1. Describe your overall goals and approach to address identified community issues, needs, and interests through your station’s vital local services, such as multiplatform long and short-form content, digital and in-person engagement, education services, community information, partnership support, and other activities, and audiences you reached or new audiences you engaged.

KCAW’s overall goal is to provide current and ongoing news and information for the communities of coastal Southeast Alaska.  We also strive to include as many local stories and voices on the airwaves in an effort to continually reflect and improve our community. We continually strive to expand local news capacity to enable us to have reporters at as many community meetings and activities as possible. We also hold regular volunteer trainings resulting in about 25 new on-air hosts per year. Every year we train a smaller number of volunteers digital editing and remote recording skills so they can produce promos, audio postcards or short program modules.

Every weekday morning, in addition to the local newscast, weather reports and community calendar, KCAW broadcasts a live interview about community issues and events. Interviews are scheduled by request. One day a week is reserved for school activities and staff regularly works with the Sitka Tribe of Alaska to schedule interviews. All local news and morning interviews are available in perpetuity on the KCAW website.

KCAW has put significant effort into creating a comprehensive community calendar populated with user submissions sent by email, website form, fax, mail or drop in. The goal is to include all events in the communities served on the calendar, which is regularly read on the air and available on line.

Community commentaries are regularly solicited on-air and broadcast during morning and evening news programs when submitted.

 

Every news story produced by the News Department is also posted on Facebook and Twitter.

 

KCAW’s air signal is available to stream online.

 

KCAW’s website now has a mobile template to accommodate users who access with tablets or smart phones.

 

  1. Describe key initiatives and the variety of partners with whom you collaborated, including other public media outlets, community nonprofits, government agencies, educational institutions, the business community, teachers and parents, etc. This will illustrate the many ways you’re connected across the community and engaged with other important organizations in the area.

 

KCAW broadcasts interviews and candidate statements from the Sitka Tribe of Alaska council candidates for their annual elections.  KCAW also reported the election results.

 

KCAW produced news stories on the August landslides in Sitka resulting in the death of 3 people and destroying property, local police department Hoogendorn taser incident, the new Sitka library, the proposed turning of Mt. Edgecumbe High School into an accelerated tech highschool, Blue Lake Hydro expansion, 30,000 gallons of diesel fuel that had leaked from a Sitka generator plant, Sitka School District breakfast program, Tongass Land Management Plan, Coast Guard rescues, marijuana taxes and regulations, Medicaid expansion, the highschool regional FIRST Tech Challenge, City of Sitka budget shortfall, Blatchley Middle School spelling bee, Sitka School Board budget talks, local power outages, PFD voter initiative, hikes to local garbage and utility rates, Alaska Marine Highway System, Fisheries, D-vex (an invasive marine species), outsourcing Sitka Community Schools, Sitka High School Softball State championship, the Sitka High School Cross Country and Girls Basketball winning first titles – ever, State budget shortfall, proposed state legislation to boost Native-language immersion in schools, School safety plans, President Obama’s recognition of the Sitka School District’s advancements on technology in classrooms and state testing standards.

 

Mt. Edgecumbe High School is a boarding school for kids from around the state that live in villages with limited or no high school opportunities. The student body is predominantly Alaska Native. The club now produces an hour 1/2  long radio program broadcast every other Tuesday at 7 pm featuring news about high school activities, student commentaries, live music performances and prerecorded music. The programs are available to listen on-demand from our website for the week following the program.

 

Youth Empowerment as a part of Discovery Week in March.  A group of middle school students with microphones worked the crowd at Sitka’s annual parade honoring Elizabeth Peratrovich, a Tlingit woman whose testimony helped pass the country’s first anti-discrimination law in 1945. They asked community elders thoughtful questions about this celebrated civil rights activist’s legacy, and recorded these reflections for a KCAW radio segment—all on their first day as reporters.  Raven Radio connected sixth-, seventh- and eighth-graders with Tlingit elders to interview and share the lessons learned, including respect, equality and the democratic process.

 

Locally produced programming A Matter of Fact, a short program created with the Science Center and Sitka Tribe combining Tlingit translations of local animals with scientific facts.

 

Bulevar Latino is a latin music program hosted by volunteer Maite Lorente entirely in Spanish.

