The RevContent Local Reporting Award recognizes local reporting projects or articles that significantly impacted their community.
This year’s winner was Verified News Network in Oklahoma. VNN’s investigative work brings important information and stories to light about the Native American community in Oklahoma directly from the Indigenous perspective.
RevContent, a content marketing and native advertising marketing platform, created the award to recognize local journalism efforts.
In May of 2022, VNN Oklahoma began working with Lucinda Hickory Research Institute to investigate this Allotment Era crime and injustice. The collaborative investigative series “Stealing Tvlse” shares the truth of Allotment Era wrongdoing and its modern-day repercussions through half a dozen family stories of Lucinda Hickory Research Institute Founder Tatianna Duncan.
Much of the wrongdoing VNN reported is not easily, if at all, accessible in online databases. The bulk of the historical evidence exists through hard-copy court records, particularly probate cases, as well as newspaper clippings, financial records such as Individual Indian Money accounts, handwritten letters and Indian Boarding School records.
Together, VNN and LHRI have slowly begun to make this research public and help local community members learn more about their own family history. They have helped the greater community understand the causation of generational trauma that still persists today. Most importantly, they are ensuring these stories are being told from the Indigenous perspective, strengthening voices that have been silenced for too long.
“Many impressive submissions were received, but VNN’s stood out based on the thoroughness of the research, in-depth storytelling, and extensive use of multimedia,“ said Mike Cassetta, vice president of business development, RevContent.
“Our collaborative series is a necessary step in documenting and sharing Oklahoma’s untold history, the impacts of which still affect many communities today. We are grateful for this award to expand our work,” said Brittany Harlow, director and lead journalist, Verified News Network.