Next generation of Native American storytellers at NAU this summer

Student group photo

A select group of Native American teenagers get a taste of life beyond high school as they take part in the week-long Andy Harvey Native American Broadcast Workshop hosted at Northern Arizona University this week. Students are introduced to university and professional broadcast atmospheres as they stay in NAU dorms for the duration of the workshop and develop the tools needed to share the stories important to them and their communities through TV and radio.

Participants are granted access to the School of Communication’s Student Media Center Newsroom and HD Studio, where they work with NAU students, faculty and broadcast journalism professionals to practice skills such as producing multimedia stories, conducting interviews and shooting digital photography. Additionally, they produce a live-to-tape television news broadcast covering local stories of the day.

“I think it is an important and meaningful program that has grown every year,” said Paul Helford, principal lecturer for the School of Communication. ” In the first year, we had a handful of students. In this, our seventh year, some 60 students applied, but we could only accept 30.”

Helford is one of the program directors, along with Toni DeAztlan-Smith, assistant professor for the School of Communication.

The nonprofit workshop began in 2012 in memory of the late Andy Harvey, a Native American journalist who represented his community in his work as a reporter for KPNX 12 News in Phoenix. An NAU graduate, Harvey had a vision of encouraging a younger generation of Native American students to be the next storytellers of their communities. The workshop honors his vision and has received support from several Arizona businesses and areas of NAU including the President’s Office, the College of Social and Behavioral Sciences and the Native American Cultural Center.

To learn more about the Andy Harvey Native American Broadcast Workshop and to view past work, visit the group’s YouTube channel or check out their Facebook page.

Cheyenne Jarrette