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

Alaska businesses look for relief to make it through another dry tourism season | Alaska Insight

https://youtu.be/oguUTuFv1O8 Business owners, workers and communities reliant on tourism are facing another summer without cruise ships. Will the latest federal relief package be enough to keep them...

LISTEN: Examining the often overlooked role of women in Alaska’s history

Women in Alaska are known for being hard working, resourceful and tough, but their role has often been overlooked. Join us as we celebrate the kick off to Women’s History Month.
The bow of a white cruise ship

LISTEN: Alaska communities prepare for another lean tourism season amid slow economic recovery

No major cruise lines will return to the state in 2021. How will tourist-dependent communities weather this extended dry season? When federal relief does arrive, will it be enough for businesses to survive?
Lori Townsend talks to Lisa Busch about climate change and landslides in Southeast Alaska on set during Alaska Insight on February 19, 2021.

Collaborative research aims to better predict landslides in Southeast Alaska | Alaska Insight

https://youtu.be/_P4M72pzgKU What have geologists learned from destructive landslides in Alaska and how might that science inform future development plans and early warning systems for communities?
A landslide on a mountainside as seen from the air

LISTEN: How Alaskan communities are adapting to a warmer climate with more landslides

As Alaska warms, landslides are projected to be a growing problem. What have we learned from the deadly landslides in Sitka and the more recent event in Haines?
Protestors hold signs at a Black Lives Matter protest in downtown Anchorage. Photo by Mayowa Aina.

Celebrating Black History Month by honoring Alaskan trailblazers and the work still to come | Alaska Insight

https://youtu.be/lqY46ZNCxOQ After an intense year of political, social and racial unrest across the country, what does February mean for Black Alaskans this year and what do they...

LISTEN: After a tumultuous 2020, what priorities do Black Alaskans have looking ahead?

How do Black Alaskans see the current issues facing our society and what do they want in policy and social change for greater equity in the future?
Lori Townsend talks to disability advocates during Alaska Insight on Feb. 5, 2021.

How Alaskans with disabilities are dealing with pandemic challenges | Alaska Insight

https://youtu.be/TIh5Lfd4Dlc The isolation that has affected everyone during the pandemic can be especially rough for people with disabilities. Beyond loneliness, how have people who require daily, in-home...
wheelchair ramp

LISTEN: Addressing pandemic impacts for Alaskans with disabilities

The COVID-19 pandemic has created unique challenges for everyone, but many people with physical, developmental and cognitive challenges have had to adapt to even more uncertainty and frustration.
Lori Townsend talks with political reporters during Alaska Insight on Jan. 29, 2021.

Legislative priorities amid a pandemic and disorganization in the Alaska House | Alaska Insight

https://youtu.be/3vmfawt6vB4 Alaska lawmakers are in session in the capitol city. A lot of careful planning and work has gone into keeping lawmakers and Juneau residents safe from...

LISTEN: The first-ever lease sale was held in the Arctic refuge this month. What does it mean for oil development in Alaska?

Repeated attempts by Alaska’s congressional delegation to open the Arctic National Wildlife Refuge to development finally prevailed with a lease sale held in early January. What does the lack of industry interest mean for the future of oil in Alaska?
A nurse fills a needle with the COVID-19 Vaccine in Anchorage, AK on Jan. 7, 2021.

Vaccine rollout continues in Alaska with coordination between state and tribes | Alaska Insight

https://youtu.be/ullQwXAbBRw As more Alaskans get vaccinated against COVID-19, health care officials are working hard to make the process easy, accessible and trustworthy. In...

Preventing Youth Suicide in Alaska: There’s Hope, There’s Help | Alaska Insight Special

https://youtu.be/rQop32tS5vU Alaska Public Media and Well Beings team up for a community conversation about preventing youth suicide in a state with one of the highest per-capita rates...
a person receives a vaccination

LISTEN: Who’s next for COVID-19 vaccination in Alaska?

As more vaccines arrive, how will you know when you can get one? There’s been a lot of confusion as the state works to ensure Alaskans get the shot. Once you are vaccinated, when are you actually protected from the virus? We’re seeking clarity on the COVID-19 vaccine process and timeline.

LISTEN: How is the pandemic changing what, how, and where Alaskans eat?

More people are cooking at home, restaurants have closed, and there have been shortages of everything from yeast to canning jars. Alaskans have had a unique and self-reliant food culture for generations. We’ll discuss how the coronavirus is affecting it

LISTEN: Ideas for nonpartisan political cooperation

At a time when political divisions are intensifying, we'll discuss strategies for finding compromise with former Alaska Governor Bill Walker.

LISTEN: The social safety net in the Covid economy

As winter deepens and the economy continues to be hampered by COVID-19 restrictions, how much additional pressure is there on the state's social service programs for vulnerable Alaskans?
The Yukon-Kuskokwim Health Corporation's hospital in Bethel.

LISTEN: Alaska’s health care system struggles with capacity amid COVID-19 surge

Hospital officials, doctors and other medical support staff are raising the alarm over high coronavirus case counts in Alaska, illness among their own ranks, and the diminishing number of available beds for critical care.
A manila "vote here" sign hangs in a white room with an election worker in blue sitting at the table.

LISTEN: Two weeks later, how did Alaskans vote this election?

As state election officials continue tallying ballots, major questions remain about the results, even after most races have been called.

Alaska’s election results and what they may mean for the state’s future | Alaska Insight

https://www.youtube.com/embed/6Z0A-jjmZe8 More than 150,000 Alaskans voted by absentee and mail. As those counts are tallied, some races have flipped, some are still too close to call, and the...