Rachel Kallander sends stacks of newspapers to Cordova after the Times goes back into print on Aug. 25, 2022. Photo courtesy of Rachel Kallander

In an age where information flows between phones, radios, and satellites 24/7 and the influence of media reverberates throughout every level of society, it’s hard to know what information to trust. For 109 years, The Cordova Times has been a partner in awareness, accountability, and sharing in the Prince William Sound region. As the publisher for just over a year now, I often reflect on this institution of record’s legacy. I wanted to take the time to emphasize the importance of U.S. Media Literacy Week, an initiative driven by the National Association for Media Literacy Education, which celebrates the indispensable power of media literacy education. 

In rural regions like ours, where vast distances separate communities, some without roads, media literacy is not just a skill; it is a lifeline connecting neighbors, industries, families, and friends. This newspaper has served as a bridge, uniting Cordova and the Sound’s populations and delivering relevant news to the farthest corners of our beautiful state. 

For states distant from the nation’s capital, like Alaska, it is imperative to engage with the media critically. Media literacy empowers readers to distinguish fact from fiction, question sources, and make informed decisions that impact their lives. When informed, our communities are better equipped to advocate for their needs, participate in meaningful discussions, and contribute to local and national discourse. 

Media literacy is also pivotal in fostering community, advocacy, and action. Through this lens, we engage with our readers and serve as a platform for voices often unheard. Whether reporting on local issues, highlighting environmental challenges, or advocating for the livelihoods and values that make up who we are in Alaska, our newspaper aims to embody the spirit of community and awareness. 

As we celebrate U.S. Media Literacy Week, we applaud the efforts of NAMLE and its partners in emphasizing the significance of media literacy education. I would also like to express my deep gratitude to Cathy Sherman and The Cordova Museum for their contributions to covering history, resilience, and culture in the newspaper throughout the year. Together, we continue to fortify the bonds of our rural communities, ensuring they remain informed, engaged, and prepared to create a brighter future. 

Rachel Kallander was raised in Cordova and graduated from CHS. She is the owner and publisher of The Cordova Times, a professional coach, lawyer, retreat host, and consultant. She is the founder and executive director of the Arctic Encounter – the largest annual Arctic policy conference in the U.S., with policy convenings and partnerships worldwide. Rachel also serves as the Honorary Consul of Iceland to Alaska. She lives with her husband, Casey Pape, and two young children in Anchorage.