The People’s Newspaper
Jan. 9, 2021 : With Blue Chalk Media
Next Project: Big Dreams in Umatilla →
The Navajo Nation has been hit hard by the pandemic. Access to information during this frightening time “is a matter of life or death,” says Tom Arviso Jr., long-time publisher of the Navajo Times.
This film, produced in partnership with the Pulitzer Center, embeds with this newsroom and the handful of reporters who cover their community. It’s a demanding task, as the 150,000 people of the Navajo Nation live spread over three states crisscrossed by 18,000 miles of mostly unpaved roads. Cell service is unreliable and 40% have no internet access.
For many on the reservation, the arrival of the weekly newspaper, often days after it is published, is their only way to keep up with life on their land. Established in 1959, the Navajo Times was the first Native newspaper to get its independence from its tribal government and has a long-standing reputation of acting as a watchdog for its community. Perhaps more than any other newspaper, its dwindling circulation could leave many with very little knowledge of what occurs on their land.
By embedding with Navajo journalists, we tell the stories of people who maintain the crucial, but fragile, informational links that hold together a culturally strong community spread over an enormous space with limited digital connectedness.
The full documentary is now available to watch on The New Yorker website.
- Eléonore Léo Hamelin, Director / Producer
- Torsten Kjellstrand, Producer / Still Photography
- Rob Finch, Producer / Editorial Supervisor
- Jason Greene, Director of Photography
- José Márquez, Editor
- Sakya Lucky Salsoyas, Assistant Camera/Second Camera
- Whitney Bradshaw, Assistant Editor
- Aubrey Moore, Assistant Editor
- Emma Decker, Assistant Editor
- Conner Lee, Graphics
- Miró Merrill, Graphics
- Greg Moyer, Executive Producer
- Pam Huling, Executive Producer
- Sebastián Weinberg, Head of Production
- Amy Polansky, Head of Post-Production
- Soo-Jeong Kang, Supervising Producer (The New Yorker)
- Brian Redondo, Senior Editor (The New Yorker)
- Sara Joe Wolansky, Supervising Producer (The New Yorker)
- The Navajo Times, Special Thanks
- Tom Arviso, Jr., Special Thanks
- Duane Beyal, Special Thanks
- Donovan Quintero, Special Thanks
- Arlyssa Becenti, Special Thanks
- Clarita Jim, Special Thanks
- Everyone who welcomed us into their lives and their homes, Special Thanks
- Original Cinematography
- Original Still Photography
- 2021 American Indian Film Festival, Official Selection
- 2021 Davey Awards, General-Documentary for Online Film & Video, Silver Award
- 2021 W3 Awards, General Video-Documentary, Long Form for Video, Gold Award
- 2022 McMinnville Short Film Festival, Official Selection
- 2022 McMinnville Short Film Festival, SHAWASH ILIHI AWARD for Best Native American Film