Newsroom Archive


19 Journalists Win Tribal Justice Reporting Fellowships From the Center on Media, Crime and Justice

New York, June 9, 2010 ---Nineteen journalists from print, online and broadcast outlets around the nation have been selected as fellows to attend a Center on Media, Crime and Justice/McCormick Foundation Specialized Reporting Institute on tribal justice at the University of New Mexico in Albuquerque on June 25-26, 2010.

The Institute, one of a series of advanced journalism workshops on pressing topics supported annually by the Chicago-based McCormick Foundation, is co-sponsored by the John Jay College of Criminal Justice on Media, Crime and Justice (CMCJ), the Department of Communication &Journalism at University of New Mexico, the School of Law at the University of New Mexico and the Native American Journalists Association.

Crime in tribal lands presents complex and often little understood challenges to fair and in-depth reporting. Federal and tribal jurisdictional issues often complicate the job of ensuring justice for victims as well as perpetrators. The symposium will feature prominent federal and state experts and practitioners as well as tribal leaders---including U.S. Attorney for the District of South Dakota Brendan Johnson, Director of the U.S. Department of Justice Office of Tribal Justice Tracy Toulou, and Magistrate Judge Henrietta Soland.

"The federal government has singled out crime among Native Americans as one of the most pressing issues faced in our country today, so this is an especially timely moment to help journalists around the nation gain the skills and knowledge they need to cover and explain this issue to the public," said CMCJ Director Stephen Handelman. "This workshop will be a major step forward."

The fellows were selected from a wide pool of applicants based on editors’ recommendations and statements of purpose from both the native American press and mainstream media. Among the subjects to be covered at the 2010 Specialized Reporting Institute---"Tribal Justice? Reporting on Crime in Native America"---are violence against native women, theft of native art and jurisdictional issues. (For a list of the 2010 Fellows, see below.)

Major funding for this Specialized Reporting Institute comes from the McCormick Foundation. Additional logistics and miscellaneous support has been provided by the University of New Mexico and the Native American Journalists Association. These organizations did not participate in the review or selection of the fellows.

About John Jay College of Criminal Justice: An international leader in educating for justice, John Jay College of Criminal Justice of The City University of New York offers a rich liberal arts and professional studies curriculum to upwards of 14,000 undergraduate and graduate students from more than 135 nations. In teaching, scholarship and research, the College approaches justice as an applied art and science in service to society and as an ongoing conversation about fundamental human desires for fairness, equality and the rule of law. For more information, visit

About the John Jay Center on Media, Crime and Justice: The Center on Media, Crime and Justice, established at John Jay College in 2006, is the nation's only practice- and research-oriented think tank devoted to encouraging and developing high-quality reporting on criminal justice, and to promoting better-informed public debate on the complex 21st-century challenges of law enforcement, public security and justice in a globalized urban society. For more information, visit

About the McCormick Foundation: The McCormick Foundation believes there is nothing more critical to the vitality of a democracy than a free, vigorous and diverse news media, providing citizens with information they need to make reasoned decisions. This furthers the Foundation’s overall mission to strengthen our democratic society by investing in children, communities and country. Through its various programs the Foundation helps to build a more active and engaged citizenry. The McCormick Foundation is one of the nation’s largest charities, with more than $1 billion in assets. For more information, please visit

The 2010 Tribal Justice Fellows:

  • Jenny Michael, The Bismarck Tribune
  • Colleen Keane, Freelance
  • Grant Schulte, The Des Moines Register/USA Today
  • Joseph O’Sullivan, Watertown Public Opinion
  • Sandra McGee, Rhode Island Suburban Newspapers
  • Sue Holmes, Associated Press (New Mexico)
  • Denise Dowling, Freelance
  • Felicia Fonseca, Associated Press (Arizona)
  • Karen Francis, The Gallup Independent
  • Angela Pompey, NOKOA (The Observer)
  • Chandra Johnson, The Taos News
  • Bill Rodgers, Rio Grande Sun
  • Dan Gunderson, Minnesota Public Radio
  • Lindsay Whitehurst, The Salt Lake Tribune
  • Melanie Moore, Blackfoot Morning News
  • Dennis Wagner, Arizona Republic/USA Today
  • Troy Turner, The Daily Times
  • Louis Mattei, Rio Grande Sun
  • Astrid Galvan, The Albuquerque Journal