In December, the Ak-Chin O’odham Runner newspaper celebrated 30 years of bringing news and information to the Ak-Chin Indian Community.
Ak-Chin Indian Community members recognized this occasion on December 7 during a private event held at the Masik Tas carnival. The following day’s celebration was held at the Service Center and was open to all Ak-Chin Indian Community employees.
The celebration included a short film documentary, with current and former Ak-Chin Tribal Council members and employees of the Ak Chin O’odham Runner discussing the newspaper’s history. The documentary discussed how news used to travel among the villages before the newspaper began publication in 1987.
The Ak Chin O’odham Runner began as a newsletter, the size of a regular piece of copy paper, and the first editor was Ruth Ann Simmons. Early issues showed that the Ak Chin O’odham Runner contained announcements and schedules for community events and services. It was first published as a tabloid newsprint in March 1987 and began featuring photos then, too. Today, the newspaper is formatted to broadsheet newsprint, which started in November 2014.
The Ak Chin O’odham Runner offers stories about community events, education, sports, tournament competitions and winners, profiles of community leaders and residents, news about community enterprises, advertisements from local businesses, and more.
During the anniversary celebration, printed front pages from previous issues of the Ak Chin O’odham Runner were posted throughout the Service Center. Employees could read about moments from Ak-Chin Indian Community history, including the opening of Harrah’s Ak-Chin Casino, when the Service Center was remodeled, or when the Ak Chin O’odham Runner building burned down.
The Ak-Chin O’odham Runner is published on the first and third Friday of each month. Printed copies are delivered to all residents and departments of the Ak-Chin Indian Community, as well as surrounding community businesses, interested groups, and subscribers. Issues can also be viewed online.
Today’s newspaper is led by editor Raychel Peters and includes a team of three photojournalists, two graphic artists, and a news assistant. The Ak Chin O’odham Runner staff looks forward to several more years of highlighting news from the Ak-Chin Indian Community!
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