KSTK Local Content and Services Report

February, 2019

KSTK’s approach to meeting community issues, needs and interest includes providing radio broadcast and web content focused on local news and information that is relevant to Wrangell, the Southeast Alaska region and the state. We strive to provide a variety of helpful information regarding health, education, community services, arts and culture, native issues and more through our reporting and Public Service Announcements. We host four newscasts Monday through Friday with the objective of providing relevant information on civic meetings and community news while offering an opportunity for leaders and individuals in Wrangell to share information with the public. One primary goal is to continue partnerships with Alaska Public Media, NPR, National Native News and the CoastAlaska to provide comprehensive news coverage. Another partnership goal is to continue working with local schools, our local tribe and other organizations encouraging their participation with the station and getting information out for them. KSTK aims to be the best and first source of emergency information to keep residents informed and safe in the event of an emergency. Being a coastal community located on the Pacific Ring of Fire makes emergency announcements a primary goal as our area is prone to earthquakes and resulting tsunamis. In addition to terrestrial radio broadcasting, KSTK meets our audience needs through our full featured, informative website and mobile platform that also broadcasts our air signal via live stream. As a rural Alaska community, off the road system, isolated by water and mountains, we reach a broad and varied audience. Our web and mobile services are welcomed by those living a modern, town based existence while our radio waves are essential to those living subsistence lifestyles off the grid and out of reach of cell towers and broadband signals.

KSTK collaborates with media partners CoastAlaska, Alaska Public Media and National Native News. We contribute news reports to, and receive news reports from, Alaska Public Media and the CoastAlaska news team.
Locally, KSTK is a member of the Local Emergency Planning Committee actively participating in keeping our community safe. We are members of Wrangell’s Chamber of Commerce and work to promote the missions of local non-profits. KSTK works directly with the school district on media projects including student reporting and broadcast of high school basketball games. We work with a variety of agencies to get the word out about services including the State Department of Transportation, Department of Environmental Conservation, Department of Fish and Game, the US Coast Guard and many health care service non-profits and governmental agencies. KSTK collaborates with the City and Borough of Wrangell with our Borough Media Project where KSTK records and archives all Regular Assembly Meetings on our website so interested individuals can listen to recent or past assembly meeting recordings. We also have regular contact with city departments on critical issues such as our city water supply, road closures, electrical issues and other community health and safety issues. KSTK hosts local candidate forums and regional candidate debates prior to elections. Every spring through fall, we partner with the U.S. Forest Service on a weekly Recreation and Road Report that is produced at KSTK by Wrangell Ranger District staff. KSTK works with the local Indian Environmental General Assistance Program (IGAP) to provide water quality updates and information on projects such as fishing net recycling and electronic waste recycling programs.

As the only source of daily news and information on Wrangell Island, our partnerships with local organizations has a major impact in the community in terms of awareness, learning and understanding issues. KSTK is the only local broadcaster providing community information, so during an emergency, KSTK is critical to getting factual information out to citizens.

We hear how important and impactful our work with these organizations is through phone calls, personal contact and other communication. At no time is this more apparent than during an emergency or critical situation. During less dramatic times, we hear from listeners and web users telling us they found out about a project or an event because they heard about it through KSTK. Many people comment on Borough Assembly Meetings posted on kstk.org and thank us for our candidate coverage. Others voice appreciation for broadcasting high school basketball games. One measurable area is our web and social media. Wrangell’s population is roughly 2,000. Occasionally a post will reach 5,000 or 6,000 people, showing significant engagement. Another way we measure the impact of working with these organizations is through the results of their projects. For example, 26 pallets of gillnets were collected for the IGAP net recycling project. KSTK and IGAP worked together to get the word out and the event was a success.

Tlingit language teachers and culture bearers have worked with KSTK to produce Tlingit Phrase of the Week to further the knowledge of the Tlingit language. Conversations continue with leadership in the local Native community to expand and enhance language learning. KSTK is prepared to help produce programs that enrich the lives of all and pass on a language that is in a critical state. KSTK airs Concierto, a bilingual Spanish-English music program that features Latin-American and Spanish composers and performers. We welcome suggestions year round to help us meet the needs and wishes of the community.

KSTK could do none of what we do without the CPB grant. The community service grant funding is essential in our very small budget. Local contributions through membership, underwriting and special events keep the community invested but without the CPB grant, local contributions would not be enough to keep broadcast services available in Wrangell.