UAA Atwood Chair Encourages More Native People To Become Reporters

Mark Trahant. Photo courtesy of UAA.
Mark Trahant. Photo courtesy of UAA.

This year’s University of Alaska Anchorage Journalism department’s Atwood chair is a man who has covered Alaska stories in the past. A member of the Shoshone Bannock tribe of Idaho, Mark Trahant is the first Native journalist to hold the position. Trahant has been covering federal budget cuts, the Affordable Care Act and the impact of both on tribes. He says he wants to encourage more native people to become reporters.

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Lori Townsend is the News Director for Alaska Public Media. She has worked in print and broadcast journalism for nearly 30 years. Radio brought her to Alaska, where she worked as a broadcast trainer for Native fellowship students at Koahnic Broadcasting before accepting a reporting/host position with APRN in 2003. APRN merged with Alaska Public Media a year later. Through her freelance work, she has produced news and feature stories nationally and internationally for Independent Native News, National Native News, NPR , Pacifica, Monitor Radio, Radio Netherlands and AIROS. Townsend is the recipient of numerous awards for her work from the Alaska Press Club, the Native American Journalists Association and a gold and a silver reel award from the National Federation of Community Broadcasters.