Mike Martz

Vision Maker Media is pleased to offer Public Media Internships to undergraduate or graduate students. With major funding from the Corporation for Public Broadcasting (CPB), the purpose of the paid internships is to increase the opportunities for American Indian and Alaska Native youth in Public Broadcasting.

Location: Interns can be located at Vision Maker Media’s offices at the University of Nebraska-Lincoln in Lincoln, Nebraska, or at a Public Television station in the United States. Vision Maker Media will contact Public Television stations that are requested by interns to determine placement options.

1. Multimedia and/or transmedia experience in journalism, writing, video, audio, editing, public relations/marketing and/or websites.
2. Experience with social networking sites (Facebook, Twitter, Pinterest, Tumblr, blogs, etc.).
3. Be enrolled in a journalism, communications, or Native studies graduate or undergraduate program with a minimum 3.0 GPA.
4. Eligible applicants must be United States citizens or legal residents of the United States.
(For assistance: 402-472-3522 or visionmaker@unl.edu)
Deadline to apply is March 18th, 2016
Find the application here

Déjà Vu Again

by Mike Martz on December 18, 2015

Governor Walker recently released his FY17 state budget proposal and, to quote the late baseball great Yogi Berra, it’s déjà vu all over again. The State’s fiscal crisis shows no signs of abating, so more cuts to state departments and services will be the order of the day.

The legislature convenes on January 19th.   It’s more than likely that in the their deliberations on this thorny and serious dilemma members of the House and Senate will be proposing even deeper cuts to state departments and services than those proposed by the Governor. So we’ll need to tighten our belts even more than we had to do last year.

Like last year, the Public Communications Services component of the Department of Administration, which includes public radio and television, is a target for another round of budget reductions. In the governor’s proposal, public radio receives a cut of just under 27% amounting to $750,000 system wide. Public TV takes a cut of just over 5% or $33,300 system wide. The Senate and House finance committees will be examining Walker’s proposed budget and deciding on their own spending reduction levels at the same time. At this early date, it is impossible to predict what those reductions will look like.

Both the House and Senate finance subcommittees are comprised of the same members as last year. Last year both subcommittees started out recommending higher reductions to the public media system than the governor proposed. The same will most likely happen again this year. So, we in the public media system are preparing for a similar or even more drastic reduction. Station managers and public media system leaders have already begun meeting to plan our strategy for making the case once again that our local services are essential to our communities and to the state as a whole. We understand that in these tough fiscal times sacrifices are necessary and we expect to do our part. However, we also feel that a cut of more than $783,000 as proposed by the governor, or an even high amount expected to be proposed by the legislature, will begin to erode the public media system to the point that local services to our communities will be seriously compromised.

As the legislative session draws nearer, I will be continuing to work with public medial leaders from across the state to fine tune our response to what we expect will be another extremely difficult budget year.   As this process moves forward, I will once again call on you, KYUK’s loyal supporters and local champions, to step forward and advocate for stable funding for your local community public media station.

Thank you for your continued support of KYUK, public media for the Yukon Kuskokwim Delta.

We Made It…Thanks to You!

by Mike Martz on October 20, 2015

exploding-thermometerThanks to the generousity of all of you, our devoted and loyal listeners and viewers, we reached our fundraising goal of $28,000 on Saturday October 17th.

The traditions of giving and sharing run deep in the YK Delta.  I am always humbled by the extent of the financial support we receive each year from all of you across the Delta.  Even in these tough economic times, you step up and contribute to your public media station, KYUK. Read more →

October is fundraising time here at KYUK.   We launched our annual membership drive last week with the goal of raising $28,000 through individual contributions from devoted and loyal listeners like you.

Our goal this year is 12-percent above what we asked of our members last year. This year the state cut funding to public media by 23% in the face of a 3.5 billion dollar budget deficit resulting from decreased oil production and low oil prices.   Fiscal experts agree the state will continue to cut spending over the coming years.   We’re looking to recover at least a portion of the funds that were cut by the State through your generous contributions.

In the face of this drop in State funding we have reduced our content staff  by two positions.   We’re managing to make up for this staffing reduction by working more efficiently as a team to keep the impact to our programming and services to a minimum.

