Alaska Dispatch News to open Bureau in Bethel

Lisa Demer. (Photo courtesy Alaska Dispatch News)

Lisa Demer. (Photo courtesy Alaska Dispatch News)

The Managing Editor of the Alaska Dispatch News says a Western Alaska Bureau should be up and running by the end of the month. The new bureau will be based in Bethel and will be staffed by veteran reporter Lisa Demer.

“Lisa’s been a reporter in Alaska for 20 years and has covered a lot of different topics. And the thing about Lisa, I’d say that whatever she’s covered politics, she covered social issues, extensively,” says David Hulen. “And she does it with accuracy, nuance, depth – she listens. She’s very enthusiastic about doing it.”

Editor David Hulen. (Photo courtesy Alaska Dispatch News)

Editor David Hulen. (Photo courtesy Alaska Dispatch News)

Demer worked for the Anchorage Daily News until the online news outlet, Alaska Dispatch, bought the paper from McClatchy Newspapers for $34 million in April. The organizations combined and changed the name to, ‘Alaska Dispatch News’ in July. Hulen says basing a reporter in Bethel is part of an overall shift in strategy for the news organization.

“You know when the two staffs combined we essentially had double the number of reporters/photographers as either operation had on their own. And so we’re really able to cover things that we could not have done before, separately. And one of the things that we’re really committed to doing is just better and deeper statewide and rural coverage,” Hulen says.

The Alaska Dispatch News is considering setting up additional bureaus in remote Alaska, he says. Hulen could not confirm locations, but discussed Barrow and Nome as potential sites for future bureaus.