An important message to our loyal readers

It's no big secret that many newspapers throughout the nation took quite a wallop in the pocketbook last year. In fact, some of the largest newspapers in the nation - such as the 150-year-old Rocky Mountain News and the 139-year-old Tucson Citizen - were financially devastated to the point that they had to close their doors for good. Similarly, the Tutuveni, the Hopi Tribe's only newspaper, apparently met its fate when the Hopi Tribal Council elected not to fund the paper's continued operations late last year.

Citing a substantial budget shortfall, the Hopi Tribal Council made a number of cuts, including the Tutuveni. But adding insult to injury, a member of the Council added that he found the paper to be "ineffective," evidently not convinced that the publication of articles and photos, public announcements and advertisements from throughout the various Hopi villages since the 1970s warranted a little more graciousness.

Enter the Navajo-Hopi Observer (NHO). Since 1981, the NHO has been serving loyal readers across northeastern Arizona, including those on the Navajo and Hopi Indian Reservations, Flagstaff and now Winslow. Our somewhat informal "mission statement" says that items published in the NHO attempt to reflect and represent the unique lifestyles of our readers and their respective communities. This simply means that while you may not find any news articles about the latest celebrity gossip, you will find news and notes of importance to you.

It's somewhat astounding to think about the past 29 years that the NHO has been in existence (I've been here for a little over three of those years) and try to encapsulate everything in just a few paragraphs, but as I alluded to in our 25th anniversary issue, those topics pertaining to Native Americans - in particular, the Navajo and Hopi tribes - have been at the forefront of every issue, and it remains no different today. Everything that has occurred over the past 29 (going on 30) years has in its own unique way, shaped the NHO into what it has become; a valued source of information and a much-needed forum for the communities we represent.

Over the past three years, I have attempted to represent all communities and all faces from all walks of life to the best of my ability. During my tenure, we covered a gamut of topics including, but not limited to education, politics, environmental issues, sports, tribal news, local news, health and business, among many others. I believe we've covered our fair share of serious issues as well as the not-so-serious ones, but the bottom line is that the vast majority of our material comes from our readers and from the communities they live in.

So while one lone Hopi council member might dismiss the significance or "effectiveness" of what our loyal readers see as important news, you can rest assured that the NHO will continue to keep you covered as best as we possibly can.

In case you need a reminder, here is a brief overview of some of the many features we have available to our readers on the NHO Web site:

• Photo galleries: The photo galleries will feature all of those photos that didn't make it into the print edition due to space or other considerations. We will continue to feature sports photos as well as other events that continue to occur in our readership area. Keep checking back as we will continue to add photos of new events online. We do welcome contributions from our readers. If you'd like for us to consider for a photo gallery (such as fair, parade, sports, powwow or rodeo photos), send them in an e-mail to nhoeditorial@navajohopiobserver.com.

• Milestones: Have you had a new birth in your family? A wedding? An anniversary, perhaps? Readers are welcome to submit news about their family and community members to be featured in print and on our Web site in our Milestones section. We would like to receive announcements of births, engagements, weddings, military achievements, and educational accomplishments. As you know, this kind of news spreads quickly on the rez. Your neighbors want to know about your good news and so do we.

• Events calendar: Individuals, groups and organizations can submit their weekly "Quick Reads" through the Web site. The link is on the home page.

• Online poll question: Our Web site features a weekly poll question that is often related to a feature story in either our print or Web edition.

• Feature photo: Our Web site allows us to post a weekly feature photo that everyone who visits our Web site will be able to see.

• Masthead photo: One nice feature of our Web site includes a changing masthead photo that is located at the top of our home page. Each time the page reloads, the photo will change. We encourage readers to submit their favorite photos of Flagstaff, Winslow or of Navajo and Hopi lands.

• Video: The NHO Web site is now able to include video and dynamic photo galleries complete with sound and music.

As you can see, we have many exciting things for our readers to continue taking advantage of, including submissions of articles and photos for our weekly print issue.

For more information about making submissions or for other editorial inquiries, feel free to contact me at (928) 226-9696, ext. 5 or e-mail nhoeditorial@navajohopiobserver.com.

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