There will come a point, however, when additional cuts in funding will begin to affect our services in a noticeable way despite our best efforts to mitigate the impact.   That’s why your contributions are especially important in these difficult economic times.

When you give to KYUK, your public media station, we put your donation directly to work on the services you have come to rely on including news, weather, local announcements, music, talk shows and national programs like All Things Considered.    Your contributions in any amount are greatly appreciated.

You can make a donation on our website, kyuk.org, by clicking on the “Donate” button on our homepage. While you’re on the website check out the list of thank you gifts and grand prize drawing items including two round trip tickets on Alaska Airlines. You can also call 543-3131 to make your pledge. The fundraiser runs through Friday October 16th.

Thank you for your continued support of KYUK, public media for the Yukon Kuskokwim Delta.

Congratulations to Sharon Merritt of Goodnews Bay and Alicia Oscar of Bethel for being chosen by the Bethel Broadcasting Inc board of directors to each receive a $1,000 scholarship.

Sharon is a senior at the University of Alaska Anchorage majoring in Education.  Alicia is a sophomore at the University of Alaska Southeast also majoring in Education.

Each year the BBI board of direcctors awards two $1,000 scholarships to deserving college students from the YK Delta region.  The scholarships are awarded in memory of the late Alexie Isaac, a long time KYUK Yup’ik radio and television producer, translator and also an accomplished carver and artist.

Information on applying for the 2016 scholarship can be found elsewhere on the KYUK website.

Later this month, Pope Francis will visit the United States.  During his visit, the Pope will canonize 18th century Spanish priest Junipero Serra, who founded the first nine Spanish Missions in California.  Serra traveled from his station in Mexico to bring Christianity to the Native population of California. The Pope has called Serra “the evangelizer of the West in the United States.”
However, the decision to raise Serra to sainthood has sparked controversy among California Indians. Historians speculate that Serra may have intended to convert California Indians, but the Spanish soldiers who populated the missions had other motives.
Many believe Serra allowed Spanish soldiers to commit atrocities against the Native peoples of California.    Soldiers administered corporal punishment and committed sexual assault against Natives.
Some see Serra as a saint, while others paint him the villain.   Saint explores both sides of the controversy.   This film was produced by Vision Maker Media’s intern, Charles Perry, as part of his multimedia internship with KVCR/FNX. Watch online

Lakeidra PicKYUK is welcoming Lakeidra Chavis to our station and the YK Delta as a temporary reporter.

Lakeidra is a recent graduate of the University of Alaska-Fairbanks and former intern at KTOO Public Radio in Juneau where she comes highly recommended.

Her work has focused primarily on social inequality. She has reported on homeless populations in Florida and coffee production in the villages of Jamaica’s Blue Mountains. Chavis has also produced work for the Anchorage Press and Alaska Commons.

Chavis will study abroad in the spring but was able to help KYUK fill-in temporarily following the departure of reporter Ben Matheson and former News Director Daysha Eaton.

Matheson himself came to KYUK as a temporary reporter but stayed for two years. He has moved to Anchorage to work on a mapping project with the University of Alaska.

Daysha Eaton is taking a position as news director at KBBI public radio in Homer, Alaska.

KYUK has also hired Anna Rose MacArthur, formerly of KNOM, Nome, as a news reporter.   She will start work on September 21.

Grab is an intimate portrait of the little-documented Grab Day in the villages of the Laguna Pueblo Tribe, who annually throw water and food items from the rooftop of a home to people standing below them. A community-wide prayer of abundance, thanks and renewal, Grab Day exists at the intersection of traditional Native and contemporary Western cultures. Billy Luther’s film, which is narrated by Parker Posey, follows three families as they prepare for the annual event, chronicling their lives for the year leading up to this day.

Columbus Day Legacy examines the quintessential American issues of free speech and ethnic pride against the backdrop of the ongoing Columbus Day Parade controversy in Denver.

Since 1992, the 500th Anniversary of America’s “discovery” of America, the Italian-American community in Denver has publicly and wholeheartedly celebrated its revered holiday, much to the dismay of many local Native Americans. Columbus Day Legacy conveys the strong sense of community and cultural pride that both Italian Americans and Native Americans hold.

