An Indigenous News Platform for the World

An Indigenous News Platform for the World

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John Ahni Schertow
November 7, 2015
 

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Thanks to the Internet and the huge wave of new media that came with it, we now have unparalleled access to the world around us. However, there is still one area in this ever-growing digital landscape that languishes as much now as it did when the print press was considered ‘cutting edge’. Even with resounding calls from The Royal Commission on Aboriginal Peoples, The United Nations and others, we still don’t have a single news platform that fully covers the world’s Indigenous Peoples. It’s time to change that.

Our plan

Since our last crowdfunding campaign 12 months ago, we’ve been hard at work building up IC’s organizational foundation so that we can do things right the first time. We teamed up with the Center for World Indigenous Studies (CWIS), a 501(c)(3) with a long and proud history of supporting Indigenous Peoples.

We assembled an impeccable team of editors

WHO

And, we designed a three-year plan to turn IC into a successful and sustainable news platform that can address a specific set of flaws, limitations and weaknesses in the global media ecosystem.

what

To start things off, we will:

1. Expand our network of contributors and begin to offer fair pay for a minimum of 15 pieces of investigative journalism per month in 2016. In 2017 that will be doubled. In 2018, we will double it again.

2. Launch IC Investigations (ICI), an unprecedented investigative journalism program that will produce a long line of interactive documentaries (aka webdocs) using the multi-media platform Klynt (klynt.net).

3. Create a monthly news desk-style podcast to help bring more exposure to stories that get pushed to the margins.

4. Develop IC Español in partnership with the journalism department at ITESO (The Western Institute of Technology and Higher Education at Universidad Jesuita de Guadalajara).

Once this work is allowed to take root, in 2017 we’ll get started on phase two of our plan, which focuses in on Canadian media. Most importantly, we’re going team up with a University Journalism program to offer journalism students real world experience, along with something that is almost completely absent in Canada: cultural sensitivity training.

We also intend to start offering free introductory media training courses for Indigenous Peoples that may include anything from digital storytelling and website design to video production. We may also come to offer more advanced classes on a variety of different subjects, including the art of persuasion and media tactics and strategies.

In 2018, we’ll round things off with a themed interdisciplinary gathering–more commonly known as a humlab. First suggested by Jay Taber, humlabs are an ideal forum of exchange that provide the public with an opportunity to develop a greater understanding of any given subject. For example, if our first humlab focused on climate change, we would bring together leading thinkers, organizers, scientists, academics and–most importantly–Indigenous Peoples from around the world to sit down and talk. Over the course of several days, we would organize workshops, social experiments, panel discussions, debates, you name it. In 2019, we’ll organize another humlab, perhaps about GMOs.

Here and now

As great as it would be to start organizing a humlab right this second, some more important work needs to take place first. There is a great need for more and better media coverage for Indigenous Peoples.

With each passing day, more and more of the world’s 5000 Indigenous Peoples and Nations are taking their place on the international stage. They’re preventing biotech companies from contaminating our food supply, bringing languages back from extinction, closing the books on hundreds of historical injustices that most of us have never even hear of – and they’re constantly making strides in the arenas of climate justice, food sovereignty, conservation, human rights and international law. For all the good that’s taking place, there’s also a lot of violence. Way too much violence.

Unfortunately, we only hear about a tiny fraction of it; because most journalists choose to ignore Indigenous Peoples. It’s up to us to change that.

Without exaggeration, the best way to do that right now is by helping out with our indigenous news fund.

Once we reach our goal, we can instantly expand our coverage by at least 100 percent.

This is our only chance to be fully informed about the most inspiring, the most pressing, and the most successful struggles of our time.

And once we have it, we can focus on everything that comes next, for all our benefit.

We're fighting for our lives

Indigenous Peoples are putting their bodies on the line and it's our responsibility to make sure you know why. That takes time, expertise and resources - and we're up against a constant tide of misinformation and distorted coverage. By supporting IC you're empowering the kind of journalism we need, at the moment we need it most.

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IC is a publication of the Center for World Indigenous Studies (cwis.org), a 501C(3) based in the United States