By now, I’d guess that all of Anchorage knows about the Alaska Dispatch purchase of the Anchorage Daily News. I think the sale is final today, and although I’m cautiously optimistic for the future (I’ve attended a couple presentations by Alice Rogoff, the new owner, and appreciate her vision for the future of press in Alaska – so far the only change seems to be duplicate content between the two online sites; it will be interesting to watch the evolution) I really hope some of my favorites from the ADN survive.
“Market Fresh” by Steve Edwards has long been my go to for updates about local farmers markets and guidance on fresh, in season food. I really enjoy Amanda Coyne’s new column, anything by Victoria Barber, and think the Indi Alaska videos are AWESOME.
My favorite, FAVORITE column to read in the ADN is Julia O’Malley.
You could say we’ve grown up together, even though I don’t actually know her. But, my periods of reading the ADN coincide with the periods of time that Julia’s written for the ADN – she started writing for Perfect World while we were both in high school. Later, when I moved home, she’d recently returned to Anchorage as well and began writing her own column. Her description of the Seward Highway and the line between a safe drive and a fatal crash being “as thin as a whisper” still haunts me.
It’s ridiculously hard to write about what a great writer someone is, so if you’re not familiar with Julia, you should check out her columns, here.
Her final column, “At the newspaper that raised me, a new chapter unfolds” was a fascinating look into the life of a journalist (love the descriptions of the newsroom when she was 16) and the evolution of both the Anchorage Daily News and Julia’s approach to writing and being a professional in the world of journalism. In it, she writes not only about the mentors she had at the paper, but about how much she learned from the readers:
“Every time I reported a column, I met someone who told me something new about a place I thought I understood. I love to be surprised like that. Anchorage never stops being interesting.”