June 23, 2015
For Immediate Release:
Contact: Jessica Rustad
(402) 472-8607, jkinser@netad.unl.edu

Vision Maker Media Partners with FNX-San Bernardino, KCTS9-Seattle,
Rocky Mountain PBS, & WCNY-Syracuse to Offer Paid, College Internships
(Lincoln, Neb.): Vision Maker Media has signed with four Public Television stations to support paid internships for Native college students.

Vision Maker Media's Executive Director, Shirley K. Sneve (Rosebud Sioux) commented, "Providing experience for Native students in the media is vitally important to ensure that we can continue a strong tradition of digital storytelling. We are grateful for the support of local PBS stations in helping us achieve this goal."


During each of these 10-week internships, at least two short-form videos on local Native Americans, events, and/or issues for on-air or online distribution will be completed. 


Charles Perry (Prairie Band Potawatomi Nation) of Mayetta, Kan., and a student at Kansas University will be interning at First Nations Experience (FNX) in San Bernadino. He previously interned at Channel 6 in Lawrence, Kan., and the Native American Journalists Association (NAJA) in Santa Clara, Calif., and held multiple leadership positions with Haskell News, Haskell Indian Leader Newspaper, and NDNsports.com. 

"My people's issues are my paramount reason for becoming a journalist. Issues such as education, suicide, alcoholism, domestic abuse, and holding on to our cultural beliefs, are my upmost concern. Since my freshman year, I have written over 100 articles that incorporate these subjects and I'm dedicated to continuing to expand my media range to include visual multimedia," explained Charles. 

Dallas Pinkham (Yakama Nation/Southern Cheyenne) of Seattle, Wash., and a student at Bellevue College will be interning at KCTS9 in Seattle. He has participated and later mentored for Longhouse Media's SuperFly Filmmaking Workshop, which has garnered support from Vision Maker Media. His first documentary won "3rd Best Short Documentary" & "Best Youth Advocated Award" at the Hibulb Cultural Center Film Festival in 2013. 

"My elders told me all my life that our Native stories and history need to be told by our own Native people. My dream and passion is filmmaking. My experiences have taught me to be a self-starter, to be an energetic motivator, to use creative imagination, and to take initiative," said Dallas. 

Maurice Smith, II (Turtle Mountain Band of Chippewa) of Cloquet, Minn., who recently graduated from Cloquet Senior High School will be interning at Rocky Mountain PBS. He has participated in multiple media projects through his volunteerism, including serving as a production assistant for the American Indian Business Leaders Annual Conference. He has also created multiple short-form video projects for his high school's social media channels while serving as a student council member.

"I have lived in rural and urban Native communities. I have witnessed the similarities, differences, and commonalities of how media impacts and influences our individual perceptions, attitudes, and opinions about every aspect of our culture. I am choosing a career in media because it influences our culture and community, and it plays an important role in our daily lives as Native teenagers," commented Maurice. 

Rio Fernandes (Lower Elwha Klallam) of Sammamish, Wash., recently graduated from Washington State University and will be interning at WCNY in Syracuse, N.Y. He previously interned at King County TV where he served on the video editing team and created high-quality news packages for broadcast. Rio admires journalists because of their commitment to finding the truth and presenting it to the public.

"I'm working towards mixing my culture with my passion for multimedia journalism to give back to the Native American community that has given me so much. I want to inform the public of everything happening to Native Americans in our country--the triumphs and the tragedies, the highs and the lows," explained Rio. 

With major funding from the Corporation for Public Broadcasting (CPB), the purpose of these paid, Public Media internships is to increase the journalism and production skills for college students. One of the major goals of the internship is to increase the quantity and quality of media reporting available to Public Television audiences and other news outlets. If you're interested in funding internship opportunities, please email visionmaker@unl.edu or consider making a tax-deductible contribution to the Friends of Vision Maker Media at visionmakermedia.org/friends.

Vision Maker Media, a nonprofit 501(c)(3) which receives major funding from the Corporation for Public Broadcasting, shares Native stories with the world by advancing media that represents the experiences, values, and cultures of American Indians and Alaska Natives. Founded in 1977, Vision Maker Media is your premier source for quality Native American and Pacific Islander educational and home videos. All aspects of our programs encourage the involvement of young people to learn more about careers in the media--to be the next generation of storytellers. www.visionmakermedia.org.


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