MY BLOG: What did I learn from my news beat?
I learned that the many stereotypes out there about Native Americans are false and that they are just like anybody else. I learned that they are successful business owners and leaders of the community who are trying to give voice to the Native American population in Utah through various organizations. The Utah Native American Chamber of Commerce, American Indian Resource Center and the Utah Division of Indian Affairs are all there to help give voice to Native Americans and to bring down these stereotypes that are associated with them.
I learned more about Native Americans covering this beat than I would have ever learned. I found out about culture, their strong beliefs, foods, and wrongs that have been committed against them. I have found out about their strong belief toward education and how they only strive to make it better for everyone.
I found out about Cal Nez and how he went through boarding school and how it became one of his most horrible memories. I learned how he was forced to stand in a line with other children just how you would see in the army. They would have to do this for hours sometimes before being allowed to go to school or even before going out and having fun.
I have even found that I have been stereotypical. But through this class I am able to see past those stereotypes now that I have the understanding and knowledge that I have not been given in the past.
Athea Sam told me about her time in school at one of the reservations and how it had disgusted her. She told me about teachers who did not care and a curriculum that was far below that of other schools that she had attended in the state. She talked about how kids would throw things around the classroom and just have a fun time instead of learning and how teacher would not show up for class or would sleep through them sometimes.
These things that I have learned have shown me things I never knew about Native Americans and with that new knowledge I have a better understanding of the community. I fear that without this beat I would have never understood or covered these types of stories and missed out on great information. I would also like to think that I have made new friends through the interviewing process and learned skills that I will be able to carry with me throughout my career as a journalist.