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Next Generation Radio is a five-day digital journalism and audio training project focused on finding, coaching and training public media's next generation of journalists.

KOSU to host public radio project focusing on early-career Indigenous journalists

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top row (left to right): Arielle Farve Deer and Braden Harper bottom row (left to right): Carrie Johnson, Cheyenne McNeil and Sydney Neel

Next Generation Radio, Native American Journalists Association and KOSU have announced the cohort for the 2022 NAJA-NPR NextGenRadio: Indigenous.

This five-day, digital-first workshop Nov. 13-18 centers Indigenous stories and storytellers. The project is offered at no cost to early-career Indigenous journalists reporting in or near a tribal community, and is an immersive training opportunity to learn more about non-narrated audio storytelling, and other forms of digital journalism.

The project will be conducted remotely and in-person, with selected participants reporting from their communities, and is designed to enhance coverage of Indigenous affairs with Indigenous voices. Participants, paired with a more experienced partner and advisor throughout the workshop, will find and produce these multimedia stories.

Since 2013, Next Generation Radio has trained more than 300 journalists who have gone on to work for NPR, American Public Media, PRX and dozens of public radio stations across the country. Notable alumni include Audie Cornish and Shereen Marisol Meraji.

Former KOSU reporter and Oklahoma State University alumnus Doug Mitchell (‘86) is the founder and project director of Next Generation Radio. He also serves as a consultant and advisor to many national and international journalism organizations.


Arielle Farve Deer (Chickasaw Citizen, Choctaw and Cherokee affiliate)
Chickasaw Nation, AYA Wal App – Stillwater, OK

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Arielle Favre Deer

Arielle cultivated a robust understanding of communication concepts as a strategic communications and multimedia journalism undergraduate at Oklahoma State University where she continued her education as a graduate student researching tribe-owned press systems and tribal free press laws. Her research highlighted the misconceptions and romanization embedded in mainstream media’s narrative on Native Americans, strengthening her conviction that American Indian communicators are essential to reclaiming our people’s stories and sharing accurate portrayals of Indigenous citizens. After graduating in the Spring of 2021, Arielle launched Deer Creative Strategies to help tribal nations and Indigenous advocacy groups push the parameters of traditional storytelling while retaining cultural integrity.

She worked with three tribal governments, a language revitalization program, FX’s Reservation Dogs season one premiere, the National Congress of American Indians and more to develop content that challenged mainstream narratives about what it means to be Native American. In October 2021, she began working with the Chickasaw Nation’s AYA Wal App, which empowers users to embark on a virtual journey to the Chickasaw Homeland while unlocking content about Chickasaw culture, language and history. She is honored at the chance to further develop the skills needed to excel in AYA’s audio storytelling opportunity through the NAJA-NPR NextGen: Indigenous Radio Project.

Braden Harper (Muscogee)
Mvskoke Media – Broken Arrow, OK

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Braden Harper

Braden started his professional media journey as an undergraduate student at Rogers State University where he produced various multimedia projects including commercials and spots for KRSU Radio, as well as video documentary shorts and student news stories. He also worked as a student production assistant for KRSU Public Television. As a graduate student at Oklahoma State University, Braden volunteered as a broadcast reporter for the student-led media group, The O’Colly. There he produced news packages for the student produced broadcast “The Daily O!” and provided marketing services for various student organizations.

As an intern at Channel 8, Braden shadowed broadcast reporters in the field, and wrote broadcast scripts during the COVID-19 pandemic. He is currently a multimedia reporter at Mvskoke Media. It is a truly unique opportunity to serve the people of his tribe through information dissemination and storytelling. He is seeking to sharpen his skills in audio storytelling, Indigenous coverage, and writing through the NextGenRadio Project. Braden is eager to learn about how to properly approach Indigenous issues from a journalism perspective, particularly through podcasting.

