Changing the ‘newscape’ in Indian Country

Patty Talahongva named to lead Indian Country Today’s new television programs

Patty Talahongva has been selected as the executive producer for Indian Country Today’s new television news program. Talahongva is a multimedia journalist who has rich experience in television, radio, and newspaper journalism. She is a member of the Hopi Tribe.

“I can’t think of anyone more qualified for this position than Patty Talahongva,” said Mark Trahant, editor of Indian Country Today. “It’s as if she has been preparing for years for this exact job and for this moment in history.”

Indian Country Today will soon open a newsroom on the campus of Arizona State University. The goal of the nonprofit news enterprise is to expand its news gathering operation and to produce the first national news show by and about Native Americans. Indian Country Today is also planning a short daily video report as well as other broadcast projects. Talahongva will be based in Phoenix, beginning in early June.

Tahlanongva has experience with a variety of television, video, and radio formats. “I like to say I've produced TV newscasts as long as two-hours and as short as two minutes,” she said.

Talahongva has been on the front row as a reporter or producer for so many national stories She covered the Rodney King riots in Los Angeles in 1992, reporting from the streets, in 2004 she reported live from the National Mall in Washington, D.C. for the grand opening of the Smithsonian's National Museum of the American Indian, and more recently she was on the ground producing stories about the Yarnell Fire, in Arizona, which took the lives of 19 Hot Shot firefighters.

Trahant said that Talahongva also brings the thinking of a teacher into the newsroom. She has worked for many years leading student projects for the Native American Journalists Association. She continues in that mission, working with young people in a variety of roles, including as a board member for the Center for Native American Youth.

“Yes, we want a great newscast,” Trahant said. “And we also want to create a launching pad for careers. We want opportunity for the next generation of Native storytellers.”

"This is a huge honor for me to be selected to lead this historic newsroom that will truly bring an American Indian perspective to our news programs. It's also a tremendous responsibility and I fully embrace this opportunity to serve our Native peoples,” Tahlaongva said. "I'm excited to join the Indian Country Today newsroom and I look forward to working with the team Mark is assembling. We plan on changing the newscape for Indian Country."

Talahongva is a former president of Native American Journalists Association. Follow her  @WiteSpider on Twitter.

Previous stories:

Indian Country Today to open newsroom at Arizona State; goal to create national TV program

Indian Country Today sets out new legal structure, appoints first board of directors

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