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PBS station desired

Posted: May 27, 2014 - 4:53pm  |  Updated: May 28, 2014 - 8:25am

I think I speak for the entire peninsula when I question “where is the real time, up-to-date news” on the fire? Folks are trying to get information and the media is woefully lacking in providing it. The news provides what has happened yesterday and provides it in such a way that seems detached from the resident’s real need for facts. But what is happening NOW?

How about this... We have a PBS station. Why not get feeds every hour that can be broadcast by the PBS channel? How about a representative that can stand before the camera and show the map and the progress of fire-fighting efforts. People want to know where the fire is going, where the winds are propelling it, and what the real status of the fire is. They want this constantly. This is not small event. Certainly we should not be left in the dark (will the glowing light of a thousand burning spruce trees).

People across the central peninsula are a bit troubled because they are not being provided the essential information they need to make critical decisions.

Public Broadcasting is the way. I want to see an hourly update on PBS as to the extent of the fire, the present measures that are being employed to stop the advance, and most importantly, the direction of the fire.

To the state: You are promoting a sense of panic and confusion BECAUSE there is no authoritative update given to the public. Use the PBS system. It is designed for us and should be used to keep us abreast of the potential danger to all of us who live in the central peninsula.

Do it now....

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akal 05/28/14 - 09:23 am
not there

sorry the days of radio are the past. most people got the data they needed from Facebook maps and all.

Suss 05/28/14 - 10:32 am
Brad Nelson

Brad Nelson CES, KSRM, Facebook, Peninsula Clarion, Alaska Fire Service and OEM at the Borough all did an outstanding job keeping the information accurate and flowing.

I would think that the militia would have had their own back channel sources for information. Don't want that "Central Government" telling you lies.

Might be time to ask the the grand kids for some help.

Observer 05/28/14 - 11:00 am
I thought you were ANTI-TAXES...

Norm, for someone who seems to rail against the government already in place, do you forget that PBS's primary funding source is the government? Do you really want more taxes to pay for this information, which I'm sure you would also question as whether it is accurate, or they were covering something up??

Get with the times Norm. FaceBook has ALL the REAL-TIME, UP-TO-DATE information you need!!

Carver 05/28/14 - 02:02 pm
Another nonsensical, infantile rant . .

One minute the gubmint is the problem, the next minute the gubmint is the answer, but in the meantime . . .

. . wait for it . . .

. . . "To the state: You are promoting a sense of panic and confusion . . "

I thought the malisha was the answer . . . or not . . .

. . too funny . .

normolson 05/28/14 - 03:05 pm
I agree with Suss...

Everyone did a marvelous job. But the lag time getting the news to residents left many frightened and confused. Suss mentions many outlets that were getting this feed or that from various sources.
Why not incorporate all of these feeds into one office? During the terrible storms that raked across the nation last month, the "Storm Team" on the Weather Station broadcast the tornado threats around the clock. People were informed where the storms were heading. It was a real time, hour-by-hour effort, and they did it very well.
What shall we do if we face a greater threat? All of the media outlets will be trying to get news (to fulfill their customer's needs), but there may be no central place where up-to-date news can be obtained.
I'm not criticizing the media or the firefighters. What I'm saying is that we can do it better.
Since we don't have a local PBS studio here on the Peninsula, one should be established when there is an event like the recent fires. Let the feeds report their data to a central emergency broadcast office where frequent data can be published to the public.
During the past week, (during the fires) the winds started out of the north, then they shifted NW, then SW and then out of the south. The fire was going everwhere, it seemed. But anxious people wanted to know the latest. And the best we could do is get feeds from KSRM or KTUU or other outlets trying to do their best.
FEMA has a plan. They have an emergency broadcast frequency.. Back in the days of the 50s we had CONELRAD, Civil Defense Radio (640 and 1240 on your radio dial) remember? Today we have Channel 7, KAKM, a public broadcasting station at our service. Why not use it for public broadcasting?
I'm just saying that we can do things much better. We have the resources here on the Peninsula to set up a studio and use KAKM to follow widespread threats such as the recent fires.
I just seems that all the media outlets are trying to keep up with the news. No disrespect to them, but we need a central studio with maps and graphics and professional fire fighters talking to the public.
I'm sending a copy of this blog post over to KSRM since some very shortsighted people felt it appropriate to crucify me on the radio this morning.

Carver 05/28/14 - 03:24 pm
Hmmmmmmm . . .

". . some . . people felt it appropriate to crucify me on the radio this morning."

What do you expect?

Walking around as you do, carrying a couple 4" X 4"s and a can of big nails . .

normolson 05/28/14 - 05:10 pm
Hat's off!

When asked if I expected a local media outlet to provide real-time information to the public, I responded:

I'm not talking about a staff or a continuous operation. It would seem that it would be in the best interest of the residents that near real-time information would be far more valuable than getting the news the next day. KSRM did one of the finest jobs during the emergency with it's 2-3 hour updates.
"What If" scenario: During the peak of the westward push of the fire just days ago, the winds came from the south at
more than 50 MPH. All of the residents along the Sterling
Hwy corridor would be in grave danger as the wild fire swept
rapidly their way.
How would these people know that the fire had changed
direction and endangered them?

There should be FEMA money available to set up a PBS feed so folks can be alerted. Here's another way the public is being kept from timely and possibly life-saving information by the central government.

No private media outlet has the money to deal with such an
emergency, nor should they have to. That's my concern.
People were confused and many were frightened because
there was no single source of up-to-the-minute news.

I'm not ragging on KSRM... You did all you could.

jford 06/07/14 - 06:47 pm
PBS was never designed to provide local emergency services.

--- and it's not a part of the government.

PBS is a private, nonprofit corporation, founded in 1969, whose members are America’s public TV stations -- noncommercial, educational licensees that operate more than 350 PBS member stations and serve all 50 states, Puerto Rico, U.S. Virgin Islands, Guam and American Samoa.

The largest source of support for PBS is from it's members. Yes, it gets some federal funds, but it's not the main source of support nor is it earmarked to provide local emergency broadcasting.

The mission statement of PBS has nothing to do with providing local emergency services of any kind.

PBS’ mission is to create content that educates, informs and inspires. To do this, PBS offers programming that expands the minds of children,documentaries that open up new worlds, non-commercialized news programs that keep citizens informed on world events and cultures and programs that expose America to the worlds of music, theater, dance and art.

Those responsible for disseminating information to the public about the fire did a commendable job. Those members of the media did a commendable job also.

It would behoove those that complain about the government to learn what it is they've imagined they're complaining about. As in this case, the complaints too often arise from several misconceptions.

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