780 AM | 96.1 FM | “Yours for Western Alaska”

You’re Tuned into…..Sounding Board

If you told me one year ago that I would be moving to Alaska, I probably wouldn’t have believed you. If you had told me that I would be hosting a radio call-in show, I would have said you’re crazy!

The call-in show I’m referring to is titled “Sounding Board.” The show runs from September to May with topics that are pertinent to the region and to listeners. It’s a chance for community members to have their voices heard, and it is an opportunity for us to connect and hear concerns.

As a volunteer at KNOM, I am scheduled about once a month to host the show. I am responsible for choosing a conversation topic that is relevant, timely and important. Yesterday, I chose to talk about Arctic shipping. With the climate changing drastically in the Arctic, Western Alaskan communities are feeling a direct impact. As ice melts in the Arctic Ocean, more ships are poised to travel through the Northwest Passage and even over the North Pole. This extra noise, increased risk for oil spills will affect communities along the coast who rely on marine mammals as part of their diet. It will be interesting to see the balance between economic investment and protection of culture and the environment.

A NASA image shows routes of the Northwest Passage, including routes adjacent to Alaska’s western and northern shores. Marine vessel traffic is expected to become increasingly active in these regions in the coming decades. 

I have not realized until working at KNOM just how important radio is. It is a medium where your voice matters. You matter.

What are some issues or events that are happening locally where you live? Is there a radio station in your area where you can share your thoughts on political, local or moral issues? I’d like to hear your comments and thoughts.