Muscogee Creek Nation repeals Free Press Act

Posted at 6:49 PM, Nov 09, 2018
and last updated 2018-11-09 19:49:55-05

Free press in the Muscogee Creek Nation is now in jeopardy after the nation’s council voted to repeal the Free Press Act passed in 2015.

If the new bill is signed into law, the tribal government would determine what stories are covered if they are even covered at all.

Before the Free Press Act was repealed Thursday, Mvskoke Media worked as an independent entity without influence from tribal government.

Now the media falls under the Secretary of the Nation of Commerce, meaning the sovereign government has a say in what the media group reports.

"The officials could start reviewing the report before it goes out, but at the very least, it gives them much more control in process," said Sterling Cosper, former Mvskoke Media Manager.

Cosper, who resigned Thursday,said he is proud of his tribe and knows it’s their right to make these changes.

"I think it’s just this second go-around is the tribe exploring it’s rights," Cosper said. "It has sovereignty to decide what’s best for it."

But he has questions about why they would want potentially censor tribal news coverage.

"We’re journalists. It’s the good, the bad and the ugly. And the best representation we can get you from the outside looking in.

2 Works for You reached out via email and by phone to Adam Jones III who introduced the bill and the co-sponsor Pete Beaver but never heard back.

2 Works for You also reached out to co-sponsor James Jennings who told us, 'No comment.'

We also reached out to Principal Chief James Chief Floyd, but did not hear back.

It’s also unclear whether or not Chief Floyd signed the bill into law.

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