Feb 21, 2012 8:40 AM by Breanna Roy (KPAX News)
MISSOULA - Journalist Jodi Rave found a hole in the World Wide Web.
"There are very few spaces or places on the Internet that you can get a good sense of what's happening across Indian Country," Rave said.
So, she created one by advancing her already-popular personal blog, "Buffalo's Fire" to a full-blown website, complete with categories, columnists and news specifically about American Indians.
"We don't have any daily newspapers, so we really do need this sort of venue to see what's happening on other reservations in urban environments," Rave said.
The website does the work for the readers as an aggregator combs through hundreds of mainstream media and tribal news websites daily to find the stories relevant to Native America. The headlines are listed on Buffalo's Fire with a link to the story.
Rave said this website helps feed a strong hunger for news in Indian Country.
"American Indians have never been reflected thoroughly or fully or wholly in the mainstream press and that was one of the reasons why I had even went to journalism school because I wanted to tell those stories," Rave said. "This website has given me an opportunity to do that."
Rave worked for years as a reporter and columnist at the Missoulian specializing in Native American coverage. She left the newspaper to write a book on land management and Eloise Cobell's lawsuit.
Once out of the newsroom, she felt herself searching for news from Native America. When she couldn't find a cohesive website, she decided to create one that she would like to read.
Buffalo's Fire has been Rave's top priority for the past three months and the platform will also allow her to contribute to her followers with more frequent columns.
"I continually get phone calls and emails from people wanting me to write stories yet," Rave said.
She has also invited other top Indian Country experts to share their views on Buffalo's Fire on a regular basis as columnists.
"That's the value of this opinion section," Rave said. "Getting stories that we might not otherwise hear."
Rave hopes by ensuring a place for Indian Country News, she encourages an online conversation on the issues.
"Two years ago this site looked absolutely different than if you log onto Buffalo's Fire today. I'm really anxious and looking forward to seeing what this site is going to look like," she said. "I expect it to be a much more sophisticated website in two years. This is just one more stepping stone to, I think, something that we're creating that will be really spectacular."
The website is already live, but Rave and the Buffalo's Fire team will officially launch it during the Reservation Economic Summit and American Indian Business Trade Fair in Las Vegas on February 29th.
Click here to visit the Buffalo's Fire website.