Beyond casinos and smoke shops: Covering sovereign nations (Sponsored by the Fund for Investigative Journalism)

  • Event: 2017 IRE Conference
  • Speakers: Craig Harris of The Arizona Republic; Stacy Thacker of FIJ/Schuster Institute; Ziva Branstetter of The Washington Post; Jenni Monet of independent journalist
  • Date/Time: Saturday, Jun. 24 at 4:30pm
  • Location: Grand Canyon 4-5
  • Audio file: Only members can listen to conference audio

**Moderated by Ziva Branstetter, Reveal from The Center for Investigative Reporting

Our panelists will offer advice on moving beyond superficial coverage of Native American tribes and breaking enterprise and investigative stories on or off the beat. We'll discuss projects tackling thorny issues such as enrollment and blood quantum, federal housing policy and corruption within tribal governments. We'll tell you how to use FOIA to gather records on sovereign nations and how to use tribal law and procedure to gather previously undisclosed tribal government records. We'll also discuss tips on developing sources, building trust and staying ahead of your competition covering these issues.

Speaker Bios

  • Ziva leads a team at The Washington Post focused on business investigations and enterprise. She previously worked as a senior editor at Reveal and spent more than 20 years at the Tulsa World, where she and Cary Aspinwall were 2015 finalists for the Pulitzer Prize in local reporting. That same year, they founded The Frontier, an independent investigative newsroom in Tulsa. Ziva is serving her third term as an IRE board member.

  • Craig Harris, 49, is a reporter for The Arizona Republic. His work has resulted in the Fiesta Bowl’s CEO being sent to prison, the reinstatement of 47 state employees who were wrongly fired and pension laws being changed. He's won the Toner Prize for Excellence in Political Reporting, the Barlett and Steele Award for Investigative Business Journalism, a George Polk Award for state reporting and a National Headliner Award. He's a 1989 Oregon grad. @charrisazrep


  • Jenni Monet is an independent journalist who writes about Indigenous rights and injustice for such publications as the Center for Investigative Reporting, PBS NewsHour and Al Jazeera.  She received top journalism honors for her months-long chronicling of the Dakota Access Pipeline resistance movement at Standing Rock.  Monet holds an MA in International Politics from the Columbia Graduate School of Journalism and is a tribal citizen of the Pueblo of Laguna.

  • Stacy Thacker is a member of the Navajo tribe and a multimedia journalist with a focus in news from Indian Country. Thacker enjoys finding and telling Native American stories from both the urban and the reservation perspectives because often these views are underrepresented. @stacy_thacker

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