Friday, March 27, 2009

Conference Update 2: One presenter stranded, another offers teleconference session

Thanks to Rhonda McBride late Thursday night who corrected the traveling status of News Lab presenter Debra Potter. Debra had made it from Washington DC to Minneapolis. She's holding there, still hoping to get a flight up to our conference. Thank you Debra, and apologies for making it sound as if you were already not coming, when you are still trying to get here!

Bill Drummond from NPR got as far as Seattle before he was turned back by Alaska Airlines. He's back home now, but told Rhonda he'd be happy to complete his commitment via a teleconference. So, on Friday morning, Rhonda will be talking to the AV folks at the senior center to see if some of these accommodations might work.

We also have a call into Lisa Margonelli, (Oil on the Brain author) who got turned back Thursday by Alaska Airlines and told that a Friday flight was also unlikely. Is any of her presentation doable via teleconference? We'll let you know what she says.

I knew Lisa had been up here to do reporting for the book, but today on the phone, she told me years ago she'd worked the slimeline across the Inlet with Redoubt in full view. She said she often stood at the fish sorting table and pondered that volcano. Now, years later, it's still messing with her, she notes.

I heard someone describe the state of Alaska journalism today as "extremely fragile." That makes me think we might use some of the time at press club to just talk about our situation and ponder whether there's momentum or interest in a homegrown Alaska solution. Think about it. If we do have openings in the schedule, which seems likely, a conversatiion around this topic could be good.

Sadly, word is that Gregg and Judy Erickson (1st Amendment award honorees) had to cancel their flight. Vagaries of the volcano could pin them in Anchorage when they are at their busiest time covering the Legislature. Understandable, but we'll miss them!

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