Reach, Representation and Respect: Recommendations to Improve Relations Between Indigenous Communities and Local News in Colorado

  • COLab is an independent, nonprofit, statewide journalism coalition, media resource hub, and ideas lab. We serve all Coloradans by strengthening high-quality local journalism, supporting civic engagement, and ensuring public accountability.

  • CMP's mission is to better meet the information needs of all Coloradans, by acting as a catalyst and advocate for innovations that make Colorado's local news ecosystem more sustainable, collaborative, and accountable to the public it serves. CMP develops partnerships and programs designed to increase newsroom capacity, support collaboration, and engage community in the journalism that strengthens our democracy.

  • Mountain West News Bureau is a regional collaboration of public media stations serving the Rocky Mountain States of Colorado, Idaho, Nevada, New Mexico, Utah and Wyoming, founded by Boise State Public Radio and funded in part by Corporation for Public Broadcasting.

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The Voices Initiative began in January of 2021 as a community organizing project of the nonprofit Free Press, Colorado Media Project (CMP) and the Colorado News Collaborative (COLab). It was then called News Voices: Colorado. 

While the name and some of the players have changed, the larger goal remains the same: reshaping a relationship among local newsrooms and communities of color in which predominantly white newsrooms wield near unilateral power over whose stories they tell, when they tell them and how. The result has been news coverage that, at best, has sidelined and silenced communities of color, shaping how they see themselves and how they are seen. At worst, irresponsible and inaccurate coverage has perpetrated harmful stereotypes with real-world consequences for these communities’ health, safety and overall well-being.

The Indigenous Voices working group developed four key recommendations, detailed in its report, “Reach, Representation and Respect: Recommendations to improve relations between Indigenous communities and local news in Colorado.”

Please see the report below, or click here for a PDF version.

To receive more information about the Voices Initiative, email COLab.

To read the recommendations from the Black Voices working group, click here. To read the recommendations from the Latinx Voices working group, click here. To read the recommendations from the Asian, South Asian, Native Hawaiian and Pacific Islander Voices working group, click here.