03 September 2006

This is appalling. NPR decides to shine a light on Western Alaska and what do they cover? The "Great" Bathtub Race, 2006. I realize this is a "diversion" but in a region with some of the highest unemployment, poverty, mortality (I could go on) rates in the country, they chose to represent the Seward Peninsula to the rest of the country by means of a minute-and-a-half meaningless race.

For the record, I took a call from an NPR producer on Friday. She was desperately looking for some sound to go with the story and had heard we cover the race live. We do, but only as a Labor Day diversion, which is what it is. We certainly don't record it. I told her this, conveyed feelings similar to those expressed in the previous paragraph, and told her I had plenty of ideas for good NPR stories if she was willing to exert a little effort. Anyway... that's probably why they interviewed Nancy McGuire and not me.

KNOM's defending last place team will make an appearance tomorrow at high noon on Front Street. This year, I hope the "Black Widow," as we call our rig, will make it through the entire race without falling apart.

1 comment:

Anonymous said...

You have to remember how the rest of the country sees Alaska. We're an oddity. Think of it this way, what do you think of when you think of Hawaii? Probably not social problems, Native issues and poverty. Same goes for Alaska. Just keep focusing on the issues important to your listeners and you can have a great positive impact on the Seward Peninsula region. The last time I was on NPR wa after 9/11 and they wanted to talk about how the flight ban w affecting the Y-K Delta. We spoke for 10 minutes about the inability to get food or to reach the hospital, but all they used was a 10 second snip about people not being able to get their booze from Anchorage. They will see what they want to see without ever coming North. Good luck.

Dillon/Alaskan Abroad