Alaska Media–Messaging or Reporting?

What is the role of the media? Is the media being used as an extension of the government and is this proper? Shouldn't the media be the watchdog. protecting the people from the government?

Dan Fagan recently wrote a candid article on the philosophy of the Alaska Dispatch News and its impact on public policy.  We may not agree with all his comments but it does shine a light on the “what” is happening in Alaska and the “why” it is being done.  We congratulate Mr. Fagan for shining the light on the important role and impact that media now has on shaping the battlefield of public opinion.  His example of the Alaska National Guard “scandal” shows the role of messaging with an agenda at its finest. One thing he did not mention–the role that your Anchorage School District also played in taking down the former governor.


Bottom Line: Should the media’s primary function be messaging to influence public opinion or reporting?


Here is the article in its entirety:


Alice Rogoff’s Worst Nightmare


by Dan Fagan
What I would give to be a fly on the wall as Sunday morning rolls around and Alice Rogoff is forced to read Paul Jenkins’ column in her paper. I would imagine the expletives fly.

And yet to Rogoff’s credit she keeps running it even though it clearly presents a vastly different viewpoint than the rest of her columnists and the journalists under her control.

Here’s what Jenkins wrote this Sunday about Rogoff’s golden boy Gov. Bill Walker.


“If reasoned leadership in this state sold for $1 billion a gram, we would have to scratch like chickens in a dusty barnyard to come up with a penny’s worth. If we could peddle ineptitude for a dime a ton, we would be rich.”


I don’t know about you but reading Jenkins each week is like a breath of fresh air. It reminds me I am not crazy. Granted Mr. Jenkins represents less than one percent of the content generated weekly by

Let’s cut to the chase when it comes to Ms. Rogoff removed all doubt about how far she would go to push her agenda and get elected who she wants elected with a constant, never ending, week after week, day after day flow of Sean Parnell stories. You remember them. They mysteriously went away the split second after election day. They were all designed with one purpose. Convince voters Mr. Parnell doesn’t care about the National Guard sexual assault victims.

This manufactured scandal was such a big deal for Rogoff she cut down too many trees to count printing endless stories about it and yet the very day after the election all of a sudden it didn’t matter anymore and the so called scandal miraculously disappeared. What a coincidence. It is the most obvious case of bias I have ever seen from a news organization in my many years of watching politics.

The only thing that comes close is when Ms. Rogoff unleashed her entire staff and all of her resources as publisher of the Alaska Dispatch to take down Joe Miller in his run against Lisa Murkowski.

Of course now that Rogoff used her wealth to purchase she has much more power. And she knows it. Ms. Rogoff told a recent audience at a conference she is now in the messaging business.

The question now is which candidate will she target next? My guess it will be someone in the Alaska Legislature with a big R in front of their name.

Ms. Rogoff has indeed pulled off the impossible. She has steered what has traditionally been one of the most left wing papers in the country even more to the left. That’s quite an accomplishment.

They certainly have some real winning columnists now over at There’s Bill Walker bootlicker Dermot Cole, the vinegary Shannyn Moore, the to hell with humans we must save animals Rick Sinnott, and of course Professor Steven Haycox. You would have to dig up the grave of Karl Marx to find someone more left leaning than Haycox. Trust me. I’ve interviewed him.

This is a big deal because as unfortunate as it is true the local paper dictates the coverage of local TV stations. And with the average age of a TV reporter coming in around 24, the youngsters typically get their story ideas from the newspaper. So when the newspaper promotes socialism, big government, and anti free market ideas and policies the TV people follow suit like panting lap dogs.

Here’s a perfect example. During the campaign Gov. Walker promised he would not undo the obvious progress Gov. Sean Parnell made in securing a gas-line. I personally questioned Mr. Walker about this several times during a forum I moderated three days before the election. Mr. Walker assured us all in the audience he would not undo the Parnell deal. But that’s exactly what he has done.

Gov. Walker believes the state should be in charge and call the shots when it comes to a gas pipeline. His low information supporters love this as they ignorantly chant it’s our oil. Of course private sector companies are not going to invest billions when the project is subject to political leaders with big egos trying to impress sometime not so bright voters with flawed decision making.

Has the media covered this story which by any standard is a huge one? Hardly.

And then there’s this. ExxonMobil’s CEO Rex Tillerson said this about Gov. Walker changing plans for a gas-line.


“We’ve had two good chances in the last 10 years to get it done, and as soon as you had an election that ended it. Alaska is their own worst enemy.”


A fair newspaper would have reported this ad nauseam. What’s a bigger story? A manufactured scandal involving the National Guard or our current governor killing the Alaska gas line.

To save Alaska from becoming California we must have more of a say when it comes to the media.
It is true there are other voices out there other than Paul Jenkins. Talk radio hosts like Dave Stieren, Glen Beigel, Mike Porcaro, and Rick Rydell make a huge difference. But as far as a place for Alaskans to go to get a fair and balanced news story, the pickings are slim.

The Alaska Policy Forum does a bang up job of research but has little reach because of a lack of funding. Every business owner in Alaska should donate something to the Alaska Policy Forum. Every little bit counts.

I’ve never been able to understand why the left is so good at controlling the media while the free market loving folks don’t seem to get their act together and counter all the propaganda.

Yes the business community will get together and have their luncheons downtown as they preach to the choir. I’ve personally produced a dozen of them. But it’s time for the financially successful in our community to do more.

Business leaders and entrepreneurs have the most invested in our state. But for some reason they have been unable to organize, fund, and get behind pro free market bent media.

So thanks to the media we sit in Alaska with the Governor’s Mansion, and Anchorage City Hall controlled by government is always the answer and business is always the bad guy leadership. Most Alaskans have no idea what’s in store. It’s time for the successful in our state to unite and take a financial interest in combating the blatantly biased media.


(This article is reprinted with the permission of Dan Fagan. To read the original article: