Reporter’s Checklist

Only two pages! Stick it in your back pocket or purse! Don’t leave the newsroom without it! (Click a question, to magically transport yourself to the long version.)

At The Desk

Have you checked an Aboriginal news website, or Aboriginal colleagues in your newsroom, for story ideas?

Are you looking beyond pow-wows, cultural gatherings, and National Aboriginal Day for story ideas?

Do you have a database of Aboriginal contacts, and a banking system to catalog research and ideas for future stories?

Is there a way to include Aboriginal people in your “non-Aboriginal” stories?

What are Aboriginal people saying on Facebook and Twitter about this topic?

Have you to found a new angle, or brainstormed a different treatment?

Have you considered whether your story falls into a common stereotype of Aboriginal people in the news?

Is your newsroom telling range of stories about Aboriginal people, and striking a balance between “bad news” and “good news?”

Can you do your research in person, rather than over the phone?

Have you practiced the Sacred Indian Handshake?

In the Field

Are you making allowances for “Indian Time?” in your schedule?

Have you requested permission to film or photograph a ceremony?

Have you asked your Aboriginal host whether to bring a gift for an interview subject, and if so, what type?

Does your newsroom have an ethics policy about accepting small gifts and keepsakes, or an invitation to eat in a home or at a feast?

What are cultural protocols about naming, or using the image of, a deceased person in this Aboriginal community?

Are you aware of your biases when interpreting facial cues (such as eye contact)?

If you’re interviewing an elder, are you allowing for extra time? Are you bringing a “gift” as sign of respect?

Did you ensure the interviewee understands your expectations before the interview?

Are you consulting a variety of sources in the Aboriginal community?

In a conflict situation, are you asking questions that may reveal common ground?

How will you include Aboriginal people as “problem-solvers” in your story?

Have you looked for humour to illustrate a point about the Aboriginal community?

How will you include Aboriginal people in a substantive way in your story? Are non-Aboriginal people the only ones you’ve interviewed?

Are you thinking of ways to fit in context and history about Aboriginal peoples, with graphics, sidebars, or web extras?

On the Air

Have you addressed the “Native-Aboriginal-First Nations-Indigenous Person” question, by asking the Aboriginal people you’re reporting on which term they prefer?

Did you confirm spelling or pronunciation of any words in an Aboriginal language?

Did you ensure the Aboriginal people you’ve interviewed see, read, or hear your story?

Did you offer your story subjects a transcript of interviews or a copy of raw footage?

Did you act in a respectful manner?