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Tim Giago: South Dakota press censors Indian writers

"I am censored from writing for the [Rapid City] Journal by its publisher Bill Masterson because I had the audacity to criticize his newspaper at a journalism conference at Crazy Horse Memorial a couple of years ago. I admit that I was harsh in my criticism, but I believe deservedly so

What does that say about freedom of the press or of freedom of expression in South Dakota? Having been the editor and publisher of newspapers such as The Lakota Times and Indian Country Today, papers I started because of the censorship of Indian writers in South Dakota, I know of what I speak.

There were some Indian people I do not like, people who viciously, verbally and physically, attacked me personally and my newspaper, but if these same people wrote an article or did something that was newsworthy, it went into my newspapers. I did not censor them because I did not like them. To me it was what they had to say that mattered not whether I agreed with them or not.

The only conclusion I can draw from this is that Indian editors and journalists better understand the meaning of freedom of the press and expression than do their white colleagues simply because they have been on the receiving end of mass media censorship for so many years."

Get the Story:
Tim Giago: Freedom of the press falls on lean times (The Native American Times 5/9)

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