KSTK Local Content and Services Report – February, 2021
KSTK is the hub source of local information for Wrangell Alaska, a small island community with a rich Tlingit heritage and history of being governed under four nations and three flags. KSTK provides radio and web content focused on factual and helpful local news and information that is relevant to the lives of those who live here. KSTK provides Wrangell with accurate information regarding health, education, community services, arts and culture, native issues and more through our reporting and public service announcements. As the LP1 for our community, KSTK is proud to provide Wrangell with an Emergency Alert System that delivers essential emergency announcements through national, statewide and local emergency networks. 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 and 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 partners with Wrangell Head Start and Wrangell School District on educational projects that involve teachers and students, Wrangell Cooperative Association on tribal and community concerns, the Nolan Center Museum on historic projects including presentations and special events and the City and Borough of Wrangell on municipal issues including distribution of health and community wellbeing information, for example weekly COVID Updates.
Key initiatives include anti-racism and inclusion. KSTK recognizes inequities in opportunity and power and works to represent all residents of Wrangell through hiring practices, volunteer opportunities and programs offered. Simple but important changes have been made such as adding Tlingit land acknowledgement statements to our station ID’s, adding more native programming and including Tlingit language programming in our broadcast day. This work includes teaming up with people of all ages, both Tlingit and non-native. In the 2020 KSTK began tighter partnerships with the Wrangell Unified Command Center, Southeast Regional Health Consortium, the City and Borough of Wrangell and the Department of Health and Social Services to get out accurate and timely COVID-19 information. These partnerships help KSTK inform residents of where to receive health services, find accurate information and know the number of active COVID-19 cases each week in Wrangell. KSTK and City officials continue to work together to ensure all assembly COVID Update meetings are broadcast to the community and the Emergency Operations Center weekly updates are available. Additionally, 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. 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 Tlingit language 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.
The impact of these partnership is huge. KSTK receives phone calls, emails, in-person visits and regular mail letting us know the information provided is important and valuable to the community. Direct feedback includes statements including, but not limited to:
- Many elders are happy to hear the land acknowledgement statements.
- Thanks for the great reporting on the Wrangell water situation.
- Thanks for providing the Weekly COVID Updates.
- We love the Recreation and Road Report.
- We love the student reporting.
- Thanks for including elementary students gardening reports and having them sing on Alaska Day.
- We’re grateful for the road closure announcement.
In addition to Tlingit Phrase of the Week and existing Alaska Native volunteer programs, KSTK added an Alaska Native language and music program and two Native American music programs to our weekly programming. We are currently working with an Alaska Native Language teacher and high school students on producing a new language module.
The CPB grant is key to KSTK’s survival. 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.