October 11, 2002

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OU'S Gaylord College to Explore Native American Issues at Brite Symposium

Topics ranging from Native American journalists in the mass media to challenges facing journalists in tribal media will be addressed by panelists at the University of Oklahoma Gaylord College of Journalism and Mass Communication's 2002 Brite Symposium, "Native Americans and the Mass Media: A Matter of Representation," scheduled Nov. 7-8 on the OU Norman campus.

The conference, to be held in Oklahoma Memorial Union, 900 Asp Ave., is made possible by an endowed fund from friends and family of Cecil Brite, a longtime faculty member and director of the OU Student Publications Board.
He retired in 1971 after 40 years of service to the university.

The conference also will feature panels on topics including reporting of tribal affairs and cultural sensitivity issues. Panelists will include Native American print and broadcast journalists, news executives and collegiate researchers specializing in Native American issues. George Benge, an executive with Gannett Corporate News, and Chad Smith, principal chief of the Cherokee Nation, will be the keynote speakers during the symposium and are among local, regional and national experts who will be participating in the conference.

In addition, the symposium will present artistic works, including paintings and sculpture, poetry, commentary and films that highlight the opportunities and challenges facing Native Americans. Partial funding for the artistic presentations is from the Oklahoma Arts Council.

"The issues and challenges facing minority journalists, particularly Native American journalists, are both troubling and intriguing," said Charles C. Self, dean of Gaylord College of Journalism and Mass Communication. "As a college, we teach diversity in its many forms. The Brite Symposium enables us to further explore the diversity we find in our
college, our state and our country."

Among the confirmed panelists for the symposium are:

Dan Agent, The Cherokee Phoenix
Acee Agoya, Indianz.com
Cherokee Ballard, KOCO-TV (Oklahoma City)
George Benge, Gannett News Corporation
LaBarbara Bowman, American Society of Newspaper Editors
Ramon Chavez, University of South Dakota
Jim Gray, Osage Tribe
Jackie Greene, Unity, Inc.
Suzan Shown Harjo, Indian Country Today
Frank King, The Native Voice
Theresa Lamsam, University of Nebraska
Rusty Lang, Tulsa World
Dennis McAuliffe, University of Montana-Missoula
Harlan McKosato, Native America Calling
John Mohawk, State University of New York
Rod Pocowatchit, The Wichita Eagle
Seth Prince, The Oregonian
Jodi Rave, The Lincoln Star-Journal
John Shurr, Associated Press, South Carolina
Chad Smith, Cherokee Nation
Mark Trahant, Robert C. Maynard Institute for Journalism Education
Quin Tran, KFOR-TV (Oklahoma City)
Yvonne Turner, KTUL-TV (Tulsa)

There is no cost to attend the conference, but registration is required. Interested parties may register online at http://jmc.ou.edu/Brite/ or by telephone at (405) 325-5055.

Story contact: Lance Thomas, Gaylord College of Journalism and Mass Communication, 405-325-5372, lthomas@ou.edu