Big change for local journalism

A big change is in the works for news reporting in Alaska. After 35 years, the Anchorage Daily News will return to Alaskan ownership next month when Alaska Dispatch Publishing closes a deal to purchase the Pulitzer Prize-winning newspaper from California-based McClatchy Company. 

You can read the Alaska Dispatch's article on the agreement here:

The Daily News' article on the changeover can be found here:


UAA Seawolves Hockey and JPC

Matt and TricasterUAA Seawolves hockey team's season heats up with the Kendall Classic Friday and Saturday. And the Department of Journalism and Public Communications is right alongside the players. JPC has long produced the hockey games for GCI Channel 1, and this year, the production is going high definition with the debut of the new WCHA.

As part of this effort, JPC is using a new mobile Tricaster to produce the games from the Sullivan Arena that UAA bought in time for the hockey season in the Western Collegiate Hockey Association.

"It's going to be a great piece of equipment to do high-definition streaming production of the hockey games, said Associate Athletic Director Tim McDiffett. "But beyond that there are so many capabilities for students to be able to do live mobile programming of all kinds of events all over campus, including commencement and special speakers. I think it's going to be a great teaching tool for our students."

Matt Underbakke, JPC's media support technician, said it took just a few minutes to turn on the mobile production unit and make it workable.  Students in JPC A383 TV Studio Production begin hands-on training on the unit this week.


Graduation Requirement:

Students who wish to graduate in May 2014: You must complete the GER Integrative Capstone before you graduate. JPC students must take JPC A403 Communications and Media Research to earn a Bachelor of Arts in our program. This course is only offered in the fall semester. Two sections are available this fall. They are CRN 73561 and 73560. Both are online courses, but require your attendance at two course meetings during the semester plus meetings with Dr. Joy Chavez Mapaye.

JPC Staff and Graduates Take Film Festival

JPC staff and graduates teamed up to compete in Seward at the Balto 48 Hour Film Challenge.  The challenge is to make a film from scratch in 48 hours.  To ensure that there is no work ahead of time three prompts must be included; a line in the credits, a flower and a reference to permits.

The team won Judges Choice during the first showing of their film "fireweed" 48 hours later.  Shot in the style of a 70's slasher film, you can watch their winning entry below.


fireweed - Balto 48 Hour Film Challenge Winning Submission


Major KRUA Upgrades

Matt Underbakke, the department's media support technician, spent a week refurbishing the KRUA studio. That meant ripping out the old sound board and installing a new one, getting the station's equipment up to date with FCC requirements and clearing out tangled cords and cables to make a clean, easy to use workspace for the radio station. KRUA-FM 88.1 is in its 21st year of broadcast operations. Here's a time-lapse video of Underbakke and others working on the studio improvements.


KRUA Refurb:


Farewell to Erin Day:

Erin Day, the administrative assistant for the Department of Journalism and Public Communications since May 2006, is leaving to take a position as the academic advisor for the Humanities Division of the College of Arts and Sciences.

Day has been a university employee since 2003, when she was a student in the Art Department. During her time with JPC, Erin transformed many of the processes, making scheduling, budgeting and advising more efficient. She also was instrumental in the department’s reaccreditation in 2007-2008. She excelled at prioritizing tasks and helping students find the answers they needed.  

“Erin is perfectly suited to being an academic advisor. She is knowledgeable about the catalog has often assisted our students navigate the curriculum,” said JPC Associate Professor and chair Paola Banchero. “We will miss her for her engaging spirit and work ethic."

Day earned a bachelor of arts in 2010 from the University of Alaska Anchorage in Art with a concentration in ceramics. However, Erin first was introduced to the department as a high school student, when she attended a summer media camp.

The department’s administrative needs will be satisfied through a new administrative support structure the College of Arts and Sciences is introducing in the new fiscal year, which begins July 1.


Our New Atwood Chair of Journalism:

Mark TrahantJournalist Mark Trahant will serve as the 20th Atwood Chair of Journalism at the University of Alaska Anchorage. The position brings nationally known journalists to teach courses and speak to students, journalists and the public in Alaska.

Trahant is an editor, reporter, columnist, television correspondent and the author of several books. A member of Idaho's Shoshone-Bannock Tribes and former president of the Native American Journalists Association, he has been reporting on Native American issues since the 1970s. Trahant's most recent book "The Last Great Battle of the Indian Wars," is about Sen. Henry M. Jackson. He also publishes a daily poem about the news to Twitter under the handle @newsrimes4lines.For more information about the Atwood Chair click here, for the full press release click here.

