We’re not trying to be self-serving, but baby, we’ve come a long way as little newspaper dedicated to the students at UAA.
This week, we’re celebrating the merger of the Anchorage Community College Accent and the University Voice into one paper – The Northern Light.
On Sept. 19, 1988, The Northern Light published its first issue. In that first issue, the Consortium Library was undergoing renovation for the first time, Alaskans were deciding whether or not to vote on creating a separate community college system, and Donald Behrend had just accepted the position as new chancellor of the university.
Plenty has changed. The library was renovated (more times than once), buildings have sprung up all over campus, we’ve seen half a dozen different chancellors come and go and UAA has turned into the University of Alaska’s largest campus.
The Northern Light has changed too. We’ve moved three times, changed layouts dramatically, increased our budget and changed staff over more times than we can count.
The Northern Light has grown to be more than just a newspaper. As journalism has changed, the paper – which is technically considered a ‘news organization’ – has worked to change with it. We have extended our presence to the internet, with www.thenorthernlight.org where students can access information found in the newspaper, but also learn more about issues we cover by utilizing our web specific content, that now includes video.
The Northern Light presentation has also changed over the years, from magazine style to tabloid in 2002 and a full color “B” section titled “Motion” that debuted in 2007.
But even with the changes, The Northern Light has still had the same mission: to provide content that is informative and entertaining to the students of UAA.
Some issues students faced 20 years ago still affect them today. Looking through back issues to prepare for the Anniversary, we found articles on questioning parking services and chiding food on campus. Despite being bizarre (and frankly, a little frightening) it made us realize that despite the years, all students at UAA are connected.
Everyone may have different beliefs, backgrounds, and majors, but ultimately, we are all Seawolves.
UAA has always been a proud hub for students from across the state and the world, and at the paper we have tried, and will continue to represent that.
We don’t know what the future will bring or what challenges we will face as student journalists. But for now, we will work to be the starting point for young journalists at UAA.
So we’re going to keep trying. We won’t be perfect all the time, but we will do our best to make sure that we come as close as possible.
Here’s hoping for another 20 great years at UAA.