10 September 2006

Sticking up for Alaska media

There was some talk a few days back that no major Alaskan media sources were doing enough reporting and investigation into the FBI raid in connection with VECO. I somewhat agreed with it at the time with the knowledge that ADN probably sells more papers when the State Fair is on the cover, rather than a lengthy article about VECO.

But lately, I think, ADN has outdone itself. There's two substantial issues in the state right now - the shutdown of Prudhoe Bay and the VECO investigation.

On the former, there's this morning's article about hints of corrosion problems at Prudhoe Bay some years back:

Three times between early 2003 and late 2004, BP officials were warned that a "chilling atmosphere" made workers engaged in critical pipeline-corrosion work in the North Slope oil fields afraid to report environmental and safety concerns.
This is a well-written, informative, and deeply important piece of journalism, written, as near as I can tell, by an Alaskan journalist about an Alaskan issue.

On the VECO issue, there was that article the other day about the history of VECO's role in Alaskan politics, which I cannot now find. This was more reportorial than investigatory in nature but it was an important and informative piece of journalism that summarized a wide variety of important information into a read-able and accessible piece of work. There was also the piece about the effect the investigation is having on the Republican party. Also a solid piece of journalism.

I sometimes despair of the state of the news media in this country but Alaskan journalists have been doing a fine job lately.

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