Carrie Johnson (Chickasaw / Pawnee)
Chickasaw Press/Austin College, The Observer – Sherman, TX

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Carrie Johnson

Carrie is a NAJA fellow, an intern for the Chickasaw Press as well as Institutional Marketing and Communications at Austin College where she is Social Media Lead and Promo Lead, a staff writer for AC’s The Observer, a freelance sportswriter for the Sherman Herald Democrat, and one of her majors is Media Studies where she has done projects related to audio and video editing along with photography and shooting video. She is looking for the NextGen: Indigenous Project to teach her to tell stories successfully and truthfully and help her grow rapidly in understanding what it takes in journalism and public media to be effective. Carrie is hungry to immerse herself in what she is passionate about and eager to take advantage of an opportunity that connects with her culture and furthers her career goals.

Cheyenne McNeil (Coharie)
EducationNC – Cary, NC

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Cheyenne McNeil

Cheyenne has been a regional reporter for EducationNC, a nonprofit newsroom based in North Carolina that is focused on education in the state since February 2022. From February 2020-November 2021, she worked in marketing and public relations for Sampson Community College in Clinton, North Carolina. Her duties included graphic design, press releases, photo/video, and other media-related tasks. She was also able to hone her graphic design skills and regularly write press releases for the college and its foundation.

Cheyenne is excited to strengthen her skills related to audio and podcasting as she works to tell the stories of rural communities in eastern North Carolina – particularly as it relates to education. During her time as an undergraduate student, she learned her passion for storytelling and enjoyed experimenting with different methods of storytelling. She’s seen the way that the written word can move people and has also experienced the power of video and witnessed its impact on audiences. Cheyenne learned the power of storytelling from her grandmother, who shared stories from her childhood, travels, and motherhood. This workshop is an opportunity for her to reconnect with oral storytelling and hone her skills in podcasting and audio journalism.

Sydney Neel (Cherokee)
The Graphix Project/Research for the Front Lines – Santa Fe, NM

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Sydney Neel

Last spring, Sydney was an intern at The Haitian Times. While there, she was able to sit in on pitch meetings and general strategy for the paper. She has also previously done research with Miguel Syjuco of NYU Abu Dhabi researching and creating curriculum for a community organization focusing on improving democratic values among rural and urban Filipinos. Sydney wrote for NYUAD’s student paper, “The Gazelle,” and ran a radio show with Howler Radio, the only country music station in the Middle East. She had the opportunity to travel to Nepal with a professor and interview former insurgents from the Nepalese Civil War. She was even able to speak with Nepal’s Prime Minister in addition to front line fighters and generals. Sydney is currently working as a researcher for Research for the Front Lines helping First Nations communities with pro bono research projects. Her current project is to interview health care providers for a documentary on systemic racism in Quebec.

Sydney has also been working with the Graphix Project for several years, helping coordinate the global team with the Yale Law team. The group has interviewed hundreds of activists from across the globe in order to put together curriculum on human rights and modern activism. She also did internal media analysis while interning with Human Rights Watch and voluntarily did donor research decks for RFK Human Rights. While at NYU Abu Dhabi, her courses in Interactive Media often featured work relating to journalism. Sydney studied VR, website creation, web-based storytelling and other subjects. Her hope is to continue her education in storytelling while at the Institute of American Indian Arts, particularly through the NBCU program in Broadcast Journalism.


Project Staff

Project Founder/Director
Doug Mitchell – NPR’s Next Generation Radio Project

Mentors
Allison Herrera (Xolon Salinan) – Indigenous Affairs Reporter/Producer, KOSU
Taylar Dawn Stagner (Shoshone and Arapaho) – Tribal/Rural Manager, Wyoming Public Radio
Tiffany Camhi, All Things Considered Host, Oregon Public Broadcasting
Cristela Guerra – Arts and Culture Reporter, WBUR
Carrie Jung – Senior Education Reporter, WBUR

Managing Editor
Adreanna Rodriguez (Standing Rock Sioux Tribe) – Associate Producer, VICE Audio

Braden Harper was a member of the NAJA-NPR NextGenRadio: Indigenous cohort in 2022.
Carrie Johnson was a member of the NAJA-NPR NextGenRadio: Indigenous cohort in 2022.
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