 

Volunteer and p/t morning edition host Brooke Schafer produced the Kettleson Poetry Club/Cafe working with a group of students and library faculty to produce 90 second programs highlighting original poetry as well as airing the live poetry reading event that took place to celebrate National Poetry Month in April.

 

Reporter Emily Kwong hosted a live debate by the Sitka Highschool debate team.

 

In August, Sitka was hit by multiple landslides resulting in the deaths of 3 men and many families evacuated from their homes.  It was several days before all the bodies were found and the homes in the slide areas were declared safe.  Raven Radio provided essential coverage of the disaster keeping residents and loved ones around the world updated with vital information in a professional manner, as well as vital public safety information after a devastating event where residents were wondering if the mountainsides were going to slide down on top of them.  The week after the landslides more than 37,000 different people visited our website and our facebook page reached more than 45,000 people.

 

Raven Radio hosted several town hall meetings discussing Marijuana, the Sitka Community Hospital, and the future of Sitka.

 

Raven Radio hosted several municipal election forums offering listeners the opportunity to ask questions directly to candidates for assembly and school board as well as ballot propositions.

 

KCAW aired three town hall meetings in 2015, one on Marijuana, one about Sitka Community Hospital, and one discussing the future of Sitka: What’s working and what’s not.

 

KCAW provides the only access to the Emergency Alert System in several remote Southeast Alaska communities that don’t have other radio or television signals, very limited phone and internet services accessed only by floatplane or boat. A couple years ago an earthquake just off the coast of Southeast Alaska generated a Tsunami Warning for all the coastal communities we broadcast in. Our translator equipment broadcast lowland evacuation orders for these communities.

 

KCAW’s summer annual news internship program has expanded to include a “Winter Fellow” position which basically means our news department has three full time staffers throughout the year. The intern and fellow are respectively selected from graduate school students and graduates. After a short training period, they have successfully produced local news reports and features broadcast on the local newscast and regularly appearing on the statewide news program Alaska News Nightly. Stories produced by the Winter Fellow included Sitka Tribe of Alaska election coverage, Alaska Measures of Progress (AMP) testing in the schools, and grade-schoolers working with a Tlingit carver at the Sitka National Historical Park.

 

KCAW produced PSAs for the Local Foods Network, Sitka Conservation Society, the Farmers Market, the Library, the Historical Society, Sitka Tribe of Alaska, Sitka Sound Science Center, The Hames Center (Sitka’s non-profit fitness center), The Easter Group Sitka’s homeless support group, The Chamber of Commerce, The Ride, Sitka’s public transportation system, The Local Emergency Planning Committee, The Greater Sitka Arts Council, Sitka Summer Music Festival, Sitka Jazz Festival, Sitka’s hospice group Braveheart, Sitkans Against Family Violence and others.

KCAW’s Program Director gave several tours to groups of school children, girl scouts and boy scouts.

 

Once again Sitka High School Debate team held a competitive debate live on the air in February. The instructors explained the debate rules and the judges discussed their impressions of the students’ performances. The state boarding school, Mt. Edgecumbe is developing its own Drama and Debate program which we hope to incorporate into this annual broadcast event.

 

  1. What impact did your key initiatives and partnerships have in your community? Describe any known measurable impact, such as increased awareness, learning or understanding about particular issues. Describe indicators of success, such as connecting people to needed resources or strengthening conversational ties across diverse neighborhoods. Did a partner see an increase in requests for related resources? Please include direct feedback from a partner(s) or from a person(s) served.

 

CPB funding is critical to the ongoing operation of this remote, rugged part of the world. We are able to provide local, regional, state, national and international news and entertainment as well as emergency information to a large listening area.

 

Raven Radio continues to expand online services. Raven Radio’s website regularly has more than 6,000 unique visitors each week.  Some weeks that number is greater than 10,000 visitors. The week after the landslides this past August more than 37,000 different people visited our website. It is also notable that 60% of folks use the website from phones and tablets verses 40% on computers.  The station’s Facebook page has more than 8,300 fans and has become a critical link in emergency communications. Facebook posts regularly reach tens of thousands of people. Coverage of the August landslides reached more than 45,000 people on Facebook. CPB funding is crucial to staffing the newsroom enabling us to provide daily news coverage for Southeast Alaskans whether they are looking for their information…on air or online.

