Following up on his piece during yesterday's Morning Edition about the Lakota high school students who've had enough with negative stereotypes, reporter Jim Kent gave 'This is NPR' a behind-the-scenes take on how he approaches stories like this one and what he's learned in the process.
Getting to Know a Place and the People:
"You need to spend time, as you do anywhere, with any reporting assignment. You might have good intentions, but you just can't show up. I'm not an expert, but there was a time where I was spending 3-5 days a week on the reservation. The point is I have spent time here."
Impressed by the Students:
"It's great when kids speak up. One of the students I talked with, Feather Rae Colombe, said, 'I can't believe I'm being interviewed like this. I've always wanted the opportunity to say things to the world.'"
Breaking Down Stereotypes:
"Native Americans are just like everyone else; they have problems like we all do. The town of Mission is like any other small town in the USA. The point they want us to know is that it's not "The Reservation," it's just a small town."