This screenshot shows the masthead of the new Alaska Beacon website. The nonprofit outlet debuted on Wednesday. (Screenshot)

This screenshot shows the masthead of the new Alaska Beacon website. The nonprofit outlet debuted on Wednesday. (Screenshot)

New news outline shines more light on Alaska politics

Alaska Beacon, a nonprofit outlet debuts.

For those who believe the journalism motto “democracy dies in darkness,” Alaska’s news coverage just got more light.

The Alaska Beacon debuted Wednesday as an online nonprofit publication featuring reporting by a four-person staff, including three formerly at news-related jobs in Juneau. Its content is available free at its website (alaskabeacon.com) and via subscription newsletter, and can also be republished free of charge by other news organizations.

“The Alaska Beacon aims to be an outlet people who want to better understand Alaska and its government can turn to,” an article published at the website Wednesday states. The cost-free sharing with other media is because “the number of full-time journalists covering Alaska legislative sessions has declined as news organizations have cut back and consolidated under financial pressure.”

The Juneau Empire is among the publications that will on occasion include the Beacon’s content.

“The Alaska Beacon’s newsroom includes many talented reporters, including multiple former Empire reporters, and as a voracious reader of news, I look forward to seeing their work,” Juneau Empire editor Ben Hohenstatt said. “As traditionally structured newsrooms continue to face challenges, I think quality reporting focused on state government being made freely available to publications is a good thing. The Alaska Beacon’s reporting will augment the resources the Empire will continue to direct toward covering statewide issues that hit close to home.”

The Beacon’s staff includes Yereth Rosen (formerly at Arctic Today and Reuters), Andrew Kitchenman (KTOO-FM); James Brooks (Anchorage Daily News) and Lisa Phu (public information officer for the City and Borough of Juneau). Brooks and Phu are also former Empire reporters.

The Beacon is operated by States Newsroom, which now has outlets in 27 states plus the District of Columbia. It is generally described by industry publications as a straightforward facts-based news operation that is somewhat left-leaning in determining its coverage.

Indications of those leanings are reflected in how some Alaska news sites and blogs reported the debut of the Beacon. Dermot Cole’s self-titled liberal blog declared “Alaska political news coverage stands to improve, thanks to a new nonprofit enterprise.” The conservative news site Must Read Alaska asserts the newcomer “is ideologically driven and backed by some of the biggest names in dark money in politics…which intends to shape the narrative toward the Democratic Party.”

Contact reporter Mark Sabbatini at mark.sabbatini@juneauempire.com.

More in News

In this Empire file photo, a Princess Cruise Line ship is seen docked in Juneau on Aug. 25, 2021.(Michael Lockett / Juneau Empire file)
Ships in Port for the week of May 15, 2022

This information comes from the Cruise Line Agencies of Alaska’s 2022 schedule.… Continue reading

Teaser
Judge orders board adopt interim redistricting map

The decision comes in a second round of redistricting challenges.

It's a police car until you look closely and see the details don't quite match. (Juneau Empire File / Michael Penn)
Police calls for Tuesday, May 17, 2022

This report contains public information from law enforcement and public safety agencies.

In this October 2019 photo, Zac Watt, beertender for Forbidden Peak Brewery, pours a beer during the grand opening for the Auke Bay business in October 2019. Alcoholic beverage manufacturers and dispensers recently came to an agreement  on a bill that could bring live music and extended hours to breweries. (Ben Hohenstatt / Juneau Empire File)
Of the more than 460 stoOf the more than 460 stocks managed by NOAA, 322 have a known overfishing status (296 not subject to overfishing and 26 subject to overfishing) and 252 have a known overfished status (201 not overfished and 51 overfished). (Courtesy Image / NOAA)
Southeast fisheries hoping for less turbulent waters

Regions and species see wildly variably conditions due to climate and COVID-19, according to two new NOAA reports.

It's a police car until you look closely and see the details don't quite match. (Juneau Empire File / Michael Penn)
Police calls for Saturday, May 14, 2022

This report contains public information from law enforcement and public safety agencies.

Oil rigs stand in the Loco Hills field along U.S. Highway 82 in Eddy County, near Artesia, N.M., one of the most active regions of the Permian Basin. Government budgets are booming in New Mexico. The reason behind the spending spree — oil. New Mexico is the No. 2 crude oil producer among U.S. states and the top recipient of U.S. disbursements for fossil fuel production on federal land. But a budget flush with petroleum cash has a side effect: It also puts the spotlight on how difficult it is for New Mexico and other states to turn their rhetoric on tackling climate change into reality. (AP Photo / Jeri Clausing)
States struggle to replace fossil fuel tax revenue

Federal, state and local governments receive about $138B a year from the fossil fuel industry.

It's a police car until you look closely and see the details don't quite match. (Juneau Empire File / Michael Penn)
Police calls for Friday, May 13, 2022

This report contains public information from law enforcement and public safety agencies.

This photo published in AP World Magazine in Fall 1998 shows Dean Fosdick on election night in Anchorage, Alaska. Fosdick, the Associated Press journalist who filed the news alert informing the world of the Exxon Valdez spill in Alaska, has died. He died April 27, 2022, in Florida at the age of 80. His longtime career with the news service included 15 years as the bureau chief in Alaska. (AP Photo/File)
Longtime AP Alaska bureau chief Dean Fosdick dies at age 80

He filed the news alert informing the world of the Exxon Valdez grounding.

Most Read