ICT (formerly Indian Country Today) has a 40-year history as a leading organization covering Indigenous people and issues. The organization relaunched as a nonprofit in 2018 and delivers news through a digital news site and a weekday broadcast that airs on public television stations.
The organization received a strategic planning grant from the American Journalism Project in 2021 to plan for expansion into new local markets, including building on its current efforts in Washington, D.C. and Alaska. ICT will use new funding from American Journalism Project in 2022 to build shared reporting relationships in seven communities throughout the U.S., with the ultimate goal of building local bureaus throughout the country.
When AJP first asked us to dream big with them, we told them about our grand design to build a network of bureaus across Native America. AJP’s significant investment over the next three years will help us create that network to reach more readers, viewers and listeners with stories about Indigenous peoples and their issues."
Karen Michel, president/CEO of IndiJ Public Media, which publishes ICTnews.org and produces “ICT Newscast with Aliyah Chavez.”
Karen Michel is president, CEO and chairman of the board of IndiJ Public Media, a nonprofit news organization that covers the Indigenous world through a digital news site and a weekday newscast. Based in Madison, Wisconsin, Michel leads the business operations of the company, which owns Indian Country Today, located in Phoenix, Arizona. Previously she served as publisher and editor of Madison Magazine and is a past board president of the Wisconsin Center for Investigative Journalism. She is a former executive editor of The Daily Advertiser in Lafayette, Louisiana, and a former assistant managing editor of the Green Bay Press-Gazette. Michel started in newspapers at the La Crosse Tribune and went on to The Dallas Morning News. She has written extensively about Native American issues as a freelancer and was a columnist for The New York Times Syndicate. She is past president of the Native American Journalists Association and is a member of the Ho-Chunk Nation. In June 2021, she became a member of the Friends of PBS Wisconsin Board.
Trahant leads the Indigenous Economics Project, a comprehensive look at Indigenous economics, including the economic impact of climate change. Trahant was hired to revive ICT after it went out of business in 2017. The success has been phenomenal. The digital site now reaches 700,000 people a month and the broadcast is carried on two dozen public television stations. Trahant is a member of the American Academy of Arts and Sciences and has held endowed chairs at the University of North Dakota and University of Alaska Anchorage. He is a citizen of the Shoshone-Bannock Tribes.
Jourdan Bennett-Begaye is the editor of Indian Country Today. She is Diné. She taught journalism, video production and theater in New Mexico, where the student population was predominantly Navajo. She completed the Newhouse Minorities Fellowship at the S.I. Newhouse School of Public Communications at Syracuse University in New York. She has worked for a wide variety of news organizations, including Native Peoples Magazine, Fan First, MediaShift, The Daily Times, NAJA’s Native Voices News, National Public Radio, Syracuse.com, The Post-Standard. She also co-founded the Survival of the First Voices, an art and media organization for Native youth.