Our Mission statement
The Northern Light is a student- run news organization, designated as a public forum, where students have the sole authority to make content decisions. The Northern Light serves as a source of news, information and entertainment; offers a platform for discourse; and provides opportunities for students to acquire professional skills. The Northern Light strives to cover and explain issues that affect the University of Alaska Anchorage community, endeavoring to provide independent and balanced coverage in representing students, staff and faculty, while engaging the greater community.
A History of The Northern Light
Just like local newspapers, the goal of a campus newspaper is to keep a finger on the pulse of the community it serves. And, as the UAA campus has continued to grow, so has the student newspaper.
Before there was The Northern Light, there was the UAA Voice and the Anchorage Community College (ACC) Accent. The budget for the UAA Voice the first year it was published was $1,889.70. Today, that amount would not even cover the cost of printing one issue of the newspaper.
When the merger between UAA and ACC took place, the two newspapers combined to form one: The Northern Light. The first issue came out September 19, 1988. Its mission was “to provide truthful and non-biased reports of newsworthy items and incidents.”
As the UAA campus continues to grow, so does The Northern Light. Today, The Northern Light has a circulation of 2,500 each week during the school year, making it the fifth largest newspaper in Alaska. It is distributed both on and off campus, and is mailed to many public agencies and government officials around the country. During the summer, it is published in print once a month, though the news is continually transmitted to its readers through updates on its Web site.
The majority of funding comes through student fees, though advertising revenue continues to grow as an important source of income, now making up almost half of the yearly budget. The Northern Light staff exercises full editorial control of the newspaper’s content and is responsible for all operations and publishing. Unlike many student papers, no outside professionals have any hand in production. The Northern Light follows the Society of Professional Journalists’ Code of Ethics (link to the Society of Professional Journalists’ Code of Ethics: ethicscode)