In the last two legislative sessions preceding this one, the Alaska Dispatch offered some of the best political reporting available in this state on oil issues. Rena Delbridge during the 2010 session, and then Patti Epler during the 2011 session, were insightful, accurate and balanced. Both also were largely resident in Juneau during the sessions and thus, were able to keep their finger on the pulse of the developments as they occurred.
This year, the Dispatch has not stationed any reporters in Juneau, and more importantly, apparently has given up on reporting the news in favor of providing opinionated, and not altogether well informed, commentary. For those who had come to rely on the Dispatch as an excellent source of news mixed with insightful commentary, the result is disappointing. In many respects on this issue, the Dispatch is turning itself into a mirror version of the old Alaska Standard or the current Anchorage Daily Plant, a trite, predictable outlet for a single minded point of view. The result is that in reporting hard news on oil issues, this year the Dispatch has easily been passed by the “old guard” media, like the Anchorage Daily News, Fairbanks News-Miner and Juneau Empire. Continue reading