Taking some steps forward for openness

By Melissa Davlin The Idaho media has plenty to celebrate as new laws go into effect on July 1 -- both for what the 2018 Legislature passed, and what it didn’t. Each session, the Idaho Press Club’s First Amendment Committee, which advocates for public records access and open meetings, works with lobbyists and lawmakers on bills that promoted government transparency, and against proposals that go against that spirit of openness. Here are some highlights from the 2018 session:

President’s column: Idaho, where local news is going strong

By Betsy Z. Russell After nearly 27 years with The Spokesman-Review – a fine newspaper – I never thought I’d switch at this point in my career. But then the Idaho Press came along. In May, I started as the new Boise bureau chief for the Idaho Press and Adams Publishing Group, a family-owned company that in addition to the longstanding Canyon County daily (formerly the Idaho Press-Tribune), also owns the Post Register in Idaho Falls, the Idaho State Journal in Pocatello, and several other smaller papers throughout southern … [Read more...]

The American Redoubt Series by the Sandpoint Reader

Note: Ben Olson, publisher of the Sandpoint Reader, won an Idaho Press Club Don Watkins Mid-Career Scholarship of $500 to aid in this project. You, too, can apply for the mid-career scholarship, which is available for any Idaho Press Club member to use for any training or project that will benefit the working press in Idaho. The deadline to apply each year is Feb. 15; there's more information at our website, www.idahopressclub.org. By Ben Olson Every January, the alternative weekly Sandpoint … [Read more...]

Meet Your IPC: Rhonda Prast

Rhonda Prast is the executive editor of the Idaho Statesman and a board member of the Idaho Press Club. Born in Indiana, she grew up in Phoenix.  She did not consider a career in journalism until midway through college, switching from an advertising design major to photojournalism. She has worked for seven news organizations across the country in her career.  She developed iPad apps as a Magazine faculty professor at the Missouri School of Journalism and led a team to create a sports app at the Kansas City Star.  She answered 10 … [Read more...]

MEDIA MOVES

BOISE STATE PUBLIC RADIO Gemma Gaudette, on-air host of Idaho Matters on Boise State Public Radio, comes on board from the University of Idaho. Richard Copeland, senior producer of Idaho Matters on Boise State Public Radio, joins the staff from WITF, a public media organization in central Pennsylvania. Summer interns are Will Reid of Yale University and Blake Simony of Boise State. EAST IDAHO NEWS Rett Nelson has been promoted to an editor/reporter. The publication also recently learned that EastIdahoNews.com has won a National … [Read more...]

A very successful conference on covering the courts; we’re hoping to do it again next year…

President’s Column By Betsy Z. Russell The Idaho Press Club recently partnered with Attorneys for Civic Education, the University of Idaho College of Law, the Idaho Supreme Court, and the U.S. District Court to put on a journalists’ institute on covering the courts – and it was both well-attended and highly successful. The one-day conference held at the Idaho Law & Justice Learning Center drew more than two dozen attendees from across the state, including TV and print reporters and editors from Moscow, Lewiston, … [Read more...]

Thinking of online readers as more than ‘clicks’

Don Watkins Mid-Career Scholarship report NOTE: The Don Watkins Mid-Career Scholarship allows an Idaho journalist to receive $500 toward professional development or a reporting project – on the condition that they share the results with the Idaho Press Club membership. Here’s a report from one of our winners, Alison Smith of the Times-News. Our next issue will include a report from winner Ben Olson of the Sandpoint Reader. By Alison Smith In October, I was lucky enough to be accepted to the Poynter Leadership Academy in … [Read more...]

Adams Publishing Group buys newspapers in Idaho

By the Idaho Press-Tribune Staff The Pioneer News Group Co., parent company of the Idaho Press-Tribune, has sold its media division assets to family-owned Adams Publishing Group. The sale included 22 daily and weekly newspapers in Washington, Oregon, Idaho, Montana and Utah, along with a commercial print facility. In the Treasure Valley, in addition to the Idaho Press-Tribune, the sale included the Meridian Press, the Kuna Melba News and the Emmett Messenger Index. In Idaho, the Idaho State-Journal in Pocatello is included in … [Read more...]

MEDIA MOVES

PRINT Andy Pennington has been named the new publisher of the Anchorage Daily News, a position he will start on March 4. Pennington currently is the publisher of the Idaho State Journal in Pocatello, and also oversees other publications in the region owned by the Pioneer News Group, including the Idaho Falls Post Register; Pioneer News Group was sold to Adams Publishing Group in October. At the Post Register, Pennington replaced Roger Plothow, who had been Post Register publisher since 2002; Plothow was named the president of Adams … [Read more...]

Fall Conference is Oct. 14 – The story behind the stories…

  By Audrey Dutton Some of the best stories in journalism are the ones that make you wonder, "How'd they find out about that?" or "How'd they get that person to talk?" This year, the Press Club's Southwest Chapter brings you the story behind the stories, at the IPC’s annual fall professional development conference. You'll leave with tips for tackling sensitive topics, crafting a compelling narrative, dealing with "alternative news," rising to the occasion when a local story goes national -- and, of course, fact-finding … [Read more...]

The rule of law and the role of the judiciary

Making our courts coverage better The rule of law and the role of the judiciary By Betsy Russell Those who attended last year’s Idaho Press Club fall conference had the opportunity to hear from former University of Idaho College of Law dean, and former Idaho Court of Appeals judge, Don Burnett, on the media’s role in shaping accurate public perceptions of the courts and their role in our American system of justice – something that’s widely misunderstood in our society today. Now, we are working with Burnett, Attorneys … [Read more...]

MEDIA MOVES

 KBOI/KYUU TV Journalist Sarah Jacobsen has joined KBOI/KYUU, from sister station KLEW in Lewiston.  MOSCOW-PULLMAN DAILY NEWS Kara McMurray was hired as a newsroom assistant at the Moscow-Pullman Daily News on Sept. 3. She previously worked as a reporter/photographer/editor at the Whitman County Gazette in Colfax, Wash. She is a 2014 graduate of the Murrow College of Communications at Washington State University and is studying online for a master's in communication management from USC-Annenberg. Taylor Nadauld has left the … [Read more...]

Idaho Public TV’s history a roller-coaster ride

The history of Idaho Public Television – the public TV network that consistently has the highest percentage of viewers among its state residents of any in the country – has been a story of ups and downs, in funding and programming, as politics, public information and public funding have intertwined over the years. Now that the network has passed its 50th birthday, Royce Williams, who as an Idaho Fish & Game employee in the early 1980s helped create “Outdoor Idaho” with Idaho PTV’s Peter Morrill, chronicles that history, in which varying … [Read more...]