Katie Oyan named as first managing editor of Indian Country Today

Katie Oyan (Photo by Tomas Karmelo Amaya, Indian Country Today)

Kolby KickingWoman

Indian Country Today team continues expansion, new URL and DC Bureau moves

Indian Country Today continues to make moves, literally. This comes at a time when the work -- posting credible, vetted information -- is more important than ever during this COVID-19 outbreak.

But the operation of the news continues. Earlier this month, the Washington, D.C Bureau moved from the Embassy of Tribal Nations to Arizona State University’s D.C. building in the District’s downtown area. A jump, hop and skip away from the White House and National Mall.

Jourdan Bennett-Begaye, Diné, Washington editor for Indian Country Today said she is grateful Arizona State University has welcomed Indian Country Today with open arms in both Phoenix and Washington, D.C.

“I’m so excited to be closer to our partner - literally. I’m grateful that ASU Cronkite has been so welcoming to Indian Country Today in Phoenix and now in Washington,” Bennett-Begaye said. “This move could provide more and accurate coverage of Indian Country from the nation’s capital.”

Also, starting April 6, Indian Country Today and the Associated Press will continue a partnership naming Katie Oyan, Oglala Lakota, as Indian Country Today’s first managing editor.

She will be with the team for nine months.

For its part, Indian Country Today will fund a backfill of Katie’s position.

But the relationship will be much more than a dry exchange of editing resources. In fact, it already is.

Oyan works for the Associated Press and has done so for the past 14 years. She started as a reporter and editor in Helena, Montana, with a brief stint in Denver, Colorado. For the last 10 years, Oyan has served as the AP’s West desk editor based out of Phoenix, Arizona.

She has extensive experience in covering big, breaking stories; including the San Bernardino terror attack, Colorado movie theater shootings and California wildfires.

“Really any big breaking story that has happened in the West in the last decade,” Oyan said.

Mark Trahant, Shoshone-Bannock, editor of Indian Country Today, said having Oyan join the team will elevate the journalism at Indian Country Today and he is excited to take this next step in the partnership with the Associated Press.

“There are so many things to say here. First, Katie Oyan is a professional’s, professional. She is talented and knows her craft. She will make us all better journalists,” Trahant said. “Second, this partnership with the Associated Press will help all of journalism because it will open a new avenue for stories about Indian Country to be shared with news organizations around the world. This is just exciting stuff!”

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Oyan said it’s important to have Native reporters in the media because it’s important to bring the Native perspective that’s not always in mainstream newsrooms and Native journalists are usually more dialed in to what stories matter to Indian Country.

In joining Indian Country Today, she added she is excited and looking forward to being a part of the Indian Country Today team bringing important news and stories to Native communities.

“There’s so many stories to cover in Indian Country and I’m really looking forward to being a part of that and helping Indian Country Today continue to do the great work they’re already doing,” Oyan said.

Peter Prengaman, AP’s news director for the Western United States, echoed those sentiments and is looking forward to continuing the relationship with Indian Country Today.

“Covering Native American communities is important to the AP, and we have reporters who do it well,” Prengaman said. “However, we can and should do much more, and this collaboration with Indian Country Today, an organization with deep expertise on Indian Country and dedicated reporters, is going to help us bring more critical stories to readers around the world. And more than just the stories, I’m looking forward to strengthening our relationship as both organizations learn from each other.”

Karen Lincoln Michel, Ho-Chunk, president of Indian Country Today, said Oyan brings invaluable experience to the digital news organization and will produce content that will expand readership.

“I am excited about Katie joining our news team in this innovative partnership between The AP and Indian Country Today. She brings a wealth of expertise in breaking news and enterprise reporting and editing, but perhaps even more valuable is her understanding of Indigenous communities,” Lincoln Michel said. “I am sure Katie will build on ICT’s strength as a news organization to deliver compelling stories about indigenous issues as told by our Native writers and content producers.”

Last bit of news: A small but significant detail that the Indian Country Today team has hoped our readers have noticed, our URL! Indiancountrytoday.com is back. Gone are the days of “newsmaven.io” preceding our web address. This should make it easier for readers to find a daily account of Indian Country news. Indian Country Today’s goal for 2020 is to reach a million unique users every month.

Indian Country Today, LLC., is a nonprofit news company based in Phoenix. It has bureaus in Washington and Anchorage.

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Kolby KickingWoman, Blackfeet/Gros Ventre is a reporter/producer for Indian Country Today. He is from the great state of Montana and currently reports and lives in Washington, D.C. Follow him on Twitter - @KDKW_406. Email - kkickingwoman@indiancountrytoday.com

Support Indian Country Today by becoming a member. Click here.

Comments (1)
No. 1-1
High hogan
High hogan

The world of communication has thrust open the doors for tribal nations, be they news agency, reporters, producers of periodicals/newsletters, and independent writers. The traditional long-standing newspapers within states of multiple tribal nations are starting to take notice of the importance and impact tribal news has upon legislation and the public and private economies. The Arizona Republic (largest Az newspaper) has added two top-notch reporters of native heritage, namely, Shondiin Silversmith and Debra Krol. Thank you ASU DC for placing the welcome mat for Indian Country Today.

Proud Apache/Navajo father of ASU graduate (Nicolette Curley)
Isaac Curley, Tempe, AZ


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