The history of the annual parade in Denver has been peppered with both verbal and physical violence, as well as numerous instances in which city leaders have had to reconcile issues of political correctness and freedom of assembly. Tensions rise as Denver’s Native American and Italian-American communities publicly fight over race, history and what it means to be an “American.”

Sesame Workshop, the nonprofit educational organization behind the Emmy Award-winning program, Sesame Street, and HBO, the nation’s leading premium cable network, today announced a new partnership that will make the next five seasons of the iconic series available on HBO and its multiplex channels, HBO GO, HBO On Demand and the new internet only SVOD service HBO NOW. As a key part of the deal, Sesame will be able to produce almost twice as much new content as previous seasons, and for the first time ever, make the show available free of charge to PBS and its member stations after a nine-month window.

“Our new partnership with HBO represents a true winning public-private partnership model,” said Jeffrey D. Dunn, Sesame Workshop’s CEO. “It provides Sesame Workshop with the critical funding it needs to be able to continue production of Sesame Street and secure its nonprofit mission of helping kids grow smarter, stronger and kinder; it gives HBO exclusive pay cable and SVOD access to the nation’s most important and historic educational programming; and it allows Sesame Street to continue to air on PBS and reach all children, as it has for the past 45 years.”

In addition to the next five seasons of Sesame Street, Sesame Workshop will produce a Sesame Street Muppet™ spinoff series, as well as develop a new original educational series for children. HBO has also licensed over 150 library episodes of Sesame Street. The new episodes will begin airing as early as late fall 2015, and HBO will be the exclusive, first-run subscription television distribution partner for Sesame Street and the new series. HBO will have the right to air all series in both English and Spanish. All new series will also be made available to PBS and its member stations after the first window. Episodes of Sesame Street will continue to be made available, uninterrupted, as part of the PBS KIDS service on PBS member stations.

“We are absolutely thrilled to help secure the future of Sesame Street and Sesame Workshop’s mission for the nation’s kids and families,” said Richard Plepler, Chairman and CEO of HBO, and Michael Lombardo, President, HBO Programming. “Home Box Office is committed to bringing the most groundbreaking and creative shows to its audience. Sesame Street is the most important preschool education program in the history of television. We are delighted to be a home for this extraordinary show, helping Sesame Street expand and build its franchise.”

“I’ve long admired the creative work of HBO and can’t think of a better partner to continue the quality of Sesame Street’s programming,” commented Joan Ganz Cooney, co-founder of Sesame Street. “Over the past decade, both the way in which children are consuming video and the economics of the children’s television production business have changed dramatically. In order to fund our nonprofit mission with a sustainable business model, Sesame Workshop must recognize these changes and adapt to the times.”

In addition to Sesame Street, HBO will also license approximately 50 past episodes of the two acclaimed children’s series Pinky Dinky Doo, an animated series for preschoolers that focuses on early literacy, and The Electric Company, which was rebooted in 2009, from Sesame Workshop.

About Sesame Workshop

Sesame Workshop is the nonprofit educational organization behind Sesame Street which reaches 156 million children across more than 150 countries. The Workshop’s mission is to help kids grow smarter, stronger and kinder. Delivered through a variety of platforms, including television programs, digital experiences, books and community engagement, its research-based programs are tailored to the needs of the communities and countries they serve. For more information, visit us at www.sesameworkshop.org.

About Home Box Office

Home Box Office, Inc. is the premium television programming subsidiary of Time Warner Inc. and the world’s most successful pay TV service, providing the two television services – HBO® and Cinemax® – to approximately 122 million subscribers worldwide. The services offer the popular subscription video-on-demand products HBO On Demand® and Cinemax On Demand®, as well as HBO GO® and MAX GO®, HD feeds and multiplex channels. HBO NOWSM, the network’s internet only premium streaming service, provides audiences with instant access to HBO’s acclaimed programming in the U.S. Internationally, HBO branded television networks, along with the subscription video-on-demand products HBO On Demand and HBO GO, bring HBO services to over 60 countries. HBO and Cinemax programming is sold into over 150 countries worldwide.