Conference 2021

Thanks to everyone who joined us! Conference recordings are available here.

In 2021, instead of J-Week, we hosted J-Month!

For the month of April, Alaska Press Club hosted online sessions Mondays, Wednesdays, and Fridays, starting Monday, April 5 through the end of the month. Recordings are available next to each session description.

April 5 | Covering tribal health (Watch Recording)

Tribal health organizations are at the center of Alaska’s COVID-19 story. They derive their mandate from sovereign tribal governments, not beholden to sunshine laws like the state’s Open Meetings Act and FOIA. How do these organizations work and how do reporters who cover these organizations get the information they need?

Lloyd Miller, Attorney & Joaqlin Estus, Indian Country Today | Hosted by Kortnie Horazdovsky, Alaska’s News Source

April 7 | #akleg covered! Navigating legislative archives (Watch Recording)

Join Legislative Librarian Jennifer Fletcher for a crash course on navigating the Alaska Legislature’s archives. Ever wonder when a specific policy became law, who introduced the first piece of legislation on a particular topic or where a certain bill failed in the legislative process? Zoom in for tips to answer those questions and more!

Jennifer Fletcher, Alaska Legislative Library | Hosted by Liz Raines, Alaska Press Club

April 9 | Tips for developing story ideas and a writing system (Watch Recording)

As we push into the second year of the pandemic, reporters continue to play a critical role in telling the stories of how the coronavirus is impacting our communities. Sarah Mervosh, a national reporter with The New York Times, joins us to talk about finding the stories outside policy, the ones that focus on people, and how their lives are changing in big ways. We’ll also talk about developing a writing system to feel less panicked under a tight deadline.

Sarah Mervosh, The New York Times | Hosted by Tegan Hanlon, Alaska Public Media

April 12 | Reporting on climate change in Alaska (Watch Recording)

Climate change is warming northern latitudes at twice the rate as the rest of the world, meaning we are feeling the effects in Alaska “first and worst.”  Climate change is affecting us dramatically, and in ways that are often surprising.  Alaskans need to know how it is impacting our economy and way of life.  They also need to know what we can do about it.  In this session Dr. Travis Rector, an astrophysicist at UAA, will explain what every Alaskan needs to know about climate change.  Paola Banchero, a professor of journalism and public communications at UAA, will then talk about best practices for journalists to report on climate change causes, consequences and solutions.

Paola Banchero & Travis Rector, UAA | Hosted by Anna Rose MacArthur, KYUK Bethel

April 14 | Launching a state debate commission (Watch Recording)

That there’s a problem with electoral debates isn’t news: problematic formats, hostile exchanges, candidates avoiding events and the like seem to have become the rule rather than the exception. Alaska has been invited by a new coalition of states to create an Alaska Debate Commission and join the national movement. Doing so would require cooperation between media, university, nonprofit and political entities and has the potential to increase the quality and reach of civil discourse in Alaska.  Please join us for a discussion of how the Alaska Press Club may contribute to this effort.

Steve Johnson, University of Alaska Anchorage; Richard Davis, Brigham Young University & Tom Hewitt, Anchorage Daily News | Hosted by Lori Townsend, Alaska Public Media

April 16 | Corrections communications (Watch Recording)

Many barriers exist to make it difficult for incarcerated people to communicate with family members, friends, legal representation and journalists. The information we receive about the inner workings of the corrections system and the experiences of inmates is limited and filtered by real, potential and perceived consequences of communication. The panel will explore these barriers and consequences in an effort to improve our ability to accurately report stories about incarcerated individuals and the facilities that house them.

Megan Edge, ACLU; Michelle Theriault Boots, ADN; Angela Hall, Advocate | Hosted by Casey Grove, Alaska Public Media

April 19 | Cultivating your community (Watch Recording)

Posting source callouts online can be an effective way to bring more people into our reporting. But, it can also be challenging to make sure we’re reaching a diverse group of people, reflective of the communities we’re serving. Hannah Wise, an audience growth and retention editor for McClatchy, shares tips for how to craft callouts and share them, as well as how to build communities online.

Hannah Wise, McClatchy | Hosted by Tegan Hanlon, Alaska Public Media

April 21 | Honoring 10,000+ years of storytelling (Watch Recording)

Indigenous peoples across the world are the living embodiment of storytelling traditions spanning thousands of years. This panel will discuss the sacred nature of these traditions and engage in #realtalk about where mainstream media gets it right and wrong when reporting on our communities.

