KSTK Local Content and Services Report
KSTK provides broadcast and media services for Wrangell, Alaska. Our goal is to deliver relevant programming that enlightens and informs through an organization that offers a format for multiple community voices and viewpoints to be heard. KSTK produces 4 local, regional, and statewide newscasts each weekday and a live, weekly call-in program providing information relevant to the community. These reports and live interviews involve citizens from all areas of our community, local government, native leaders, students, teachers, civic organization leaders, business professionals, and heads of a wide variety of organizations. KSTK offers broadcast training to the community in general, and to Wrangell’s youth specifically. We work with the school district collaborating on student projects and sports broadcasts. KSTK has a partnership with the City & Borough of Wrangell with an on-going Borough Media project that archives all Borough Assembly meetings and provides audio recording history of those meetings online. KSTK is proud of the cooperative work done with Native Elders and leaders on a project focused on preserving and teaching the Tlingit language through the “Tlingit Phrase of the Week” module created by local Tlingit members and produced by KSTK. KSTK interacts daily with our audience through traditional radio broadcast, social media and our web presence. We have a solid and steadfast listening audience of local residents and a growing number of online users who stream KSTK and connect with us through social media. KSTK is a member of Wrangell’s Local Emergency Planning Committee and regularly meets with first responders, medical teams, and our police and fire department to plan how to best serve Wrangell in the event of a civic or natural emergency.
KSTK’s key collaboration is with the five Southeast Alaska communities, seven stations that make up CoastAlaska. This cooperation of stations is an excellent example of effective collaboration. The CoastAlaska member stations share finance, payroll, membership, news, development, and engineering staff and we share the cost of employing those staff. Without this collaborative effort, KSTK and the other CoastAlaska member stations would not be able to provide the same level of quality service to our communities.
KSTK is a member of the Local Emergency Planning Committee (LEPC). KSTK’s station manager attends LEPC meetings to make sure the radio station and all emergency response agencies and medical teams have current contact information and have a current community emergency plan on-hand. KSTK participates in the annual community disaster drill where all agencies work in concert to practice responding to a community wide disaster.
KSTK works with State of Alaska agencies to get their information out to the public. Some examples include the State Health Nurse speaking to the public about immunizations, steps to take during flu season, or disease outbreaks the public should be aware of. We also work with the State Department of Fish and Game to get information out to Commercial Fishermen regarding what areas are open or closed for different fisheries, as well as information pertinent to sport fishermen & hunters. KSTK works with the State Legislative Information Office to inform listeners about State teleconferences available to the public where individuals can speak with legislators and give testimony, as well as receive assistance filling out state forms and applications such as Permanent Fund applications. We also work with the State DEC to inform residents in the event of oil spills or other environmental concerns.
As a coastal community, we occasionally coordinate with the U.S. Coast Guard to make public announcements regarding vessel exam and educational programs offered, or information to mariners regarding navigational beacons and buoys when they are being repaired, decommissioned or are temporarily out of order.
KSTK works with a variety of City organizations including The Wrangell Chamber of Commerce to let citizens know about arts and culture events, festivals and celebrations going on in the community. We work with City Hall to provide information on all municipal events, elections and civic meetings including Borough Assembly Meetings which we air live and provide audio for on our website. We coordinate with the school district to air boys and girls high school basketball games. We work with graduating seniors on their Senior Projects. We encourage students to learn broadcasting and host their own music shows, record their poetry and other original written work. We welcome students to the station to learn about local business in general and radio specifically, connecting students with adults and business members of the community. KSTK is very pleased to coordinate with our local Native organizations to share their events, elections, educational services and traditions with the community.
As the only source for daily local news and community information, the impact of KSTK’s initiatives and partnership is huge.
Wrangell recently withstood a storm with sustained winds of over 70 miles per hour resulting is collapsed buildings, roofs blown off structures and trees down on homes and power lines. KSTK was able to inform residents of road closures, power outages and provide emergency and weather information to residents. No other media outlet exists in Wrangell to fulfill this role. The electrical department and harbor department contacted KSTK to get the word out about storm specifics and thanked KSTK after the fact for doing a good job of getting information out to residents. One of Wrangell’s volunteer EMT’s contacted Governor Walker and the State of Alaska legislature to inform them how important KSTK is during an emergency to get the most accurate information out to the largest number of people in the most efficient way possible.
According to the most recent data available, Wrangell’s population is made up of roughly 70% Caucasian, 20% Alaska Native and 10% mixed race people. KSTK airs news from the Alaska Public Radio Network that is relevant to all Alaskans, native and non-native alike. KSTK offers programming especially relevant to Alaska Natives. Some examples include Tlingit Phrase of the Week and National Native News. KSTK has many Alaska Native volunteer music hosts who play music that is meaningful to them and selected by them. Local Native organizations are making an effort to teach and revive their traditional Tlingit language. KSTK has worked, and will continue to work, with local native leaders to continue these projects.
KSTK would not exist without CPB funding. We are able to raise approximately $37,200 locally in membership revenue and $21,700 locally in underwriting revenue. That is a substantial amount of money raised from a community of roughly 2,000 people. It is highly unlikely that KSTK could raise significantly more revenue locally. Without financial assistance from the CPB, we would be forced to lay off staff, cut programming and reduce the essential service that KSTK provides.