 

KCAW received an $8,700 Rasmuson grant to repair and reinforce our broadcast antenna on top of the Mt. Edgecumbe Flight Tower.

 

The ability to broadcast news from around the country and around the world, form sources such as NPR, BBC and the Alaska Public Radio Network is dependent on CPB funding. This service is especially important for listeners in the remote coastal communities we serve that don’t have access to regular internet service.

 

Providing local news is the most expensive service that Raven Radio provides. The News Department would cease to functionally exist without CPB funds.  Local news would simply be impossible to provide. Production of almost all local public affairs programs and broadcast of local government meetings would cease without CPB support.

 

CPB funding is again fundamental to providing public radio to the remote southeast Alaskan communities of Sitka, Angoon, Elfin Cove, Kake, Pelican, Port Alexander, Tenakee Springs and Yakutat.  Several of these communities receive no other radio or television broadcast signal besides Raven Radio. Equipment problems again knocked a couple of these translators off the air for days and sometimes weeks. Port Alexander and Yakutat were hit particularly hard this year. CPB funding allowed Raven Radio to contract engineering support and purchase transmission gear to get the signals back on the air.

 

Translator communities continue to be our primary struggle. Yet again this year we have had all many of our transmitters off the air, or broadcasting a weak or distorted signal. Thank goodness that CoastAlaska has hired more engineering support, but even so scheduling visits to these communities is difficult.

 

Raven Radio would also be exposed to a much greater risk of losing state funding as well as special grant funding opportunities without CPB funds thereby cutting critical news and information services to a very remote population in a working marine environment that depends heavily on emergency alert and severe weather information.

 

Raven Radio provides fundamentally crucial services to a widespread and remote audience that other media simply have no monetary incentive to engage.

 

  1. Please describe any efforts (e.g. programming, production, engagement activities) you have made to investigate and/or meet the needs of minority and other diverse audiences (including, but not limited to, new immigrants, people for whom English is a second language and illiterate adults) during Fiscal Year 2015, and any plans you have made to meet the needs of these audiences during Fiscal Year 2016. If you regularly broadcast in a language other than English, please note the language broadcast.

 

KCAW General Manager and three board members met with the Sitka Tribe of Alaska Council to give and update on station emergency broadcast plans and offer service and consider collaborations. The Tribe expressed gratitude for news coverage of council meetings and tribal activities.

 

KCAW partnered with the Sitka Tribe of Alaska to promote several community events during Native American History Month. Raven Radio co-produced the “Tlingit Word of the Day” with the Sitka Native Education Program, which was broadcast throughout November.

KCAW’s General Manager and News Director met with the Superintendent of the Sitka School District to discuss the districts emergency protocols, to increase promotion of school activities and to enhance and develop student journalism opportunities. Each year KCAW mentors student reporters to cover community events or school projects.

 

KCAW’s General Manager met with Sitka’s City Administrator, Mt. Edgecumbe High School Superintendent, Sitka High School’s Principle and the director of the Fine Arts Camp.

 

  1. Please assess the impact that your CPB funding had on your ability to serve your community. What were you able to do with your grant that you wouldn’t be able to do if you didn’t receive it?

 

CPB funding is critical to the ongoing operation of this remote, rugged part of the world. We are able to provide local, regional, state, national and international news and entertainment as well as emergency information to a large listening area.

 

Raven Radio continues to expand online services. Raven Radio’s website regularly has more than 6,000 unique visitors each week.  Some weeks that number is greater than 10,000 visitors. The week after the landslides this past August more than 37,000 different people visited our website. It is also notable that 60% of folks use the website from phones and tablets verses 40% on computers.

 

The station’s Facebook page has more than 8,300 fans and has become a critical link in emergency communications. Facebook posts regularly reach tens of thousands of people. Coverage of the August landslides reached more than 45,000 people on Facebook. CPB funding is crucial to staffing the newsroom enabling us to provide daily news coverage for Southeast Alaskans whether they are looking for their information…on air or online.

 

The ability to broadcast news from around the country and around the world, form sources such as NPR, BBC and the Alaska Public Radio Network is dependent on CPB funding. This service is especially important for listeners in the remote coastal communities we serve that don’t have access to regular internet service.