Is ABC’s Drama “Alaska Daily” Based on a True Story?

Is Alaska Daily Based on a True Story

Is ABC’s Drama “Alaska Daily” Based on a True Story? – Alaska Daily is an American drama show on ABC that was created by Tom McCarthy. Hilary Swank plays a reporter who wants to start over in Anchorage, Alaska. The series debuted on October 6, 2022.

After joining a daily metro newspaper in Anchorage, Eileen (Hilary Swank), a writer from New York, seeks personal and professional forgiveness. She relocates to Alaska for a fresh start. She collaborates with Roz Friendly, a colleague at the newspaper in the City of Anchorage, to finish and publish reports on the epidemic of missing and murdered Indigenous people in the state of Alaska.

The show explores a socially relevant subject in a very realistic way, with nuanced performances by actors including Hilary Swank, Jeff Perry, Grace Dove, Meredith Holzman, and Matt Malloy. The audience is also left to wonder if the events and characters in Alaska Daily were inspired by real-life events and people due to the realistic portrayal of a newspaper office and the Alaskan Indigenous population. We have answers if you share the same desire to know.

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Is ABC Drama "Alaska Daily" a True Story

Is ABC Drama “Alaska Daily” a True Story?

NO, “Alaska Daily” is not based on a TRUE story. Instead, it is an adaptation of a script written by Tom McCarthy and Kyle Hopkins, a reporter for the daily metro newspaper Anchorage Daily News (ADN) in Alaska. Even though the show is fictional, it significantly borrows from reality, notably Hopkins’ “Lawless” series of investigative investigations from 2018 to 2020, which were part of a collaboration by ADN and ProPublica. The series featured the terrible experiences of Alaskan survivors of sexual assault who got no help from the police.

Kyle’s investigative works were eye-openers, highlighting the flaws in the legal system; “Lawless” won the Pulitzer Prize for Public Service in 2020. Tom McCarthy noticed the reports and was eager to share the tale of a local newsroom. In a preview with The Paley Center for Media in September 2022, he went into further detail about his suggestion to embed a New York journalist in a regional news outlet.

The Filmmaker, Tom McCarthy said, “I felt like the thing I didn’t really get to explore was the personal lives of journalists, get to know who they are…

And especially, I would say, in the last 10 years, the sort of rhetoric and vitriol directed specifically at journalists has really been amped up. And I think, incredibly unfairly and quite on purpose. You know, why not reduce the power of the press? It makes a lot of things easier, including corruption, small and wide scale. 

“So I thought, man, what’s something I could do if I had an opportunity to make a TV show? And I thought, wouldn’t it be interesting to really get to know who these journalists are, specifically involved in local journalism? … Can I humanize journalists? Can I get a sense of who they are and what makes them tick, and why they do the work they do?

Thus, McCarthy adapted a handful of the themes from “Lawless” and centered the program’s story around them. This includes the legal injustices experienced by Alaska’s Native community, particularly the startlingly high number of unsolved instances involving missing and murdered women. The show’s creator and his team carefully observed the ADN staff members and their newsroom, making notes for the environment and character types of the show.

Although the reporters and true crime cases in “Alaska Daily” may mirror those of real reporters, the show is mostly fictional and creates its own world without using any real-world examples. The program conveys a powerful message about how the justice system has failed to assist victims, particularly those from Indigenous communities. It is also a testament to the tireless work of local media outlets and journalists in giving society’s unheard voices a forum.

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