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The ICT news organization is helping expand the Indigenous journalism landscape by welcoming two undergrad journalists and a graduate fellow to the team.

Sierra Alvarez, Diné, and Pacey Smith-Garcia, a Weminuche Ute descendant, are student journalists at Arizona State University who will be joining the ICT Newscast with Aliyah Chavez for the 2022 fall semester. In addition, Noel Lyn Smith, a grad student and former reporter for the Farmington Daily Times and the Navajo Times, will join ICT’s digital team as a reporter.

Smith-Garcia is enrolled in ASU’s Sidney Poitier New American Film School, Barrett, The Honors College and the Walter Cronkite School of Journalism and Mass Communication. Alvarez, is a senior at ASU’s Walter Cronkite School of Journalism and Mass Communication with a focus on photojournalism. She is also a recipient of the Facebook Journalism Project scholarship through the Native American Journalists Association.

Alvarez said she’s been enjoying her time at ICT so far.

“Everyone has been so kind and helpful,” she said. “I’m learning a new medium for journalism as I’ve never done broadcast before, as I’m usually a photojournalist, but I’m learning a lot. I have a ways to go with my journey at ICT but I’m ready for it,” she said. 

“We are incredibly honored that these two young journalists will be joining ICT. One of our fundamental goals is to train and hire the next generation of Indigenous multimedia journalists,” Shirley Sneve, vice president of broadcasting, said.

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Smith, Diné, is pursuing a Master of Arts in Investigative Journalism at Arizona State University’s Walter Cronkite School of Journalism and Mass Communication. She is an inaugural fellow from the school’s partnership with ICT and the Native American Journalists Association. She has also completed the Hearst Fellowship program. 

"They've only been working for a week but the interns and the fellow have already done a lot of impressive work. They are so motivated and talented. I think ICT is really lucky and both the interns and our organization will benefit greatly,” Jason Begay, ICT’s national editor and coach, said.

“For instance, Noel wants to do some investigative reporting, which she has not done before. I think this year will be a great opportunity to push her toward that goal under the guidance and mentorship of the ICT newsroom,” Begay added.

He said the goal is for them to experience a real newsroom from either being published or broadcasted to the ICT audience.

“We would like to work with them to push themselves out of their comfort zones so they have an opportunity to exceed their own expectations,” Begay said. "I really want the interns and the fellow to leave this experience with a lot more confidence than when they came."

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