Thursday, October 23, 2008

Hats Off! - to the Alaska Dispatch

Amanda Coyne and Tony Hopfinger must have a rare sense of timing. They started the Alaska Dispatch just in time for the selection of Sarah Palin as John McCain's Vice Presidential running mate. And their new, on-line journal is packed with great, informative articles from many parts o Alaska.

They're covering the Ted Stevens trial. They've been in the midst of Troopergate happenings. They're posting articles on rural Alaska problems. They're everything the soon-to-be defunct Voice of the Times never was - a vital, responsive, people-oriented daily electronic journal for Alaska progressives, liberals, moderates, and true conservatives.

Young writers and aspiring writers should take note of a bulletin the editors published on their on-line masthead last week:

Contribute your stories to AlaskaDispatch.com Print E-mail

In some parts of the country, citizens are trying to save local journalism by forming their own Internet newspapers, and that is in part what we’re striving for at AlaskaDispatch.com. If you believe more voices, more stories, more news will create a more interesting and honest state, then we ask you to contribute to AlaskaDispatch.com.

When we launched AlaskaDispatch.com in mid-August, we set out to create an online opinion and news magazine that would offer viewpoints from across Alaska. The idea was to create a group blog with both well-known and ordinary Alaskans contributing columns and stories, a mosaic of what it’s like to live in Alaska and what Alaskans think about their state. So far, we’ve had more than two dozen people contribute, from professional journalists to lawyers to activists to congressional candidates to rural Alaskans.

We now invite all Alaskans to share their stories and opinions with AlaskaDispatch.com. Without you, this endeavor will never succeed. We alone can’t build a new publication for Alaska. If you believe more voices, more stories, more news will create a more interesting and honest state, then we ask you to contribute.

The media industry is fighting for its survival, both in Alaska and nationally, the result of poor management, rising costs, consolidation, and an inability to straddle both the Internet and print worlds. In some parts of the country, citizens are trying to save local journalism by forming their own Internet newspapers, and that is in part what we’re striving for at AlaskaDispatch.com. Practicing journalism does not require a special degree or intense training. All it takes is an utmost respect for accuracy and a dedication to being fair, listening to all sides and telling the truth, along with a healthy dose of curiosity.

But we’re not asking Alaskans to start slinging notebooks and covering their respected communities (though if you want to, that would be great). We’re first trying to establish a place to share ideas, a virtual community center for Alaskans to come and read their stories and opinions. We’re neither liberal nor conservative, and we welcome all viewpoints, particularly from folks outside Anchorage.

If you’d like to contribute to our blog, “Talk of the Tundra”, or share a feature story from where you live, send it to us and we’ll post it. Email submissions to alaskadispatch@gmail.comThis e-mail address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it .

Please add a brief bio at the end of your submission, including where you live in Alaska. If possible, attach your submission as a Word document using the “normal” Times New Roman font. Otherwise, paste it in your email.

Thanks so much for reading and contributing to AlaskaDispatch.com.

-Tony and Amanda

3 comments:

Deirdre Helfferich said...

So why, when I wrote to them and asked them if they'd be interested in any of several regular writers for the Republic, did they never respond?

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