Ayyu Qassataq (Iñupiaq), Pauly Denetclaw (Navajo), Tripp Crouse (Ojibwe), ‘Wáahlaal Gíidaak (Barbara) Blake (Haida/Tlingit/Ahtna) | Hosted by Victoria Petersen, Alaska Press Club

April 23 | How to build trust with your audience (Watch Recording)

A newsroom is worth as much as its credibility, and that credibility comes from trust with its audience. Learn what you can do as a journalist or news manager to build transparency and trust with your audience. You’ll take away strategies on how to tell the story of your work and why it’s valuable and trustworthy.

Lynn Walsh, Trusting News | Hosted by Anna Rose MacArthur, KYUK Bethel

April 26 | Connecting with students and families on the education beat (Watch Recording)

The coronavirus pandemic turned education upside-down, leading to widespread disruption and change among the lives of families and students. NPR Education Correspondent Anya Kamenetz talks with us about reporting the stories of those impacts, and how she develops sources among students and families who represent the diversity of the schools and communities she’s covering.

Anya Kamenetz, NPR | Hosted by Tegan Hanlon, Alaska Public Media

April 28 | Commercial fishing reporting (Watch Recording)

Alaska’s commercial fisheries are full of stories that touch on science, economics, climate change and safety. Veteran reporter Hal Bernton, who worked in Alaska before joining the Seattle Times, is behind some of the most in-depth journalism about Alaska’s commercial fishing industry to appear anywhere. In this session, he will share how he writes compelling, impactful stories about commercial fishing and how you can too. 

Hal Bernton, Seattle Times | Hosted by Michelle Theriault Boots, Anchorage Daily News

April 30 | Engagement journalism (Watch Recording)

Join Adriana Gallardo to learn about how ProPublica leverages engagement tools to fuel its Pulitzer Prize winning journalism by finding and collaborating with the people most affected by the story.

Adriana Gallardo, Propublica | Hosted by Michelle Theriault Boots, Anchorage Daily News

Support these education efforts: Become an Alaska Press Club member to receive entry to conference sessions.

General $30 | Associate $45 | Student $10
(Which kind of member am I?)

Purchase memberships here.


(Photo by Will O’Hare)

Anya Kamenetz

Anya Kamenetz is an education correspondent at NPR, where she joined in 2014. Kamenetz most recently authored “The Art of Screen Time: How Your Family Can Balance Digital Media and Real Life” (PublicAffairs, 2018)

Joy Mayer

Joy Mayer is the director of Trusting News, an organization empowering journalists to actively earn the trust of their audience and demonstrate their credibility. Mayer spent nearly 20 years as a working journalist, and 12 years as an academic.

Lynn Walsh

Lynn Walsh is an Emmy award-winning journalist, who serves on the national board for the Society of Professional Journalists. Walsh is the assistant director of Trusting News. 

Sarah Mervosh

Sarah Mervosh is a national reporter for The New York Times, covering a wide range of news around the country. Mervosh was previously a reporter at The Dallas Morning News.

Hannah Wise

Hannah Wise is a social strategy editor at The New York Times, focusing on building relationships between journalists at the Times and the communities they’re covering. Wise is a 2021-2022 Reynolds Journalism Institute Fellow at the University of Missouri.

Paola Banchero 

Paola Banchero is the former chair of the University of Alaska Anchorage journalism department and an associate professor. Banchero has worked as a reporter and editor at the Kansas City Star, the Kansas City Business Journal, the Wichita Eagle, the Arizona Daily Star, the Anchorage Daily News and in strategic communications for a large agribusiness.

Travis Rector

Travis Rector is a professor and chair of the University of Alaska Anchorage’s physics and astronomy department.

Barbara ‘Wáahlaal Gíídaak Blake

Barbara ‘Wáahlaal Gíidaak Blake is the Alaska Native Policy Center Director for First Alaskans Institute, a statewide nonprofit focused on supporting the Native voice and perspective in the public policy-making process.

Barbara ‘Wáahlaal Gíídaak Blake and family

Ayyu Qassataq

Ayyu Qassataq has been with First Alaskans Institute for 10 years, currently serving as Vice President & Indigenous Operations Director. Qassataq is from Uŋalaqłiq (Unalakleet), and earned a Master’s degree in Rural Development through University of Alaska Fairbanks, and a BA in Organizational Management with a Nonprofit Emphasis from Alaska Pacific University.

Adriana Gallardo joined ProPublica in 2016 as an engagement reporter. Since then, she’s collaborated across the newsroom on investigative series covering women’s health, immigration, and sexual violence.


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