The head of the Osage Nation, a tribe located in northern Oklahoma, issued an executive order last week declaring the tribal newspaper, the Osage News, independent of the government. According to the Associated Press, the paper came close to losing its funding last year over its critical reporting on Osage officials.
Principal Chief Jim Gray issued the order, he wrote, "to provide for a tribally operated press which promotes the free flow of information by accurately portraying facts in a air and balanced way without interference by the Executive Branch of Government." He said the paper would "report without bias the activities of the government and the news of interest to foster a more informed Osage citizenry" and foster free speech and free press rights under the tribal constitution.
Gray also created an editorial council, consisting of a News editor and other appointees with "demonstrable professional credentials in the field of journalism", to oversee "the operation of a free press."