Journalism Students to Honor Zenger Award Winner

Tom Arviso Jr., who has spearheaded press freedoms for American Indian newspapers, will be honored in a traditional ceremony on Oct. 19.
Oct. 13, 2009
Traditional ceremony honoring publisher Tom Arviso Jr.
Monday, Oct. 19, at 5:30 p.m.
Alumni Plaza, UA Mall.
Tom Arviso
Tom Arviso

The publisher of the "Navajo Times," the newspaper of the Navajo Nation, will be honored at a traditional celebration ceremony sponsored by the student chapter of the Native American Journalists Association in the University of Arizona's School of Journalism.

The ceremony, which will include the Ha:san Traditional Singers from the Ha:san Preparatory and Leadership School and an elder from the Tohono O'odham Nation, will be held on Monday, Oct. 19, at 5:30 p.m. at the Alumni Plaza in front of the Administration Building on the UA Mall.

The ceremony will honor Tom Arviso Jr., who was awarded the John Peter and Anna Catherine Zenger Award from the UA School of Journalism and the Arizona Newspapers Foundation earlier this month. Arviso won for his efforts in promoting freedom of the press and information in the Navajo Nation and among other tribes.

Arviso has battled with tribal officials over editorial control of the Navajo Times. When the paper criticized a tribal chairman in the late 1980s, according to a story in the Navajo Times, he received bomb threats and hate mail and his car was vandalized.

"Tom is a respected elder to our journalism students and others who care about accurate storytelling among tribes," said Assistant Professor Kevin R. Kemper, who also advises the NAJA chapter. "This ceremony gives native peoples an opportunity to celebrate this wonderful accomplishment."

The ceremony is part of a two-day visit by Arviso to the school, where he will lecture in classes and visit with students, faculty and staff.

He won the Zenger Award at the annual meeting of the Arizona Newspapers Association on Oct. 10 in Phoenix.

All are invited to the UA ceremony, but RSVPs are appreciated.  Those wanting to RSVP or who have questions may contact Kemper at, 520-621-9680, or NAJA chapter president Candace Begody at