On Thursday, April 8, the Juneau Empire reported on statements made by state Sen. Albert Kookesh at a public forum held at Andrew Hope Hall on Wednesday (April 7) in Juneau. Basically, the Senator chided the news media for what seemed to him to be prolonged coverage of a Craig City Council incident involving the senator and Sealaska's desire to permanently select lands around Craig and other villages on Prince of Wales Island for the harvesting of significant forest acreage. This in spite of strong objections from PWI residents who do not want to see their unique subsistence way-of-life or their more recent tourism interests compromised.
Personally, I believe much media coverage is necessary to thoroughly present complex issues like Native lands selections to the general public. Wherever public lands are being considered for permanent, private, corporation ownership through the legislative or congressional action of a state or federal government - then the news media is not only rightful but is obligated to assist in providing the utmost scrutiny in the interest of public education.
Alan R. Munro
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