'A shame' By David Lias There are thousands of television and newspaper journalists in the United States.
Fewer than 300 of them are Native American.
That, according to Al Neuharth, founder of USA TODAY, is a shame.
Neuharth, who also created the Freedom Forum located in the Al Neuharth Media Center on the campus of USD, addressed students Monday who are participating in the fifth annual American Indian Journalism Institute in Vermillion.
�It�s a shame that so many feel that Native Americans shouldn�t get the same attention as other minorities,� Neuharth said.
He added that Native American journalists must actively seek mainstream media opportunities to truly make a difference.
They will discover, he said, that there is a place for them.
�We (the news industry) can�t appeal to a diverse audience without diversity in the newsroom,� Neuharth said. �We have to have staffs that have backgrounds and understanding of other cultures if we are truly going to report about them.�
He urged the young women and men taking part in this year�s institute to keep their passion for reporting alive.
�We all face obstacles in our careers,� Neuharth said. �What you need to do is create your own opportunities.�
�I think it is important to have diverse staffs in every field of media,� Neuharth added. �The objective of everybody in this business is to get the maximum number of people reading your paper, or tuning in to your radio or TV station.