Alaska News

ADN, ProPublica will partner for a second year on a reporting project focusing on sexual violence in Alaska

The Anchorage Daily News partnership with ProPublica on the “Lawless” reporting project in Alaska will continue for a second year, ProPublica announced Wednesday.

The ongoing project, focusing on sexual violence and breakdowns in law enforcement across Alaska, is part of ProPublica’s Local Reporting Network, which partners with and helps fund journalism with local news organizations nationwide. ADN will be one of 13 investigative reporting projects supported in 2020.

It’s one of two reporting partnerships announced this month involving the Daily News. The second, with Report for America, will add a full-time reporter devoted to covering health care and public health in Alaska starting next summer.

More such partnerships and collaborations involving the Daily News are under development — with entities inside Alaska and Outside. Like many news organizations, we’ve turned to partnerships with other newsrooms and organizations as a way to extend our reporting reach.

ProPublica is an independent, nonprofit newsroom that focuses on investigative reporting. It’s won five Pulitzer Prizes. The Local Reporting Network funds a reporter’s salary for a year. On the Lawless project, ProPublica has also provided editing, reporting, research and technical support. They’ve been good partners.

In its first year, the Lawless project focused on failures in law enforcement across Alaska, with an emphasis on the state’s extremely high rates of sexual violence. In a first-of-its-kind investigation, reporter Kyle Hopkins found that one in three communities in Alaska have no local law enforcement. Following that coverage, U.S. Attorney General William P. Barr declared a state of emergency, releasing millions of federal dollars to devote to the problem. Subsequent articles documented other gaps, including communities that hired police officers with criminal records. We’re working on a package involving potential solutions that will be published soon. We plan to continue the project next year with a focus on urban areas as well as rural Alaska.

Report for America is a different kind of collaboration. The program helps recruit and place reporters in newsrooms nationwide to fill coverage gaps for one to two years. The reporters work for local news organizations, and Report for America provides financial support. ADN will be one of 164 newsrooms with Report for America fellows next year. Much more on that, along with other partnerships, in the months ahead.

David Hulen

David Hulen is editor of the ADN, He's been a reporter and editor at ADN for 36 years. As a reporter, he traveled extensively in Alaska. He was a writer on the "People In Peril" series and covered the Exxon Valdez oil spill. He was co-editor of the "Lawless" series. Reach him at dhulen@adn.com.

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