TAHLEQUAH, Okla. (AP) -- Cherokee Chief Chad Smith announced Wednesday the appointment of the first member of an editorial board to oversee the Cherokee Advocate newspaper.
Pat Reeder, executive editor of the Claremore Daily Progress, was picked for the Cherokee Nation Editorial Board, a three-member panel to oversee the publication.
Smith signed a measure into law last month intending to free the tribe's newspaper from political interference after political control of it became an issue during a tribal dispute in 1997.
Reeder, a Cherokee, has worked at the Claremore newspaper for more than 30 years.
She was chosen partly because she asked tough questions during tribal elections, Smith said.
"We need somebody on the board with a strong reputation for integrity and ethics of good journalism," he said.
Editorial board members will serve staggered six-year terms. The tribal council will select a board member to serve with Reeder. The two board members will then select a third member, subject to the approval of the chief and the tribal council.
"In past administrations, it seemed like the paper was used as a house organ for the administration," Reeder said. "I loved the last issue of the Advocate because it didn't have a picture of the chief on every page."