The Northern Light explains issues that affect the University of Alaska Anchorage while providing balanced coverage in representing students, staff, faculty and the greater community. The Northern Light serves as a source of news, information, entertainment and offers a platform for discourse.
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 twice a month, though the news is continually transmitted to its readers through updates on its website.
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.