By ROBERT JUMPER
ONE FEATHER EDITOR
We would like to remind organizations, non-profit entities, tribal boards and committees, sports teams, and other community groups that we are happy to review and potentially publish your information. We receive calls almost daily from organizations wanting a Cherokee One Feather representative to “cover” an event or meeting of one or more of these organizations. While we wish we could attend every community public event, it is simply physically impossible for us to do so. With a staff of only two full-time reporters, it is imperative that we prioritize their time and our resources to stories that appeal to the largest segments of our community. There are also subjects that we are bound by Cherokee Code to report to the public, so our staff expends great time and effort in providing those items to the public through the paper and its outlets.
We encourage Public Information Officers for various entities to submit press releases concerning any activities that they would like to share with the public. We would also ask that heads of organizations either designate a person or take on the role of information “gatherer” for their organization or event. All it takes is a summary of events (two or three paragraphs) and a picture or two (some newer model cell phones will make good quality pictures, but most others are too low for print resolution-we need at least three megapixels).
We particularly encourage boards and community clubs to submit their meeting minutes to the Cherokee One Feather. It is valuable for the public to get as much information from these entities as possible. Many times, board and club meetings overlap, and sometimes meetings are impromptu, so we have no time to plan coverage. It would be great if all community clubs would submit meeting minutes to the paper on a least a monthly basis.
Some of the tribal boards do not report to the public until they are called before Tribal Council. This should not be. Some only report to their internal newsletters or to their social media pages, which reach, in some cases, is less than 10 percent of the audience that the One Feather reaches. Our tribal organizations must inform as much of the community as possible, not just the members of the community who like an organization.
The Cherokee One Feather is an unbiased public forum that is mandated by law to provide unfiltered (to the limits of public decency) information free from political manipulation. The editors and staff of the One Feather have fought for the right to provide the community that kind of media coverage for a half century. Some elected officials realize the importance of that mission and support it in word and deed; others do not. Education is an ongoing process and requires determination and diligence. The more information we provide the public, the better our chances of maintaining a news source that is a legitimate free press.
I hope that you will submit your information to us and make it a habit. Put the Cherokee One Feather’s email addresses on your organization’s e-blast list (, firstname.lastname@example.org, email@example.com). Let us help you inform the public about your organization. The better they understand you, the more the community will respond and interact with you. We will work with you to make the Qualla Boundary and surrounding communities a better place to live and prosper.