREATS Quickly evolving digital news landscape Generation bridge gap Relevancy profile is waning


2013 2015 NAJA Strategic Plan

Influential members Passionate Board Strong skills and knowledgeable members Passionate New Executive Director Members bring unique perspective Supporting freedom of the Press in Indian Country Outlet for journalism jobs Current strong, grounded leadership, Board and Executive Director Vocal against stereotypes and misinformation Need improvement to recruiting and retaining members Support to members Membership Directory is not up to date Too few program initiatives and journalistic/press fairness initiatives have been formalized Public profile is non-existent No framework for giving/fundraising No strategy to ensure growth Lack of participation by members No clear goals Lack of professional development opportunities Number of applicants for student projects had fallen -- recruitment down Fellowships are under utilized by Natives there is opportunity there NAJAs milestone of 30 years can be leveraged to increase NAJAs relevance in journalism industry Mainstream Journalists increasingly Page10of15 2013 2015 NAJA Strategic Plan The need to fill the gap in Native Professional Journalists is motivating students towards the field of journalism Quickly evolving digital news landscape Growing job market and interested partners create new changes for student recruitment Become more inclusive of non-Native membership influence in the field of journalism

Lack of transparency has isolated leadership from the membership Membership database and processes antiquated Lowered membership interest

Utilize partnership with OU more Changing job market makes NAJA more relevant than ever As news developments arise we have a chance to raise our profile

Broken relationships could undermine fundraising Decline in news corps revenues affect job opportunities

interested in Natives and see NAJA as a resource Chance to increase/improve member support due to cohesive board leadership and new staff New professional staff capacity to apply for grants is greater Strong networks give access to educational support

Drawing from the historical lessons, core values, challenges and the professional environmental, and through the Strengths, Weaknesses, Opportunities and Threats analysis, participants identified the key strategic areas where, as board members and members of NAJA, they believed Page11of15 2013 2015 NAJA Strategic Plan

NAJA should focus its resources during the next 12-24 months

Improving and Increasing Native Media Presence

Review and Upgrade Governing Structures

Increase Membership Through Improved Internal System, Incentives and Restructuring

More incentives for NAJA membership Upgrade membership system

Raising NAJAs Profile and Rebuilding Our Brand

Deliver Quality Programs and Support Services to Increase Membership Value

Organize one-day workshops for members Design an annual program partnership with OU Create a fellowship

Produce Annual Report on the State of Natives in news media Educate non-Native reporters on how to report in Indian Country Become proactive in improving mainstream media coverage establish team to train newsrooms Advocate for Freedom of the Press in Indian Country Create a media watch /native news blog

Deliver regular board training Synthesize NAJA history

Establish legal hotline for members Partner with other associations to provide additional training opportunities for members Professionalize the national convention

Define qualifications for recruiting next candidates for NAJA board openings Implement a Founders /Longtime member Advisory council Reinstate student/regional chapters

Restructure membership

Provide new membership card or press I.D. Expand definitions for membership

Make NAJA website more interactive Redesign website and make the focus for NAJA membership HUB

Create a second mid-year training/seminar Assist membership with investigative and enterprise reporting in tribal communities


2013 2015 NAJA Strategic Plan

Influence mainstream media through member placement and partnerships *Priority vote: rd 1st (0), 2nd (1), 3 (1) *Priority vote: rd 1st (0), 2nd 2), 3 (2)

Add value to memberships

Boost social media presence

Repackage existing NAJA resources and services

Create database of existing tribal outlets and reporters

Enhance public fore visible image/become

Extend personal invitations of membership to non-Native journalists Get more members involved in NAJA sub committees and boards Connect professional membership with student chapters such as OU pipeline *Priority vote: 1st (3), 2nd (0), 3rd (2) parentheses is how many participants selected that level of priority.

