How do you get the latest news and information? I usually turn to social media and free news sources. I subscribe to a daily email that gives me the top stories and rarely dig deeper. Prior to my departure for Iditarod I did several interviews with local tv news outlets, and was shocked by how many people saw the broadcasts! This challenged my theory that traditional news media is a thing of the past; it’s challenged even more here in Nome. Still in print format, Alaska’s Oldest Newspaper, the Nome Nugget, is available in shops and at the checkpoint to share news – and this week it is all Iditarod!
Ryan Redington wins Iditarod 51! splashed the headline on March 16, 2023, accompanied by a huge picture of Ryan, with his parents Raymie and Barb, and his lead dogs Ghost and Sven. Just below the lead story is a report on the challenges of the trail along the coast from Koyuk to Nome. The center spread is full of photos from the race – highlighting mushers, vets, and volunteers. But the Nome Nugget is more than just a race-time report card; it is a thriving news source for the region, reporting on all the local issues – this week it happens to be Iditarod.
Started in 1897 the Nome Nugget is a weekly paper run by husband and wife team Nils Hahn and Diana Haecker. It is written, photographed, and produced in Nome – printed in Anchorage – and distributed worldwide via subscription, online, and independent sales in shops and grocery stores. Nearly 30,000 people read the Nome Nugget every week!
In addition to Iditarod news there are stories on climate watch, port expansion, and the boys basketball Western Conference win (Going to states! Go Nanooks!!). You’ll also find obituaries, birth announcements, want-ads, and weeknight recipes. This functioning news source supports a community on the edge of the Bering Sea. The Nome Nugget might seem old fashioned, but the well written articles and comprehensive coverage of daily life in remote Alaska make it a keepsake I’ll cherish.