May 11, 2022

For Immediate Release


Sean Manning

- [email protected]

States Newsroom Launches Alaska Beacon To Provide Unbiased, Nonpartisan State Government Reporting To All Alaskans

New Alaska outlet comes shortly after Pew Research Center identified States Newsroom as a key bulwark against the decline in full-time statehouse reporters

JUNEAU, AK – Today, States Newsroom, the nation’s leading network of state-based nonprofit news outlets, launched the Alaska Beacon to provide free, high-quality, non-partisan reporting with complete editorial independence on the crucial issues affecting the Last Frontier.

The Alaska Beacon published the first edition of its daily newsletter, The Morning Light, alongside its launch. The Morning Light will land in subscribers’ inboxes each morning with the Alaska Beacon’s top stories covering the issues that affect Alaska. The Alaska Beacon is States Newsroom’s 27th independent outlet in its network.

The newsroom is led by Andrew Kitchenman, who has covered state government in Alaska since 2016, serving as the Capitol reporter for Alaska Public Media and KTOO before joining the Alaska Beacon. Prior, he covered state and local governments on the East Coast – primarily in New Jersey – for more than 15 years. He enjoys reading, watching movies and walking around Anchorage.

Additional members of the Alaska Beacon newsroom include:

  • ●  Lisa Phu, Deputy Editor, covers justice, education, and culture for the Alaska Beacon. Previously, she spent eight years as an award-winning journalist, reporting for the Juneau Empire, KTOO Public Media, KSTK, and Wrangell Sentinel. She’s also been Public Information Officer for the City and Borough of Juneau, lead facilitator for StoryCorps Alaska based in Utqiagvik, and a teacher in Tanzania and Bhutan. Originally from New York, Lisa is a first generation Chinese American and a mom of two young daughters.
  • ●  James Brooks, Reporter, is a longtime Alaska reporter, having previously worked at the Anchorage Daily News, Juneau Empire, Kodiak Mirror and Fairbanks Daily News-Miner. A graduate of Virginia Tech, he is married to Caitlyn Ellis, owns a house in Juneau and has a small sled dog named Barley.
  • ●  Yereth Rosen, Reporter, came to Alaska in 1987 to work for the Anchorage Times. She has been reporting on Alaska news ever since, covering stories ranging from oil spills to sled-dog races. She has reported for Reuters, for the Alaska Dispatch News, for Arctic

Today and for other organizations. She covers environmental issues, energy, climate change, natural resources, economic and business news, health, science and Arctic concerns — subjects with a lot of overlap. In her free time, she likes to ski and watch her son’s hockey games.

“We want to cover stories that are being missed due to the limited number of reporters focused on the state government,” Kitchenman said. “Our journalists bring deep knowledge of subjects like climate change and education, so we’ll be able to explain what state policies mean for Alaskans.”

Chris Fitzsimon, Director and Publisher of States Newsroom. “State government affects people’s lives the most, while often being covered the least due to decades of downsizing and budget cuts at local newspapers around the country. With complete editorial independence, the Alaska Beacon will provide unbiased and thorough reporting on the state’s government and the issues that matter most to Alaskans.”

The launch of the Alaska Beacon comes shortly after Pew Research Center cited States Newsroom and other nonprofit newsrooms as key to filling the void in statehouse coverage left by staffing cuts at legacy media outlets. According to Pew, the overall percentage of reporters working for nonprofit newsrooms in the statehouse press corps has more than tripled since 2014 and now make up the largest portion of statehouse reporters in 10 states and the second largest in 17 states.

Last year, States Newsroom announced major plans to expand its footprint to have independent newsrooms in roughly 40 states and launched News from the States, a comprehensive source for statehouse news across the country. States Newsroom is set to continue to expand across the country this year in Indiana, Arkansas, South Carolina, and South Dakota.

State Newsroom, is a 501(c)(3) nonprofit that is funded exclusively by the generous contributions of readers and philanthropists. States Newsroom is committed to supporting fact-based, non-partisan news to the public at no cost and ad-free.

Other States Newsroom affiliates and partners are:

Arizona Mirror –
Colorado Newsline –
Florida Phoenix –
Georgia Recorder –
Idaho Capital Sun –
Iowa Capital Dispatch –
Kansas Reflector –
Louisiana Illuminator –
Maine Beacon –
Maryland Matters –
Michigan Advance –
Minnesota Reformer –
Missouri Independent –
Daily Montanan –
Nebraska Examiner –
Nevada Current –
New Hampshire Bulletin –
New Jersey Monitor –
Source New Mexico –
NC Policy Watch –
Ohio Capital Journal –
Oregon Capital Chronicle –
Pennsylvania Capital-Star –
Tennessee Lookout –
Virginia Mercury –
Wisconsin Examiner –