ANCHORAGE – Today, Governor Dunleavy announced significant vetoes to Alaska’s operating budget while making clear his intent to use the State of Alaska CARES ACT funding to support many vital services including public radio and television stations in Alaska. This funding is particularly needed at a time when Alaskans are relying on their local public media organization to provide timely news and information concerning the Coronavirus pandemic and the economic challenges that have resulted to mitigate the spread of the virus. The statewide public radio and television network reaches more Alaskan households than any other news entity in Alaska. Revenue loss from other sources such as business underwriting and sponsorship means funds through the CARES ACT will be crucial to ensure the sustainability of locally owned and operated television and radio stations across Alaska.
“Alaska Public Media is committed to serving all Alaskans. During times of crisis, we have a responsibility to work with state, borough, and municipal governments to ensure the public has access to potentially life-saving information. This is such a time,” said, Ed Ulman, President & CEO of Alaska Public Media. “Whether it’s an earthquake, wildfire, or pandemic, Alaskans’ especially in remote parts of the state, need to know how to keep their families safe. We intend to collaborate with the governor and his team to ensure that the State of Alaska CARES Act funding is used to support the vital public safety work of radio and television stations across Alaska.”
Examples of public radio and television efforts to support and disseminate potentially life-saving information follow.
- AKPM partnered with the Municipality of Anchorage to host and co-produce a 90 minute Covid-19 Community Press Conference.
- AKPM reached out to and worked collaboratively with commercial broadcasters to expand the reach of this program on-air, on-line, and via Facebook Live.
- KTOO has broadcast all of Juneau’s special assembly meetings on COVID-1.
- KTOO’s Gavel Alaska has broadcast all of the Governor’s COVID-19 briefings live on the air and online.
- AKPM simulcasts 360 North and Gavel Alaska to the largest population center in the state.
- KTOO is providing free air time 2 times a day for briefings with Juneau mayor and city manager.
- While limited access to the public is in effect, AKPM staff have spoken live with in-studio guests on Talk of Alaska, Alaska Insight, and Line One: Your Health Connection. These programs are heard and seen statewide.
- AKPM has produced 10 radio and television unfiltered public affairs programs covering all aspects of the current health and economic crisis.
Alaska Public Media has also worked with educational and business partners on the following educational and informational services.
AKPM and the Anchorage School District launched At Home Learning on Monday, March 30, 2020. This educational television service and online learning resources are offered statewide. (Pending a response from KUAC and UAF.)
AKPM continues the Alaska@Work, a workforce development initiative video series highlighting training and education programs that lead to well-paying jobs and careers.