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Alaska Dispatch

Alaska Dispatch
Type Online newspaper
Owner(s) Alice Rogoff
Tony Hopfinger
Founded 2008
Headquarters 2301 Merrill Field Drive
Anchorage, Alaska

Alaska Dispatch is a news organization founded in 2008 and based in Anchorage, Alaska. It is an online news outlet focusing on statewide coverage of the U.S. state of Alaska, and on circumpolar affairs and policy.[1] The site is an advertising-based for-profit enterprise, setting it apart from many other, not-for-profit online-only news websites like ProPublica or the Texas Tribune.[2] The organization is co-owned by Alice Rogoff and Tony Hopfinger, and has come to employ a staff of about 30 full-time writers, editors and salespeople.


Alaska Dispatch began as an Alaska news blog in 2008, started by former Bloomberg and Newsweek correspondent Tony Hopfinger and his then-wife, journalist Amanda Coyne, who wrote articles and blogs for Alaska Dispatch until late 2012. In 2009, Alice Rogoff, former U.S. News & World Report chief financial officer and wife of Carlyle Group co-founder David Rubenstein, bought a majority share in the website, and the organization moved into a hangar located along Anchorage's Merrill Field Airport, where Rogoff, a licensed pilot, also houses her Cessna 206.[3] With Rogoff's investment, the staff grew to include journalists who had previously worked for other Alaska news outlets, like the Fairbanks Daily News-Miner, the Anchorage Press, local NBC affiliate KTUU and the Anchorage Daily News.

In 2009, the site earned positive coverage for its series on a massacre of caribou in the rural Alaska village of Point Hope.[4][5] In 2010, the Columbia Journalism Review called Alaska Dispatch "a regional reporting powerhouse,"[6] while the American Journalism Review did a lengthy profile of the news site's willingness to fly a reporter thousands of miles to cover the Deepwater Horizon oil spill in the Gulf of Mexico.[7] In that same profile, an editor of the Anchorage Daily News newspaper, at one time one of the site's competitors, referred to the site's coverage as inconsistent, and questioned the sustainability of the business model.

In 2011, Alaska Dispatch won first place in the breaking news category in the "Best of the West" journalism competition for its coverage of the August 2010 plane crash that killed former U.S. Senator Ted Stevens and four others, beating out the larger-market Oregonian and Seattle Times newspapers for the top prize.[8] In 2012, a report detailing the problems surrounding a remote airport project servicing the Aleutian community of Akutan won first place in the Best General Reporting category.[9]

The site covers many statewide topics, with a particular focus on oil and gas policies in Alaska, fisheries and wildlife management, outdoor activities such as sled dog mushing and mountaineering, rural affairs and Alaska Native corporations, Alaska politics, and worldwide Arctic geopolitics and climate change. The organization also features a "Bush Pilot" section, which covers aviation topics in Alaska and abroad.[10]

In April, 2014, it was announced that the Alaska Dispatch would be buying the Anchorage Daily News for US$34 million. The deal is expected to close in May, 2014.[11]

Editorial staff

  • Tony Hopfinger (executive editor)
  • Mike Campbell (managing editor)
  • Loren Holmes (multimedia editor / photographer)
  • Scott Woodham (news editor)
  • Maia Nolan-Partnow (news editor)
  • Ben Anderson (news editor)
  • Laurel Andrews (reporter)
  • Jill Burke (reporter)
  • Suzanna Caldwell (reporter)
  • Alex DeMarban (reporter)
  • Pat Forgey (reporter)
  • Aaron Jansen (art director)
  • Craig Medred (reporter)
  • Megan Edge (calendar editor / writer)
  • Tara Young (videographer)
  • Jerzey Shedlock (reporter)
  • Sean Doogan (reporter)
  • Yereth Rosen (arctic editor / writer)
  • Rick Sinnott (reporter)


External links

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