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What KNOM taught

Matthew deejays

Our feature series on KNOM volunteer alumni continues with Matthew Smith, our public affairs director from 2010 to 2012 who is now continuing his career in news broadcasting with KTVA television in Anchorage. Here’s Matt, in his own words, on what KNOM has already meant to him:

Matthew on the sea iceWhile I’ve only been a KNOM alumnus for a few months, I’m amazed at what the mission has made possible.

I learned about work, community, and myself during my time with KNOM. I learned how to be a reporter, how to find stories and write them in a way that was relevant to listeners in Western Alaska. From interviewing Iditarod mushers to meeting the Russian crew of the Renda as they made the first-ever winter fuel delivery to Nome (pictured at right), my experiences with KNOM made me the reporter I am today.

My time at KNOM also taught me what it means to be part of a small community. As a volunteer EMT, I remember taking blood pressure readings at the community health fair, giving residents of Nome access to blood work and medical exams that were otherwise simply unavailable. I never could have guessed how much being a part of the community in Nome would shape my years of service.

Renda captain Sergey Kopytov, Russian interpreter Michail Shestakov, and Matthew on board the RendaKNOM shaped my spirit, too. The people I met, the stories I heard and told, the connections I formed with roommates, co-workers, and friends: they have enriched my life in uncountable ways. I’m proud – and humbled – to have been a part of the mission, and I can’t wait to see where it goes in the coming years.

As always, we’re so grateful for the people who make our volunteer program possible. As you can see, KNOM continues to change lives: both those of our listeners and of our staff. It’s all thanks to you!



This article is part of the March 2013 edition of our newsletter, The Nome Static.

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Land Acknowledgement

We acknowledge that KNOM Radio Mission is located on the customary lands of Indigenous peoples. 

Based in the Bering Strait region, KNOM broadcasts throughout the homelands of the Iñupiaq, Siberian Yup’ik, Cup’ik and Yup’ik peoples.