General managers from KTOO‐Juneau, KUAC‐Fairbanks and APTI‐Anchorage have met frequently, either by telephone or in person, from August 2008 to July 2009 to discussemerging needs and pressures in public media and to imagine better futures. These wide‐ranging discussions settled upon the view by late spring 2009 that nothing short of transformation is required for public broadcasting and its core values to survive andflourish in our communities in a transformed media environment. What follows is themanagers’ vision of what belongs in a new entity we propose to call Alaska Public Media.his vision is distilled from dozens of hours of brainstorming and conversation, and is theeneral managers’ shared proposal for how public media should evolve in our communities.Tg
Alaska Public Media (APM) will be Alaska’s leader in news, education and publicaffairs – a community‐builder, a unifier, a convener and an aggregator of content from many sources. Its tools will be news, community engagement, participation,dialogue and a spectrum of program production ranging from premiumdocumentaries to twitter tweets. APM will be based on the news and programmingvalues exemplified by NPR and PBS, yet it forthrightly proclaims that its centralmission in the emerging world of global media lies in the Alaska content it produces.This content is the news, public affairs, education and cultural programs that willenrich and inform the lives of Alaskans, and also engage them in networks of connection and dialogue with each other and indeed with a global media audienceand environment. APM will present content on multiple platforms and willexperiment deliberately in social networking, crowd sourcing, citizen journalismand emerging digital media. Its scope, its definition of “community,” is statewide,though its operations take place in Anchorage, Fairbanks and Juneau. APM willprovide a full package of media streams rooted in NPR/PBS values, approach andquality, and covering news and events at the local, state, national and internationallevels. The work of the Alaska Public Radio Network, AlaskaOne, 360 North, Gavel toGavel and UATV will be incorporated into a unified network. The entities that combine to form Alaska Public Media will reach new levels of public service byworking together, in a mission that serves the shared experience of life in Alaska.Mission language will strongly evoke unity and Alaskan ownership of a public, not‐for‐profit service entity operating under a new economic model. Alaska PublicMedia is the forum for Alaska to redefine itself again and again as time andcircumstances evolve.
With the issues and public‐interest stakes higher than ever, Alaskans need anddeserve information, understanding, connection and context in order to solveproblems, create prosperity, build communities, unify the state. Yet even as digitalmedia cut the costs of distribution, Alaska is left behind in the new world of content production. Commercial media budgets are slashed as business models arerewritten and deeply strained. A building crisis in journalism threatens the flow of quality news and public affairs and heightens both the challenge and need for strong