Alaska Daily: Season and likely series finale caps a wasted opportunity

Alaska Daily aired its season finale this week. It will also likely be the series finale, barring a daring renewal by ABC with a valuable lead-in.

There is plenty of fault to go around.

And we have to start with ABC. They put the show on ice for months. The winter break failed everyone involved in the production. ABC failed Hilary Swank. They failed the rest of the cast which really didn’t do anything wrong. They just had undynamic material. And in what should have been a last ditch effort to boost the show’s profile, they could have returned Alaska Daily with a Meredith Grey departing lead-in on Grey’s Anatomy. They did not and pushed it back. They aired 16 year old movies on Sunday when they should have aired encores. The social media support was flat.

There were writing failures. The show never nailed journalistic drama. While many would tell you that there is no such animal, it’s been done before with the far superior “The Newsroom”. Elements of Alaska Daily were also present with Best Picture winning “Spotlight” but the dialog here seemed much too forced. Reporters sounded like crooked cops with their “do what I want or I’ll write bad things about you” approach. The two best angles, the radicalized shooter and the ecoterrorist from the fair had nothing to do with the main plot.

I’m not going to diss it completely. I learned about the women that have gone missing for years in Alaska. There were elements in community journalism such as budgets, public records, and other important details that were regularly mentioned here.

But it could have been done better. Let’s hope it does gets done better and in a fashion that isn’t constantly preaching to us, but showing us how community journalism makes a difference.

Because it really does.

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