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
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...

LISTEN: How are educators weighing school reopening amid Covid?

Educators explain how they are assessing the risks of viral transmission against the toll taken on keeping kids out of the classroom.
Lori Townsend talks with faith leaders on Alaska Insight. Nov. 6, 2020.

Faith Leaders in Anchorage aim for unity and peace through new initiative | Alaska Insight

https://youtu.be/1WvGmRo-Fpg Religious leaders in Anchorage are responding to deep divisions over racial equity, social justice, and economic inequality with a new initiative called "Reconciliation: Race, Justice, and...
Lori Townsend talks with experts on the issue of missing and murdered indigenous women in Alaska.

Addressing the crisis of missing and murdered indigenous women in Alaska | Alaska Insight

https://youtu.be/vlZkZBCN3FA Alaska has some of the highest rates in the country of missing and murdered indigenous women and girls. After years of organizing around the issue, advocates...

LISTEN: How worried should Alaskans be about the future of food security?

Food security is on the minds of Alaskans because of supply line disruptions brought on by the pandemic. How do those concerns differ across the state, and especially for indigenous people in rural communities who depend heavily on subsistence?

LISTEN: COVID-19 cases are surging in Alaska. What’s the outlook for winter?

Alaska's Covid case numbers are accelerating at an alarming rate. Daily counts have been in the triple digits for weeks. Why are cases increasing so quickly now and what might it mean for winter transmission rates as Alaskans spend time indoors and distancing becomes more difficult?
Lori Townsend talks with guests about village relocation during Alaska Insight.

Climate change is forcing some villages to move. What is the government doing to help? | Alaska Insight

https://youtu.be/hIRZZO__lCE Increasingly violent and frequent storms driven by climate change are becoming the new normal. The reliable freeze-up that would stabilize shorelines before heavy winter weather helped...

Dan Sullivan wants to keep his seat in the Senate. Hear why he wants your vote | Alaska Insight

https://youtu.be/YWs2QHXlE2o Rounding out our coverage of congressional races, we turn to Alaska's junior U.S. Senator, Dan Sullivan, who is campaigning to retain his seat in the Alaska...