26 August 2006

No more pizza (or news!)

From time to time, I have submitted stories to Alaska Public Radio's weekly news magazine "AK." I've always enjoyed the process and done my best to step up to the challenge of making my stories of a slightly higher quality than the usual fodder for the daily news folder.

Now, I hear AK is getting cancelled, one of many changes coming to Alaska public media. At KNOM, we used the stringer fees from shows like AK to treat ourselves and the station staff to occasional parties and circular Italian tomato pies. Following the cancellation of Independent Native News earlier this summer, we now have no feasible pizza fund-raising strategy.

As difficult as this news is to take, I am far more disappointed by the cutbacks, particularly given the personal and professional relationships I have developed with many of the APRN staff. Particularly in a state the size of Alaska with frequent extreme weather events and a dispersed population, radio is vitally important. I have learned that from my own experience. APRN was (and will continue to be, I am sure) an important piece of that radio puzzle but if it continues to get its funding cut and find itself hamstrung, the results are not going to be pretty.

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