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News at KNOM

KNOM News won two awards from the Alaska Broadcasters Association for 2012. Current volunteer Reporter Margaret DeMaioriubus (L) and Public Affairs Director Eva DeLappe (R).

The news crew won two awards from the Alaska Broadcasters Association in 2012. More here. Photo by David Dodman.

Hello, future KNOM News volunteer. Have you ever wondered what news is like at KNOM? Here are the basics:

What type of news does KNOM cover?

KNOM practices community journalism. We cover news that affects our listening area: Nome and the rural communities and Alaska native villages in Western Alaska. We try to create a sense of community through the stories we cover, from city council meetings to school events to the Iditarod race. Ideally KNOM News emphasizes connectedness, that community members, as individuals, matter.

So, from what I understand, besides broadcasting news, KNOM is also a general radio station. You guys play some religious programming and a lot of music. How does news fit into the station’s programming?

KNOM airs its newscast at peak listening hours– morning, lunchtime, and early evening during the work week. And on the weekends, lunchtime and early evening.

During the work week, the morning is our heaviest time. We air a full seven to eight minute newscast at 7 am, 8 am, and 9 am. We also read shortened versions of those same stories at 7:30 and 8:30 am. Later in the day, we air a full newscast again at 12 noon and 5 pm. Like many of our listeners, KNOM News takes a break on the weekends. Saturday and Sunday we broadcast a shortened newscast, made of Alaska-related stories pulled from AP wire or the Alaska Public Radio Network.

During the work week, we also supplement our newscast with a program called Profiles. A profile is a longer 5 to 8 minute story, a complicated issue that merits more detailed attention; or an interesting, educational, or human interest story that needs more time to be told. It can be an interview with an official or a produced segment. Each week, KNOM broadcasts one to two Profiles. If KNOM has a profile, it airs twice a day, in the 9 am and 6 pm hours.

How do volunteers fit into the news team?

The KNOM News team is made of three people: The News Director and the two volunteers; the News Reporter and the Public Affairs Director. Laureli Kinneen, is our fearless leader. The volunteers can either be the News Reporter or the Public Affairs Director. The News Reporter covers hard news that relates to Nome and Western Alaska, from covering school board meetings to interviewing Senators about environmental issues. A few big issues right now are Arctic drilling, mining, and how it affects subsistence lifestyles of Alaska natives.

The Public Affairs Director is essentially a features reporter. He or she covers softer news, human interest stories, from recent research on Wooly Mammoths to nurses graduating from Nome’s first nursing program. The Public Affairs Director is also responsible for producing Profiles and Elder Voices.

If you have other questions, please post them in the comments. I’ll do my best to respond to them in my next post.

3 Responses to “News at KNOM”

  1. Josh Cunningham

    What is the difference between ‘news’ and ‘public affairs’?

  2. Josh Cunningham

    More specifically I suppose, in what ways do the positions intersect and diverge?

    • Eva DeLappe

      Excellent questions, Josh!

      1. At KNOM, Public Affairs is a subset of news. Basically, the Public Affairs Director is KNOM’s resident features reporter. He or she covers human interest stories while the News Reporter covers hard-hitting news.

      2. More specifically: the News Reporter covers hard news– politics, crime, business– and creates 2-3 minute stories. The Public Affairs Director covers softer news– kids, the arts, community service– and creates 2-3 minute teaser stories and 5-8 minute features. Each month the Public Affairs Director also produces Elder Voices, a 25-30 minute interview with an Alaska native elder that aims to preserve knowledge of traditional culture. Together, with the News Director, the news volunteers create a full, well-rounded newscast.

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