*Priority vote: 1st (1), 2nd (0), 3rd (0)

Deliver hands-on training for professionals at the national conference in all media platforms Run a series of monthly webinars Matriculate more people into the field of journalism *Priority Vote: 1st (2), 2nd (2), 3rd (1)

*Note: Priority vote allowed participants to select their 1st, 2nd and 3rd priority in order to give some sense of the urgency. The number in


1. By 2015, what we want to see in place is an Improving and Increasing Native Media Presence .The intent behind this strategic

component is to elevate NAJA as the go to resource as a Native American Journalism talent pipeline and expertise that influences the field. The key elements in this priority are: producing an annual report on the state of natives in news media; educating non-Native Page13of15 2013 2015 NAJA Strategic Plan

reporters on how to report in Indian Country; becoming proactive in improving mainstream media coverage by teaming to train newsrooms; advocating for freedom of the press in Indian Country; creating a media watch/Native news blog. The importance of this strategic component is to elevate the coverage of American Indian issues and communities in a correct and relevant manner. If we left out this strategic component the consequences might well be that issues and subjects involving this community would be misrepresented and underrepresented, which would continue to disenfranchise the American Indian people and diminish their importance in the American publics view.
2. By 2015 what we want to see in place is a review and upgrade of governing structures. The intent behind this strategic component is to

strengthen NAJAs business and governance to ensure the highest standard of stewardship and public accountability as well as ensure the sustainability of all financial and governance structures. The key elements in this priority are: delivering regular board training; synthesizing NAJAs history; implementing a founders/longtime member advisory council; defining qualifications for recruiting board candidates; reinstating student and regional chapters. The importance of this strategic component is to solidify NAJA as a powerful and successful association capable of sustaining itself for years to come. If we left out this strategic component, the consequences might well be that NAJA loses respect and remains reactionary to changes in the funding environment and does not attract the skills and passion of the professional, experienced leaders it needs to drive the organization forward.
3. By 2015, what we want to see in place is an increase in membership through an improved internal system, incentives and

restructuring. The intent behind this strategic component is to strengthen the systems that ensure students and professional American Indian journalists see NAJA as a critical resource to their education and career and that any interactions they have with NAJA will bring about the highest level of customer service. The key elements in this priority are: identifying ways to reach new members through: creating a database of tribal media outlets/reporters; developing incentives for existing members to do outreach; expanding membership definitions and structures; increasing member involvement in NAJA as leaders and mentors and upgrading our membership system and membership cards. The importance of this strategic component is to improve the overall perception and experience that members have with NAJA so that they renew their membership and we promote NAJA beyond the choir to reach new communities and members. If we left out this strategic component the consequences might well be that NAJA membership would continue to decline and poor customer service would decrease membership renewals.
4. By 2015 what we want to see in place is a heightened NAJA profile and rebuilding of our brand. The intent behind this strategic

component is to elevate NAJA as the go-to resource for Native Americans studying and working in the field of journalism, promoting diversity and providing help to those covering American Indian topics in the media. The key elements in this priority are: redesigning the NAJA web page as a HUB for members to network and obtain resources; expand partnerships with other organization to access training; develop a legal education hotline to support members and; elevate the national conferences profile as a top quality gathering. The Page14of15 2013 2015 NAJA Strategic Plan

importance of this strategic component is to ensure that those in need of NAJAs mission know we exist and know we are an organization that they can depend on. If we left out this strategic component the consequences might well be that the American Indian community does not have a powerful organization with the recognition and influence to support journalism concerns.
5. By2015,whatwewanttoseeinplaceisdeliveryofqualityprogramsandsupportservicestoincreasemembershipvalue.Theintentbehind

thisstrategiccomponentistohelpNAJAmemberssucceedintheireducationalandcareergoals,tobringtogethertheprofessionalcommunity,to mobilizearoundtheissueofdiversityinthefieldofjournalismandtoprovidetangibleresourcestothenextgenerationpursuingthiscareerfield.The keyelementsinthispriorityare:designing,organizingandpromotinganannualprogramschedulethatincludeswebinars,onedayworkshops,and traininginpartnershipwithOUinvestigative/enterprisereporting,handsontrainingonallmediaplatforms,accesstoexistingfellowshipsand explorationofthedevelopmentofadesignatedNAJAfellowship.Theimportanceofthisstrategiccomponentistodeliverrealvaluetothemembers ofNAJAthatwillhelpmembersbesuccessfulinnavigatingtherapidlychangingjournalismenvironment.Ifweleftoutthisstrategiccomponent,the consequencesmightwellbethatmemberswillseektheseservicesandprogramselsewhere.


2013 2015 NAJA Strategic Plan