UAA Class: Community-based reporting using Anchorage as a lab

“To live in a city is to live the life that it was built for, to adapt to its schedule and rhythms, to move within the transit layout made for you during the morning and evening rush, winding through the crowds of fellow commuters. To live in a city is to consume its offerings. To eat at its restaurants. To drink at its bars. To shop at its stores. To pay its sales taxes. To give a dollar to its homeless.

To live in a city is to take part in and to propagate its impossible systems. To wake up. To go to work in the morning. It is also to take pleasure in those systems because, otherwise, who could repeat the same routines, year in, year out?”

― Ling Ma, Severance

Join me and veteran Anchorage Daily News journalist Michelle Theriault Boots for an Alaska Press Club-sponsored community journalism class at UAA (JPC A194 CRN 75397). The class explores histories, neighborhoods, business and cultural communities in Anchorage, using Alaska’s largest city as a laboratory to strengthen skills in community-based reporting. Though the class focuses on Anchorage, the methods can be applied anywhere. This course can be petitioned by JPC majors to count for another degree requirement. Working journalists may apply for tuition reimbursement through the Alaska Press Club. 

This in-person course focuses on techniques for increasing self-awareness, expanding reporter networks and discovering people, culture and communities. We will learn to use demographics, history, economics, housing, business, neighborhoods, subcultures and food as lenses for story-telling, relationship-making and connecting with audiences. Importantly, this class is meant to hone reporting skills for work outside of institutional settings like meeting rooms, courtrooms or boardrooms. This class involves student/working journalist mentoring. Expect field-trips, in-class speakers and solo urban exploration that requires talking to strangers. All students will be expected to produce one story for broadcast or publication. 

Questions? Email me