New Alaska Town Has What Many Cities Lack: Competing Newspapers

By: (AP) Nine months after it was incorporated as a second-class city, Gustavus can boast of a media offering not found in larger communities: a pair of newspapers.

The first issue of The Fairweather Reporter, published by retired state employee Carolyn Edelman, showed up in kiosks this month. The February issue is about to go to print.

The Reporter joins Icy Passages, published by Chris Spute since December 1993. After a 10-month hiatus due to computer problems, a new issue of Icy Passages came out in mid-January.

Both newspapers are monthly and have circulations of about 250. The first issue of the Reporter was eight pages, advertisement-free. The January issue of Icy Passages was 24 pages, with ads.

Gustavus is a community of more than 450 about 48 miles northwest of Juneau on the north shore of Icy Passage. It is surrounded by Glacier Bay National Park and Preserve on three sides.

Edelman hopes to sell advertisements if she gets a good response from the first issues. She is not trying to compete with Icy Passages, she said.

"We get the [Juneau] Empire over here, and people generally look for national news on the Web or they've got Dish TV," Edelman said. "When you have a monthly paper, you can't try to write the real current stuff that people need. So what I'm going for has to do with city news and school news."

Edelman transmits her stories to a printer in Juneau by e-mail and an air carrier flies the papers back.


No comments on this item Please log in to comment by clicking here