Alaska Public Media Lends Studio to UAA for Broadcast Training
(Front row, left to right) UAA JPC students Hailey Barnes and Gloria Lord, AKPM Director of Production Valerie Kern, UAA Atwood Chair of Journalism John Sharify, and UAA JPC student Feng-Ching Chang. (Back row, left to right) JPC Technical Support Trent McNelly, UAA JPC students Peter Jackson, James Boatman, and Carson Kosobud.
When Alaska Public Media (AKPM) puts on its three-part Debate for the State program in October, the broadcaster will have some extra help behind the scenes. Students from UAA’s Journalism and Public Communications (JPC) department will be lending a hand in the studio and control room as part of a new partnership.
Students enrolled in JPC 383, the TV Production class, are using the recently upgraded TV facilities at the Elmo Sackett Broadcast Center, next door to the UAA campus, under the instruction of John Sharify, the Atwood Chair of Journalism for 2022-2023.
“This partnership is a win/win for our students,” Sharify says. “They’ll get to learn from the talented and hard-working professionals at Alaska Public Media, who produce compelling stories. The students will get hands-on experience in all facets of media production in state-of-the-art facilities. It doesn’t get better than that!”
While classes take place in the AKPM studios, Sharify and his students work under the supervision of AKPM Director of Production Valerie Kern. “I’m so excited about this partnership,” Kern says, “because the students will get hands-on experience with all aspects of TV broadcast production in a real, working studio, while AKPM can get valuable insight into the media consumption preferences for young Alaskans—which is a demographic that public television is actively trying to reach and connect with better.”
The JPC department has its own fully equipped TV studio in UAA’s Professional Studies Building, but it is closed for renovation this semester. JPC department chair Joy Chavez Mapaye initiated the partnership with AKPM, where she also serves as a community advisory board member. “JPC wanted to create a stronger connection with Alaska Public Media in general and welcomed the opportunity to access Alaska Public Media’s studio,” Mapaye says.
Beyond the debate series, the partnership will continue through the Fall semester and will be reevaluated by both parties for continued partnerships in the future.
“This partnership truly is mutually beneficial in many ways,” says Kern. “I’m also very grateful that I will be able to observe the teachings of John Sharify, a highly respected storyteller in this industry.”
Sharify recently arrived in Alaska for the year-long Atwood Chair appointment, a visiting professorship established by the late publisher of the Anchorage Times, Robert Atwood, and his wife Evangeline. Sharify is also a two-time National Press Photographer Association Reporter of the Year and twice runner-up. He has reported in newsrooms in New York City at WPIX and in Seattle at KOMO News 4 and KING 5 News. Sharify has earned seventy-nine Emmy awards and nine Edward R. Murrow awards, including the National Murrow for top news writer in the US in 2004, 2007, 2008, and 2020.