Cause journalism: ‘Energy Desk’ story of the day


The “Alaska Energy Desk” non-energy story of the day is from reporter Nat Herz, formerly with the Anchorage Daily News. In it, he quotes freshman Rep. Zack Fields talking about Gov. Michael Dunleavy’s budget:

“Clearly, his budget proposal effectively didn’t garner any support, and I think you’ve seen a lot of skepticism about his amendments to pretty radically change the Constitution,” Fields says to the listening audience around the state.

Fields is the legislator who attempted to destroy Public Safety Commissioner Amanda Price during her confirmation hearings. He is one of the most left partisans in the House Democrat-led majority, a former employee of the Walker Administration, the Alaska Democratic Party, and Laborers’ Local 341.

Herz also quotes Pat Pourchot, an Anchorage Democrat and former legislative director for Democrat Gov. Tony Knowles. Pourchot was an Department of Interior political appointee to the Administration of President Barack Obama. Herz also quotes Dunleavy critic Nils Andreassen, who runs the Alaska Municipal League, which opposes the Dunleavy agenda.

To balance, he quotes Sen. President Cathy Giessel and the governor’s press secretary Matt Shuckerow.

Here’s the story:

Big parts of Gov. Dunleavy’s agenda remain unfinished. But he still has time, tools at his disposal.

The Energy Desk is a multi-station project of Alaska Public Media that is a collaboration between several public broadcasting stations. It runs on a grant from the Corporation for Public Broadcasting that was originally $775,000, when it was announced in 2015. Its mission originally was to cover energy and climate change issues and produce stories that can be then recast and shared to a national audience through NPR. But it does few of those stories now. In its third year, the Energy Desk focuses much of its attention on thinly veiled opposition to Republicans and the Pebble Project.

[Related: Should public broadcasting be spared?]

CPB funds stations around the country as part of this project to support “Enterprise Journalism,” according to the diagram on its website.


  1. “Support enterprise journalism.” Sounds as if MRAK should apply for a grant from them!?

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