Please join Laura Waterman Wittstock on Wednesday, July 25th as she and Gary Fife talk about the pioneering days of American Indian radio news and distribution across the U.S.An enrolled member of the Muscogee Creek Nation of Oklahoma, and of Cherokee heritage, Gary D. Fife is a career veteran of journalism, with 30 years of experience in print, radio and television.
He has specialized in national Native and governmental affairs, spending 11 years in the Nations' Capital. From Washington, D.C., Fife moved to Minneapolis, MN, with work with "First Person Radio", the nation's pioneer Native radio newsmagazine. While in the Twin Cities, Fife produced a local community radio show, and produced and hosted a public affairs television program. He served as Editor of the monthly newspaper published by the Minneapolis Indian Center. In that role, Fife supplied both the news coverage and served to lay out and produce the entire periodical.
He moved to Alaska and founded another Native radio first, --the first Native weekday radio news service, "National Native News". At its peak, National Native News was carried on 181 public radio stations, across the country. During Fifes' tenure, the service won eight national awards in its first seven years with an unprecedented and unequalled sweep of the radio news awards at the 1993 NAJA awards competition. National Native News began national carriage with National Public Radio, and was later switched to American Public Radio.
In the field of commercial TV, Fife was hired as Correspondent for the KTVA-TV newsmagazine, "Inside Alaska", covering Alaska‘s people and issues. In that first year of experience, he garnered three statewide and one national honor. Fife won three awards from the Alaska Press Club, and took First Place in the Best TV News Story competition at the Native American Journalists Association competition.
In his career, Fife has numerous awards in National and State press competitions, 3 Legislative Citations from the State of Alaska and the Governor’s Community Service Medal. In 1985, he was the first Native American recipient of a Ford Fellowship in Educational Journalism. He has held an internship on the national desk of National Public Radio.