VNN “advancing democracy” with dedicated Indigenous election coverage

OklahomaEventsPoliticsCommunity Indigenous
Collaborator: Rachael Schuit
Published: 04/02/2024, 2:33 AM

(TULSA, Okla.) Trust is a critical part of effective news coverage, especially during election season. People are skeptical about the news and information they receive, due in part to a rise in sensationalized news and an ever present lack of representation of underserved communities.

VNN Oklahoma is making the case for trusting news with the help of an Advancing Democracy Fellowship during this critical election year.

This 9-month fellowship aims to transform political coverage in 20 small newsrooms across the United States. Four journalism support groups‒Solutions Journalism Network, Hearken, Trusting News, and Good Conflict‒will help shift political reporting from focusing on candidates and opinion polls over the course of this fellowship. Instead, newsrooms will prioritize solution-based reporting and trust-building news coverage.

VNN Oklahoma will prioritize stories that highlight the key concerns of Indigenous communities in northeast Oklahoma, highlighting historical context and community impacts while maintaining transparency and looping in local feedback.

Four VNN Oklahoma staff are participating in the fellowship that started last month: Brittany Harlow, Rachael Schuit, Trista Vaughn, and Hanna Olson.

“Advancing Democracy will help our audience better understand the process of how we make our decisions on what to cover and who to interview when it comes to the 2024 election,” said VNN Oklahoma Lead Journalist Brittany Harlow. “We want our audience to engage with us and be part of the process. We are working with our community members, not just assuming what they want or need from our coverage.” 

As part of the fellowship, VNN Oklahoma is receiving $5,000 to go towards 2024 Election coverage and programming, as well as biweekly courses designed to facilitate more accessible and beneficial news coverage. 

Our work will center on how the issues and candidates will impact Indigenous communities. During the 2024 Election Cycle, VNN Oklahoma will research and report on the Osage Nation Congressional Election (with our partners at Osage News), the Tulsa Mayoral Election, and the United States Presidential Election. 

Want to learn more? The VNN Oklahoma team has crafted a mission statement and FAQ page to explain their approach to this year’s election coverage regarding Indigenous perspectives and transparency.

Click here to read the VNN Oklahoma Election Coverage Mission Statement, FAQs and provide feedback.


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