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Live Radio Amid the Pandemic Grantee: Koahnic Broadcast Corporation, Story by Antonia Gonzales, Host & Produce National Native News

I’ve been traveling to Alaska for more than a decade to help produce and host radio programs during KNBA’s annual gavel-to-gavel broadcast of the Alaska Federation of Natives Annual Convention. This year’s broadcast was one of a kind. 

We have all adjusted to life during the COVID-19 pandemic, and our 2020 broadcast was also an adjustment. I’m proud to have been part of making it happen.

Our 2020 coverage consisted of a live broadcast from KNBA with a skeleton crew. I hosted the daily gavel-to-gavel coverage and the noon show. The convention broadcast is usually bustling with producers, hosts and guest on site of the AFN gathering.

This year, we delivered a play-by-play of the AFN virtual convention in real time on the radio. Our noon hour show “Alaska’s Native Voice,” which is normally live, was prerecorded due to COVID-19 and played twice a day this year. Our broadcast days were also scaled back to two.

I’m very proud of the work we were able to do this year-both live and prerecorded. We were still able to engage listeners on the radio tuned-in in communities across Alaska about the happenings of the AFN. We had dialog on our noon hour program with guests talking directly about Alaska Native issues. We were also able to bring in guests by telephone to be interviewed live on air. 

I think our creativity was shown in the work and we were able to adjust to a new way of hosting and producing the annual broadcast amid the pandemic.