Glittering Prizes

JUL 6, 2012 11:40am ET

It’s always nice to be recognized! One recent week brought tidings of two separate recognitions for National Mortgage News.

We have been named a finalist for an Azbee Award, for two editorials done in 2011. (Azbee is a homonym for the professional journalist group ASBPE, the American Society of Business Press Editors.) And we have been named winner of an award from the Native American Journalists Association, also for an editorial from 2011.

I won’t know about the Azbee Award until July 18, but there are four other finalists in that category so it looks like a horse race. It would be great to win but also, as they say, it’s an honor just to be a finalist. Wish us luck!

One of the editorials was on the $1 trillion of unfunded mortgage applications filed in 2010 (an amazing number, which was even higher in 2009) and the other was on an analysis of “CRA-type” lending by a group in North Carolina.

The NAJA Award is for the editorial “Up and Down” in the Feb. 28, 2011 edition (http://www.nationalmortgagenews.com/nmn_features/up-and-down-1023596-1.html).

The editorial took the administration and Congress to task for seesawing widely on the amount of money granted to tribes to support housing.

National Mortgage News has covered and editorialized about Native American mortgages since the mid 1990s, when a GAO report found only 91 private mortgages had been issued on all the Indian reservations in the country during a five year period (1992 through 1996). (Indian Country in aggregate is the size of Utah).

This pervasive redlining has been eased somewhat in recent years by the HUD 184 guaranteed Indian mortgage, which has generated 2000 mortgages on reservations and a total of 17,000 mortgages to American Indians nationwide, many of them in areas just adjacent to reservation boundaries.

NAJA was established in 1984 and succeeded two earlier groups of Native journalists who banded together for the purpose of advocacy against the federal government’s policy of “terminating” tribes’ legal status during the mid-1900s. It had 663 members as of 2008.

NAJA will give out its journalism awards at this year’s UNITY 12 conference in Las Vegas in August. UNITY is an every-four-year joint meeting of Asian American, Hispanic, Native American, and gay and lesbian journalists.


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