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Muscogee voters consider changing the tribe’s constitution through freedom of the press | Government and politics

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“If they have the opportunity to revoke it because of coverage that doesn’t suit them, there’s always the possibility that that revocation will be repeated.”

Landsberry-Baker was also a member of the editorial committee when it was disbanded in 2018. In addition to acting as a firewall between the tribal government and the newsroom on content issues, the editorial board is responsible for overseeing Mvskoke Media’s operations, including reviewing newsroom budget requests before they are forwarded for final approval.

Changing the constitution would not change those commitments, she said.

“That wouldn’t mean Mvskoke Media will have an unlimited budget,” said Landsberry-Baker. “You would still be an independent agency that needs to get its budget approved.

“There are many other examples within the tribe of independent agencies that have the same structure and are doing so successfully, including our electoral board and the College of the Muscogee Nation.”

If approved, the Muscogee Nation would be the first tribe to specifically include press protection in its constitution. A handful of other tribes across the country have independent press statutes in place, including the Osage and Cherokee nations.

To be accepted, the proposed amendment must receive at least two thirds of the votes cast. Should the change fail, the tribe’s current Independent Press Act would remain in effect.

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