Native American Journalists Association

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“In the Time of COVID-19”

is a set of audio and digital stories highlighting the experiences of people whose lives have changed dramatically during the pandemic.

This project was produced in March 2021 in partnership with the Native American Journalists Association and conducted virtually.

Our Reporters

Jessica Douglas

Jessica Douglas

Jessica Douglas is a fellow for the Indigenous Affairs Desk at High Country News. She is a member of the Confederated Tribes of Siletz Indians and is located in Bend, Oregon. As a journalist, her writing and interests include tribal and food sovereignty, natural resources and environmental justice. She holds a B.A. in journalism from the University of Oregon in Eugene.

How a five-day project was everything I needed

When I found out I was accepted to participate in the NAJA-NPR Next Generation Radio, I was incredibly excited to be surrounded by other Indigenous journalists and mentors and to learn from the talented journalists at NPR.

Kamiah Koch

Kamiah Koch

Kamiah Koch is a member of the Confederated Tribes of Grand Ronde in Oregon and grew up in southern Washington. She graduated from Western Washington University’s journalism program in 2019 and later that year joined her tribe’s independent newspaper, Smoke Signals, as the digital journalist. She enjoys working on the Grand Ronde reservation and sharing the stories of her people.

Adreanna Rodriguez

Adreanna Rodriguez

Adreanna Rodriguez is a Lakota/Chicana artist based in Oakland, California. She is an associate producer for VICE Audio’s weekly news show, “Vice News Reports.” As a storyteller, her research, writing and filmmaking revolve around issues of social/climate justice for Indigenous communities, as well as femme stories. She holds a M.A. in visual anthropology from San Francisco State University and a graduate certificate in documentary studies from the Salt Institute of Documentary Studies, in Portland, Maine.

Lily Sheoships

Lily Sheoships

Lily Sheoships grew up on the Confederated Tribes of the Umatilla Indian Reservation and is an enrolled tribal member. She graduated from Weston-McEwen High School in 2010 and attended Blue Mountain Community College in Pendleton, Oregon, for a short time. Lily has been employed with the Umatilla Indian Reservation since she graduated from high school and is now a radio station assistant for KCUW Studios on the Umatilla Indian Reservation. She is also the host of “Your Time with Lily,” a podcast that highlights local art, culture and people.

A stressful but really fun week

When I submitted my pitch story and heard that it got approved for NPR’s Next Generation Radio, I was elated but also nervous.

Taylar Stagner

Taylar Stagner

Taylar Stagner is a Shoshone and Arapaho descendant who works at Wyoming Public Radio as the Wind River Indian Reservation correspondent. She’s working on her master’s in American culture studies at Bowling Green State University. Stagner follows issues in Indian Country such as the missing murdered Indigenous women epidemic, food insecurity, and issues regarding gender and sexuality. Taylar would like to eventually anchor live newscasts and get her podcast off the ground. She loves to draw and babying her dog, Tibbers.

About NextGenRadio

The Next Generation Radio Project is a week-long digital journalism training project designed to give competitively selected participants, who are interested in radio and journalism, the skills and opportunity to report and produce their own multimedia story. Those chosen for the project are paired with a professional journalist who serves as their mentor.

This edition of the #NPRNextGenRadio project was produced in collaboration with the Native American Journalists Association in March 2021.


Managing Editors:
Jourdan Bennett-Begaye - Managing Editor, Indian Country Today, Washington, D.C.
Phyllis Fletcher - Senior Editor, American Public Media Studios, Seattle
Audio Engineer lead:
Selena Seay-Reynolds - Freelance audio engineer, Los Angeles/New Jersey, with Patrice Mondragon - Audio Tech, Colorado Public Radio
Visuals team lead:
Erica Lee - Freelance photojournalist, New Jersey, with Kevin Beaty of The Denverite and Colorado Public Radio, Denver
Illustration team lead:
Emily Whang - Freelance Illustrator, Los Angeles with Ard Su - Freelance Illustrator, Baltimore, and Lauren Ibañez - Freelance Illustrator, Houston
Digital Editors:
Manuelita Beck, Politics Now Editor, USA TODAY, Indianapolis
Alexis L. Richardson, Chief Innovation Officer & Digital Strategist, “The Mom Edit,” Philadelphia.
Web Developers/Producers:
Cameo Hill of NPR station KJZZ in Phoenix
Robert Boos of Metropolitan State in Saint Paul, Minnesota.

Our journalist/mentors for this project were:
Brian Bull - Reporter, KLCC, Eugene, OR
Carrie Jung - Education Reporter, WBUR, Boston
Graham Lee Brewer - Associate Editor for Indigenous Affairs, High Country News, Norman, OK
Savannah Maher - Rocky Mountain News Bureau, Indigenous Affairs Desk, KUNM, Albuquerque, NM
Christine Trudeau - High Country News, Contributing Editor to the Indigenous Affairs Desk, San Diego

NPR’s Next Generation Radio program is directed by its founder, Doug Mitchell.