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CPB Awards $936,000 Grant to Alaska Public Media

The funds will go toward a statewide journalism initiative to strengthen local news

The Corporation for Public Broadcasting has awarded Alaska Public Media a $936,000 grant to develop the “Alaska Desk” journalism initiative. The statewide collaboration among public broadcast stations is designed to strengthen and expand AKPM’s local news services, particularly in the state’s rural areas, according to a CPB press release.

The two-year grant will help fund four reporters and three shared editors based at broadcast stations throughout Alaska, as well as travel and equipment. CPB says the funds will increase the journalism capacity of public TV and radio stations across the state and will also support a full-time development officer, whose role will include pursuing additional funding sources.

“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,” said Ed Ulman, president of AKPM. Alaska’s shear land area is vast, encompassing one-fifth the size of all the lower 48 states.

Public broadcast stations across Alaska will be able to apply to become Alaska Desk partners “in the coming weeks,” according to the release. The stations must commit to hosting a reporter and contributing the station’s share of the costs. CPB says a governance committee made up of station representatives would “determine the editorial vision and strategic priorities for this shared resource.”

AKPM operates 91.1 KSKA(FM) and KAKM(TV) from Anchorage. It also operates the Statewide News Network. According to CPB, there are 57 public broadcast stations in the state. President/CEO Patricia Harrison says CPB has invested more than $1.5 million in Alaska over the last several years to “raise the caliber of fact-based reporting” among the state’s public media stations.

CPB is a private, nonprofit corporation authorized by Congress in 1967. It helps support operations of about 1,500 local public radio and TV stations.

[Related: “CPB Issues More Grants for Next-Generation Warning“]

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