For more than 16 years Joel Southern has worked in a tiny corner of the U.S. Capitol building in Washington, DC, on behalf of the statewide listeners of the Alaska Public Radio Network (APRN). He’s covered federal funding, projects and laws that affect Alaskan lands, communities and individuals at a level unparalleled by any other state- or region-focused reporter. APRN has been lucky to have him and his proud of the reporting legacy he’s built.
In this brief video, Southern is interviewed about his work in the Capitol and he reflects on Alaska’s history, from the fight for statehood leading up to the larger-than-life characters in Alaska’s Congressional delegation — Ted Stevens, Don Young and Lisa Murkowski.
Unfortunately, Southern is leaving APRN and Washington, DC this month to move to Denmark with his wife and family. (Southern’s wife is originally from Denmark.) We wish him well but mourn the loss of a good friend. Thank you Joel, for all your work, and be sure to visit us the next time you’re in Alaska!
The good news is that experienced Alaska reporter Libby Casey takes over in the “Capitol cubbyhole” starting in July. She’s moving from Fairbanks where she reported for APRN member station KUAC but has also completed special projects with National Public Radio and others in the last few years.