• Forecast
  • News Tip
  • Categories
Temperature Precipitation
Estimated read time
2m 45s

Rhonda McBride

By Rhonda McBride 1:04 AM January 20, 2014

Rural Affairs Editor

Alaska truly is the Last Frontier of great storytelling. Although I’ve been a reporter in Alaska since 1988, my “to do” list of stories is ever a work in progress.

Whether it’s finding ways around the extreme weather or geographical challenges, or creative applications of new technology or ancient traditions, Alaskans are always pushing into new frontiers – and the opportunity to bring that story to you in all of its different incarnations is both an honor and privilege.

I guess I’ll always think of myself as a “Bushrat Journo.” Bushrat is a term popularized by the late Governor Jay Hammond. It was his way of saying that even though he lived in the city, his heart was in the Bush.

For me, it speaks to my roots at KYUK, the public radio and TV station in Bethel that broadcasts in both English and Yup’ik, the predominant Native language in Southwest Alaska. I was news director there for almost 10 years and was lucky to have worked alongside some pioneering Alaska Native journalists and storytellers, who shared their culture and subsistence lifestyle with me. From walrus meat, to salmon strips, to mouse food, I’ve had an authentic taste of life in Rural Alaska.

And no matter what job I’ve had, whether it was a producer for the Alaska Public Radio Network, a reporter at KTUU, or a one-year stint as Governor Sarah Palin’s Rural Advisor, this intimate knowledge of life in Rural Alaska has helped me find success. I’m proud to have been recognized three times by the Society of Professional Journalists as a Sigma Delta Chi winner, one of SPJ’s highest honors, for my coverage of rural voting patterns, fetal alcohol syndrome and climate change.

One of the jobs I enjoyed the most was hosting public affairs programs for KAKM-Channel 7, the public television station in Anchorage. I look forward to doing the same for KTVA and Denali Media, to help our audience come to grips with some of rural Alaska’s most pressing issues in both a talk-show format and in special reports. Denali Media’s vision and commitment to bring more in-depth statewide coverage convinces me that the best in Alaska journalism is yet to come.

As a Bushrat reporter, I never feel guilty about my arctic entry being cluttered with shoes and muddy boots. I swear, after all these years, the dust and grit of Bethel is still in my car. We bought it when my son was born, and now he’s grown into a young man.

He and his father have put up with my passion for story telling as long as they can remember, just as I’ve put up with their passion for music. Well, actually, I enjoy it and have tried to join them by strumming on a ukulele or a stand-up bass. Let’s just say I’m a better appreciator of music than I am a player, and there’s no danger of giving up my day job.

Don’t worry. I’ll keep working here at KTVA to bring you those stories with “ah, hah” moments. One thing is true about being a reporter in Alaska. The more you know, sometimes the less you know. That makes every day a new frontier.

Latest Stories

  • News

    2 survive plane crash between villages in Southwest Alaska

    by Associated Press on Jan 17, 7:57

    Two people in a small airplane survived a crash between southwest Alaska villages. Alaska State Troopers say a Coast Guard helicopter spotted the downed aircraft early Monday night. Investigators say the airplane left Dillingham on a flight to Port Heiden but landed in Pilot Point because of bad weather. The airplane took off again from […]

  • News

    Anchorage drivers weigh in on proposed red light camera ballot initiative

    by Daniella Rivera on Jan 17, 7:46

    What can be done about red light runners in Anchorage? Vice Chairman of the Anchorage Assembly Dick Traini says it’s a question he frequently hears from constituents. That’s why he and Anchorage Assembly Chair Elvi Gray-Jackson have submitted an ordinance that would let voters decide whether to allow the municipality to use cameras to ticket […]

  • Politics

    Interior nominee Zinke to be questioned on public lands, coal

    by Associated Press on Jan 17, 6:54

    Montana Rep. Ryan Zinke says he would never sell, give away or transfer public lands, an important stance in the West where access to hunting and fishing is considered sacrosanct. But Zinke’s commitment to public lands has come into question recently and is likely to be a point of contention Tuesday as a Senate committee […]

  • News

    Alaska’s population climbing despite net migration loss

    by Associated Press on Jan 17, 6:41

    Alaska’s population is climbing despite the fact that more people are moving away from the state than moving in. KTOO-FM reports that according to a Department of Labor report released Thursday, Alaska’s population has grown slightly due to births, though net migration remains down. Net migration – the number of people moving two Alaska minus […]

  • Esteban Santiago ordered held without bond

    by Associated Press on Jan 17, 6:37

    Last updated at 7:50 a.m. on Tuesday, Jan. 17 The man suspected of fatally shooting five people and wounding six others at a Florida airport has been ordered held without bond. During a Tuesday morning hearing in Fort Lauderdale, an FBI agent confirmed that the 9 mm gun used in the Jan. 6 shooting rampage […]

  • Sports

    Ryne Olson wins Copper Basin 300

    by Dave Goldman on Jan 16, 21:09

    If you follow trends, this was a no-brainer. In the past two years, Ryne Olson has taken third and second place at the Copper Basin 300 sled dog race. Like a blue chip, which grows slowly and consistently over time, this one found its highest point yet. Now you can call her a Copper Basin 300 champion. […]

  • Politics

    ‘It’s time to pull together’: Alaskans plan to attend Women’s March on Washington

    by Eric Ruble on Jan 16, 19:36

    The final preparations are underway for President-elect Donald Trump’s inauguration in Washington, D.C. on Friday. However, a few hundred thousand people are expected to participate in a separate event happening the next day in the nation’s capital. The purpose of the Women’s March on Washington – according to its organizers – is to send a […]

  • News

    Red Cross volunteers install free smoke detectors for MLK Day

    by Shannon Ballard on Jan 16, 19:09

    Martin Luther King Jr. Day not only honors the life and legacy of the legendary civil rights leader, it also offers opportunities to translate his words into action. On Monday, that sense of volunteerism and community was felt in the South Park Estates trailer park off Arctic Boulevard. A group of about a dozen people with […]