CPB awards $936,000 grant to fund Alaska Desk journalism collaboration

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The Corporation for Public Broadcasting (CPB) has awarded a $936,000 grant to Alaska Public Media to lead the Alaska Desk, a statewide collaboration among public media stations, designed to strengthen and expand their local news services, particularly for rural communities.

“Alaska’s public media stations provide a critical lifeline for many rural and Alaska Native communities, who depend on them as their sole source of news and public affairs coverage,” said Ed Ulman, president of Alaska Public Media in Anchorage. “Roughly 80% of Alaska’s communities cannot be reached by road, which means that information access is critical to making everyday decisions in remote areas, where resources can be costly to obtain.”

The two-year grant will help fund four reporters based at public media stations throughout the state, three shared editors, as well as travel and equipment. The shared staff will increase the journalism capacity of public media television and radio stations in the state and will also support a full-time development officer, who will pursue additional funding sources to sustain local journalism.

“In just the last several years, CPB has invested more than $1.5 million to advance collaboration among Alaska public media stations, increase the numbers of editors and raise the caliber of their fact-based reporting,” said Patricia Harrison, president and CEO of CPB. “This additional support of $936,000 to Alaska Public Media will further strengthen the important public media information lifeline across the state.”

Locally owned and operated public media stations in Alaska have a solid track record of working together. For years, they have distributed a daily weekday newscast, “Alaska News Nightly,” featuring reporters across the state. They also share one of Alaska’s only full-time D.C. reporters, based in the U.S. Capitol in Washington, D.C., and employed by Alaska Public Media.

In the coming weeks, stations throughout the state will be able to apply to become Alaska Desk partners — and must commit to hosting a reporter and contributing their station’s share of the costs. A governance committee made up of station representatives would determine the editorial vision and strategic priorities for this shared resource.

About the Corporation for Public Broadcasting:

The Corporation for Public Broadcasting (CPB), a private, nonprofit corporation authorized by Congress in 1967, is the steward of the federal government’s investment in public broadcasting. It helps support the operations of more than 1,500 locally managed and operated public television and radio stations nationwide. CPB is also the largest single source of funding for research, technology, and program development for public radio, television, and related online services. For more information, visit www.cpb.org and follow us on FacebookLinkedIn and subscribe for email updates.

About Alaska Public Media:

Alaska Public Media (AKPM) is a shared Public Broadcasting System (PBS) and National Public Radio (NPR) member and a 501(c)(3) organization. Committed to meeting the needs of our community and state, AKPM produces and presents news and content that provides lifelong learning opportunities in public affairs, health and leisure, science and nature, economic and social development, civic engagement and world events. The company is located in Southcentral Alaska and is comprised of KSKA radio, KAKM-TV, Create TV, PBS KIDS, PBS KIDS 24/7, and alaskapublic.org. Alaska Public Media also operates the Statewide News network and a shared television service with KTOO in Juneau and KYUK in Bethel.

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