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The Arizona Republic receives SPJ New America Award for Navajo Housing project


Abbi Martzall, SPJ Events Coordinator, 317-920-4791, amartzall@spj.org
Rachel Semple, SPJ Communications Coordinator, 317-920-4785, rsemple@spj.org

INDIANAPOLIS — The Society of Professional Journalists is happy to recognize The Arizona Republic as the recipient of the New America Award.

The New America Award honors journalism that sheds light on important issues of immigrant or ethnic communities in the United States.

“To Build a Home: The Navajo Housing Tragedy” focuses on the housing crisis of the Navajo nation and money that has been wasted and not spent by the tribe’s housing agency. Though the tribe and its housing authority have received more than $1.6 billion since 1998 dedicated to providing new housing, in the past eight years, only 543 homes have been built.

“The Arizona Republic performed a significant public service by exposing how the Navajo housing program wasted millions, including a 90-unit subdivision that was ultimately bulldozed without ever providing a home for anyone. The series also provided possible solutions through the example of tribes that apparently have adequately managed their housing funds” said the judges’ comments. “In journalism, we are often taught to ‘follow the money,’ but when it comes to the Navajo Housing Tragedy this trail can lead to nowhere. The Arizona Republic’s investigation into $1.6 billion dollars earmarked for housing highlights the misuse and squandering of over $100 million for nonexistent homes. This important series shows how journalism has a direct impact on the citizenry it serves and how it can bring about direct change.”

The full series can be read here.

The New America Award is celebrating 12 years of honoring work focused on immigrant or ethnic communities. This year’s recipients will be honored at the SPJ President’s Installation Banquet on Saturday, Sept. 9 during the Excellence in Journalism 2017 conference in Anaheim, Calif.
Find the details about the New America Award, including past recipients, here.

Thank you to this year's judges.

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