Our Professors Rule:

JoywithabbyTwo of Journalism and Public Communications own professors have been granted the title of Associate Professor and have gained tenure.  Our congratulations to both Professors Dr. Joy Mapaye and Ron McGee.

Joy Chavez Mapaye joined the Department of Journalism and Public Communications in 2003. Mapaye has presented herRon McGee research at top communication conferences including the Association for Education in Journalism and Mass Communication, National Communication Association, International Communication Association, Broadcast Education Association and others. She has won research paper awards at several conferences. Her research agenda includes her doctoral specialties in television, new media and digital culture and marketing communications.  In 2011, the Broadcast Education Association recognized Mapaye with the honor of top dissertation in the nation. In 2012, UAA's College of Arts and Sciences honored Mapaye with a Teaching Excellence award. Mapaye’s master’s degree emphasis includes race and political rhetoric and public relations. Her bachelor’s degree is in broadcast journalism.

Ron McGee joined the Department of Journalism and Public Communications at the University of Alaska Anchorage in Fall 2005. McGee is a retired Air Force major, who spent his entire 15-year career as a public affairs manager. He worked as a reporter for the Anchorage Daily News for four years. He was public affairs manager for the Anchorage Police Department for eight years.


Honored Students and Alum:

StudentawardsThe Department of Journalism and Public Communications honored six students and one alum at its annual spring gathering Friday, April 26.

Mel Kalkowski, class of 1980, was honored with the JPC Alumni Award. Kalkowski was nominated for his long service to the community. He was a broadcast specialist in the U.S. Army before joining the private sector. He worked in television news, then moved to a position at UAA as chief public relations officer. He was a long-serving affiliate professor who taught strategic communications and television and radio courses. Later, he was UAA’s director of electronic communications. He became the director of military programs at UAA in 2005. A lot of the things we do today, Mel helped start. He was the producer of the annual commencement and convocation ceremonies at UAA. He was also the media coordinator of the Carrs/Safeway Great Alaska Shootout since its inception. We are grateful for his service and the great reputation he has given graduates of our program.

Bryan Arnold was chosen by faculty as this year's student scholar. Bryan’s paper “Tweets and Friends: A Survey of Social Media Use in the 2012 U.S. Presidential Election” was one of several JPC papers that were finalists in the Student Showcase. He has demonstrated great tenacity and sense of humor during his time at UAA. Students have benefited from his presence in class and his contributions.

Erik Judson was chosen by faculty as this year's student service award recipient. Erik has been a committed student in the Department of Journalism and Public Communications, and he has shown his service around campus by working for Residential Life, ANSEP, JPC Television Productions. He has excelled at video production, design, and writing.

Bryce Hyslip was chosen by faculty as this year's outstanding student. Bryce Hyslip’s Communications and Media Research paper “A Crude Relationship: In-Depth Interviews Concerning the Viewpoints of Alaska's Oil and Media Companies” won the Student Showcase this year. He also presented it at an undergraduate communications conference in Indiana. For students lucky enough to have Bryce in class, you know he is a hard worker, an intelligent contributor and a creative force.

JPC is thrilled to have had two new awards created this year, both to honor loved ones who were active in journalism and public communications. 
The first one was established by the Berg family to honor Dean Berg, who was a television journalist who then left news broadcasting to pursue media and public affairs positions with Alyeska Pipeline Service Company, RCA Alaska Communications and the Teamsters Local 959.
Mel KalkowskiThe Berg Integrity in Journalism Award was given to senior Audri Pleas. Professor Elizabeth Arnold said this about her: "In her role as station manager of KRUA-FM, Audri continues to exemplify the integrity required to ensure employees, volunteers, and listeners a supportive and rewarding environment and experience. Whether it's settling a workplace dispute, monitoring content or simply providing a much needed pat on the back, Audri has set a standard of integrity at KRUA-FM and in the classroom that serves as a model."
The Max Llanes "Behind the Camera" Award was established by the Llanes family to commemorate the life of student Max Llanes, who died in December 2011. He was an avid photographer and videographer. 

Junior Nicole Luchaco was honored with this award. Professor red bradley said this about Nicole: "At UAA we see students come and go. Some make their way through the process and graduate; some excel; and then there are the few that inhale the craft of visual storytelling and run. In the professional community we usually refer to them as those with the 'golden touch.'" He said Max had it, and he sees that gift in Nicole.
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