By: Press Release
RAPID CITY, S.D. – Tim Giago, Editor/Publisher of Native Sun News will put down his pen and retire from the newsroom April 1, three years to the day after he launched this “last and final newspaper.” He will remain on the newspapers masthead as Editor Emeritus, as he moves on to, “finish the book I have been writing all my life.”
“I always knew this day would come, but I never really prepared for it. I was always too busy making deadlines and anticipating the next breaking news story. I was that kind of editor who always tried to squeeze one last story into the paper before putting it to bed. I always jumped with joy whenever I beat my competitors with a great, breaking story and wrung my hands in anguish when they did the same to me,” Giago said in his weekly editorial.
The 76 year old Oglala Lakota’s career in journalism, which he once referred to as the “life of Kings” began as a result of an order when he was serving in the U.S. Navy.
“It happened by accident in the beginning. One day I was at my desk at the San Francisco Naval Shipyard typing a report when the commanding officer happened by. He watched me for a minute and then came up to me and said, ‘You type really well. You are now the editor of the base newspaper, the PacHunter,'” he said. “After I was given that order I had to learn to put out a monthly newsletter by the seat of my pants.”
Giago’s career in journalism would eventually lead him to produce a weekly television show, launch three leading Indian newspapers, publish five books and win numerous journalism awards.
“No other Indian can tout or equal the influence Giago has had in the field of journalism in Indian Country. In fact he can probably be attributed for coining the term “Native Journalism” which brought to the forefront controversial issues that other newspapers wouldn’t touch,” said Ernestine Chasing Hawk, managing editor of Native Sun News.
His passion for publicizing the Indian viewpoint and opening his own newspaper began when he worked as a reporter for the Rapid City Journal.
“What really got me going is the job I took at the Rapid City Journal as a reporter and my frustration at working at a newspaper that never really used its resources to cover Indian country. It was from that experience I started the Lakota Times in 1981. Believe it or not I got a lot of support and help from the Journal’s editor, Jim Kuehn and the managing editor, Jim Carrier,” he said.
Since that time Giago has tackled some of the most controversial issues including unmasking a conspiracy of denial in the issue of Catholic clerical child abuse in Indian boarding schools.
During his publishing career he has spawned an entire generation of new Native American journalists including, “Avis Little Eagle, publisher of the Teton Times, Amanda Takes War Bonnet, former publisher of the Lakota Country Times, Konnie LeMay, Duluth (Minn.) Magazine, Joan Morrison, staff writer with the Duluth newspaper, Jerry Reynolds, who went on to work with Indian Country Today, Ernestine Chasing Hawk who is still with me, and so many others that worked in production, printing and advertising sales that are still in those jobs today.”