Lori Townsend, Alaska Public Media

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Lori Townsend is the News Director for the Alaska Public Radio Network. She got her start in broadcasting at the age of 11 as the park announcer of the fast pitch baseball games in Deer Park, Wisconsin. She has worked in print and broadcast journalism for more than 24 years. She was the co-founder and former Editor of Northern Aspects, a magazine featuring northern Wisconsin writers and artists. She worked for 7 years at tribal station WOJB on the Lac Courte Oreilles Ojibway Reservation in Wisconsin, first as an on-air programmer and special projects producer and eventually News Director. In 1997 she co-hosted a continuing Saturday afternoon public affairs talk program on station KSTP in St. Paul, Minnesota. Radio brought her to Alaska where she worked as a broadcast trainer for Native fellowship students at Koahnic Broadcasting. Following her work there, she helped co-found the non-profit broadcast company Native Voice Communications. NVC created the award-winning Independent Native News as well as producing many other documentaries and productions. Townsend was NVC’s technical trainer and assistant producer of INN. 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. Her print work and interviews have been published in News from Indian Country, Yakama Nation Review and other publications. Ms. Townsend has also worked as a broadcast trainer for the Native American Journalist’s Association and with NPR’s Doug Mitchell and as a freelance editor. 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. Townsend was the recipient of a Fellowship at the Metcalf Institute for Marine and Environmental Reporting in Rhode Island as well as a fellowship at the Knight Digital Media Center in Berkeley. She is an avid reader, a rabid gardener and counts water skiing, training horses, diving and a welding certification among her past and current interests. ltownsend (at) alaskapublic (dot) org  |  907.550.8452 | About Lori

Arctic dinosaurs and ancient ecosystems

Dr Anthony Fiorillo has spent more than two decades searching remote areas in Alaska for evidence of dinosaurs that once roamed the state. Find out more about his work and what ancient ecosystems can teach us about our future on the next Talk of Alaska.
molly of denali

The work of eradicating stereotypes

All cultures need a correct reflection of who they are in media. There has been progress, such as the new PBS kids program Molly of Denali, but a lot of work remains. We'll discuss the good, the bad and the 'still needs to be changed' on the next Talk of Alaska.
YKHC consists of a regional hospital in Bethel. Photo Courtesy of YKHC.

Rural public health

Access to health care in rural Alaska can be a challenge. How will reductions in medicaid and other funds affect health in rural communities?

The burn season

With extreme heat and dry conditions, wildfires are burning across the state. What's the outlook for the rest of the summer and what should we all do to help reduce the risk of causing a fire or losing property to one?

The future of the UA system

Governor Mike Dunleavy's vetoes cut 41 percent of the state's contribution to the University of Alaska system budget.. How will UA handle the deep cuts to programs, staff and students? And could UA could lose national accreditation?

Law enforcement in rural Alaska

Rural Alaska communities suffer some of the highest rates of violence and lawlessness in the country. Recently AG Barr visited southwest Alaska communities and pledged millions in emergency funds to begin addressing the problem. We'll ask what else is needed on the next Talk of Alaska.

The PFD debate

The permanent fund dividend has become a political hot potato. Some want a $3000 dividend, under the original law, others say a new formula is needed to avoid deeper state budget cuts and to keep the fund healthy into the future. What's the best path forward?
Photo by Jason Sear, KDLG - Dillingham

The Pebble Mine

A comment period for the Pebble Mine project ends July 1st. Supporters of the mine say it would bring good jobs to the Bristol Bay region but opponents worry about potential long term effects to the world's largest wild salmon fishery.

The future of agriculture in Alaska

It's planting time for farmers and backyard garden enthusiasts. What's new with the changing ag scene in Alaska and what will it mean for raising more food right in our state? And how will a changing climate affect food production?

Federal policy in Alaska

Federal military policy will increasingly focus on the arctic region. How will U.S. tensions with Russia, North Korea and China affect Alaska? U.S. Senator Dan Sullivan joins us for the next Talk of Alaska.

6 months after 7.1

It's been 6 months since a 7.1 magnitude earthquake rattled southcentral Alaskans. Repair and recovery efforts are ongoing. What are the lessons learned?

The trades and workforce development for Alaska

Should young people today go to a 4 year university or enter the trades? Some students do both: Get a job through a technical program so they can make enough money to support their plan for college. Is there a best approach?

The first forensic nursing academy in the US

A new forensics program at the University of Alaska Anchorage will provide training for evidence collection for both types of abuse. The new program is the first in the nation.

Former state chief medical officer Jay Butler takes job with Centers for Disease Control

Alaska's former chief medical officer, Dr Jay Butler has accepted a job with the Centers for Disease Control in Atlanta as the head of the office of infectious disease.
Bean's Cafe at Brother Francis Shelter in Anchorage.

The effort to end homelessness

The annual point in time homelessness count for Alaska has for years revealed that about 2000 people across the state, do not have their own home. Is it possible to get to zero?

The role of nonprofits in Alaska

Alaska has a high number of nonprofit organizations that assist communities with a wide range of services. What could state budget cuts mean for their funding and how will it affect their ability to provide services?

Alcohol awareness month

April marks alcohol awareness month, a time for public health and treatment advocates to highlight the dangers of excessive drinking. Alcoholism is a big problem in Alaska and recent public events have promoted having fun without having alcohol. Will the sans concept catch on?

The decline of sea ice in the Arctic

The decline in seasonal sea ice affects more than just arctic communities. That ice helps regulate world temperatures. Less ice means coastal communities are at risk of rising sea levels and coastal erosion.

The Governor’s permanent fiscal plan

Governor Mike Dunleavy says he wants a permanent fiscal plan for Alaska and he has proposed amendments to the constitution to keep future governors and lawmakers from changing the tax structure or the PFD formula without a vote of the people.

Lawmakers and the budget

The Dunleavy administration's budget plan has attracted a lot of attention and controversy. Now lawmakers are grappling with their role in addressing the flood of demands from their constituents while determining what state services are important and how it will all be paid for.