The conventional wisdom holds that mainstream news reporting about American Indians and tribal governments is disproportionately negative. The Score is an attempt to test whether that assumption holds true in Wyoming. To make things simple, we lump stories into three broad categories based on overall story tone and content: “positive,” “negative” and “neutral.” We provide an ongoing tally of the numbers, as well as headlines and publication sources for each story included in The Score. News from sports sections and police blotters is not included in The Score.
Today’s tally: 55 positive, 60 neutral, and 80 negative stories about American Indians and tribal governments in the Wyoming news media since Oct. 9, 2011. Here are headlines for the week of March 25-31, 2012:
- “Commission district changes pared to two options” The Ranger (updating a story about ongoing American Indian voting rights litigation). NEU.
- “Northern Arapaho Tribe wins right to capture two bald eagles” Wyoming Public Media (updating a story about ongoing efforts to obtain eagle take permit for religious purposes). POS.
- “Native Americans in Wyoming have high numbers of HIV/AIDs cases” Wyoming Public Media (reporting on the prevalence of HIV/AIDs among the American Indian population in Wyoming). NEG.
- “Two men sentenced to prison in beating death of Ethete man last August; both entered guilty pleas” County 10 (updating a story about the beating death of an Ethete man). NEG.
- “Riverton, WRIR events planned for Wyoming Veterans Welcome Home Day this Friday” County 10 (reporting on events to honor reservation veterans). POS.
- “Fort Washakie men charged with assault” KDLY/KOVE (reporting on recent charges against two reservation men). NEG.
- “Fetus case closed; foul play ruled out“ The Ranger (updating a story about a fetus abandoned in a reservation outhouse). NEG.
- “Fort Washakie man charged in federal court” KDLY/KOVE (reporting on recent charges against a reservation man). NEG.
- “FBI says Surrell attacked officer with knife” rivertonradio.com (updating a story about federal charges against a reservation man). NEG.
- “Wyoming tribe blasts bald eagle permit” Associated Press (updating a story about the Northern Arapaho tribe’s efforts to secure authority to take bald eagles for sacred religious ceremonies). NEU.
- “Tribes await Supreme Court’s healthcare verdict” Wyoming Public Media (reporting how the U.S. Supreme Court’s decision on the federal health care legislation could affect Wyoming tribes). NEU.
- “Wind River Tribal Youth Program blends prevention, treatment, tradition” Casper Star-Tribune (reporting on a substance abuse program). POS.
- “Gallery: sweat lodge on the Wind River Reservation” Casper Star-Tribune (featuring images of a ceremonial sweat used to fight substance abuse). POS.
- “Board, community meet to discuss school unification” Wind River News (updating a story on proposed school changes in Fort Washakie and Arapahoe). NEU.