ADN publisher speaks to Alaska’s role in media

by Anessia Hubler

Sun Star

Publisher of Alaska Dispatch News and Founder of Arctic Circle and Arctic Imperative Summit, Alice Rogoff, came to speak at UAF’s Arctic Day, on Nov. 12 in the Davis Concert Hall. Rogoff talked  about problems in the Arctic and how to start fixing them along with the need for good journalists.

Arctic Day hosted several events on UAF campus with the intent of putting a spot light on the international importance of the Arctic and to discuss UAF’s contributions to the world’s understanding of the North.

Food and Arctic research displays were set up outside Davis Concert Hall to entertain guests while they waited to go in. The UA Museum of the North’s booth displayed different animal pelts, bones and marrow in hopes of attracting  students interested in biology.

“I love these stands, they have something for everyone.” said Jesse Keller, freshman mathematics student.

UAF Chancellor Brian Rogers, introduced Rogoff to the crowd of roughly 120 people.

Vice Chancellor Mike Sfraga interviewed Rogoff during the event. Rogoff touched on some of the problems with the Arctic, such as global warming, increased recognition for Alaska and co-operation throughout the state and lack of journalist getting the word out about these issues.

Rogoff said by fixing the problems we would be helping the Alaskan economy.

Among these problems was the Bering Strait, which could be used for trade, mining and military. “The Bering Strait is 2,000 miles long, which is longer than the East Coast, and we are not using it,” Rogoff said.

Rogoff’s solution to this problem was to put in ports along the Bering Strait coastline. She said that she even had the OK from Native Alaskan leaders from the area along the coastline to do so.

If Alaskans did  put ports out on the coast we would also have to hire  and train search and rescue. “Right now there is no search and rescue in the Bering Strait, so if there was a spill or something bad happened, there would be no one to help out,” Rogoff said.

Putting ports along the coast and making it open to trade, military and mining for oil would create jobs and boost Alaska’s economy, according to Rogoff, who said, “Just by putting in a port I’d be making at least five jobs.”

Rogoff touched on what she considered a really big problem: Alaskan pride. “People of Alaska love Alaska more than any other people in the world, but with this we also don’t want anyone else coming to Alaska,” Rogoff said.  She explained how by doing this we are not filling all the jobs. “Nice jobs of high pay are getting filled but its the lower, more unlikable jobs that are not.”

The biggest problem that Rogoff brought up was a lack of communication between Alaska and the rest of the world. “We need some good journalists, or just people in general, to start writing about the problems in Alaska, if that be economic problems or the melting caused by global warming,” Rogoff said.

She mentioned that she gave a speech that day for students majoring in journalism and that how there were only eight people in the whole meeting.

“We need to take a stand and make our voices heard so that people will stop forgetting we are here,” Rogoff said.

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