Published September 4, 2017
News spread quickly last week that Indian Country Today Media Network (ICTMN) would be taking a hiatus effective today.
With the news of ICTMN’s hiatus comes a sadness that the leading American Indian news publication will cease to publish the important news that has been shared among tribal communities and read by non-Native national leaders.
Long before I began publishing Native News Online, I remember the excitement I would get picking up the latest weekly copy of Indian Country Today newspaper. The issues were filled with news articles, commentaries and photographs that made me proud to be an American Indian and kept me informed about happenings in Indian Country.
As ICTMN”s Ray Halbritter points out in an official announcemnt today, “ICTMN has faced the same challenges that other media outlets have faced. It is no secret that with the rise of the Internet, traditional publishing outlets have faced unprecedented adversity.”
American Indian media contributes to the national narrative about the issues and concerns impacting Indian Country. This was quite evident last year when the local North Dakota media presented a one-sided (non-Native) spin on what was happening at Standing Rock. The local media told the bigoted law enforcement’s version and Native media told the American Indian version where water protectors were met with biting dogs, rubber bullets and water cannons. American Indian media helped to provide a more balanced side to the importance of Standing Rock.
As a member of the American Indian media, I fully understand financial difficulties encountered to provide American Indian news. I can certainly speak for Native News Online: There is not a large budget here.
To ICTMN, I humbly say megwetch (thank you) for your long run to provide a much needed service to Indian Country.