On retiring after a long journalism career

President's Column

By Betsy Russell

(Note: This column first appeared in the Idaho Press)

BOISE — It’s been quite a career.

I first decided I wanted to be a newspaper reporter when I was in the eighth grade, inspired by a fabulous junior high school journalism teacher. I edited both my junior high and high school newspapers, stirred up some controversy in the process, and started writing for my local … [Read more...]

Contest deadline is coming up Jan. 20

Get your entries in!

Now is the time to enter your best work of the year in the Idaho Press Club’s “Best of 2022” annual awards contest. The deadline is fast approaching on Jan. 20. If you haven’t done this already, it’s time to review and enter your best work of the year; you deserve the recognition!

Our Contest Committee this year conducted an extensive review and update to our categories. You’ll find an array of changes, including new categories for Spanish-language media and more. All entries are submitted online … [Read more...]

Apply now for Don Watkins student and mid-career scholarships

The Idaho Press Club annually awards $1,500 scholarships to Idaho college journalism students, along with a $500 mid-career scholarship for any training or project that will improve the working press in Idaho. Both are endowed scholarships, named in honor of Don Watkins, the former press secretary to Idaho Gov. John Evans who mentored scores of Idaho reporters and who died in 1981. The deadline to apply for both the student and mid-career scholarships this year is Feb. 15.

Interested in applying? Or know a deserving journalism … [Read more...]

Diversity fellowships available for SEJ conference

The national conference of the Society of Environmental Journalists will be in Boise this year, from April 19-23, and SEJ and The Uproot Project, a network for journalists of color who cover environmental issues as well as students and others aspiring to cover this beat, are partnering to offer diversity fellowships (worth up to $2500) to support attendance. The fellowships cover travel, lodging, the conference and a one-year SEJ membership, and are being offered to encourage journalists of color who have been historically underrepresented … [Read more...]

Media Moves


Following 4 1/2 years as an editor at USA TODAY, where he led a national team of more than 20 editors and reporters, Steve Kiggins became the Times-News newsroom’s top editor on Nov. 14. He has won national, regional and state reporting awards over three decades in journalism, working mostly in Wyoming and Utah.

Jesse Gwin joined the Times-News on Oct. 31 as a sports reporter, covering primarily high school sports in the Magic Valley.


This past year … [Read more...]

It’s contest time – enter your best work!

President’s Column

By Betsy Russell

The Idaho Press Club’s “Best of 2022” annual awards contest will open for entries on Dec. 15. It’s time to review and enter your best work of the year; you deserve the recognition!

This year, our Contest Committee has conducted an extensive review and update to our categories. You’ll find an array of changes, including new categories for Spanish-language media and more. The deadline to enter the contest is Jan. 20. All entries are submitted online at [Read more...]

New challenges for political debates

The ‘Idaho Debates’

By Melissa Davlin

This year, like debate organizers across the country, we at the Idaho Debates found ourselves with empty time slots in our schedule as a handful of incumbent candidates declined to participate, including some who had never before turned down our invitations. That has led to some soul searching at Idaho Public Television, as we look to how we can improve our chances of hosting successful congressional debates in 2024.

This year wasn’t all bad. A lot of … [Read more...]

Successful public records fight puts community concerns to rest

By Mike Weland

Dubbed the "Best Small Library in America" in 2017, the Boundary County Public Library, Bonners Ferry, became a hotbed of contention in 2021 after four employees raised numerous allegations of mismanagement, malfeasance and potentially criminal violations.

The first indication of the upheaval about to erupt came with an announcement March 13, 2021, by the library district board of the retirement of the library director, Craig Anderson, effective April 1, and the interim appointment of his … [Read more...]

IPC mid-career and student scholarship applications are now being accepted

Deadline is Feb. 15

By Joan Cartan-Hansen

Have a great idea for a story and no funds to get it to print or on the air? Need money for professional training?  Apply for the Idaho Press Club’s Don Watkins Mid-Career Scholarship.

The Mid-Career Scholarship awards $500 for any Idaho Press Club member to use for any training or project that will improve the working press in Idaho. The only catch: You must share what you learn with Press Club members through a discussion at a conference or an article in an … [Read more...]

Media Moves


East Idaho investigative reporter Devin Bodkin left Idaho Education News after seven years to become a communication director at the Idaho National Laboratory. Idaho Education News replaced Bodkin with Darren Svan, a former Wyoming news editor who has been teaching English on the Ramstein Air Force Base in Germany. He earned a bachelor's degree in journalism from Louisiana State University. Svan started his Idaho investigative reporting job the first week of December. 

THE IDAHO … [Read more...]

President’s Column: Signs of life in the news industry

By Betsy Russell

Check out the “Media Moves” section of this newsletter – there are a lot! Lots of Idaho journalists are moving around as our industry finally once again begins to show some signs of life, after the huge financial gut-punch most or all of our employers took due to the COVID-19 pandemic.

As you’ll see in Orion Donovan-Smith’s interesting article in this issue, reprinted from The Spokesman-Review, the news … [Read more...]

Demystifying the Courts: Idaho Journalists Institute Promotes Understanding of the Courts and the Judiciary

By William Cracraft

Twenty-eight journalists from across Idaho attended Idaho’s third Journalists’ Institute on Covering the Courts in April. The Idaho Press Club, Attorneys for Civic Education and the University of Idaho College of Law teamed up to hold the institute. Previous institutes were held in 2018 and 2019.

The day-long program, titled “Without Fear or Favor: Reporting on the Rule of Law and the Work of an Independent, Impartial Judiciary,” included information on journalists’ access to court … [Read more...]

Can Congress save local news? Two bills backed by Northwest lawmakers may help

Note: This story first published in The Spokesman-Review

By Orion Donovan-Smith, The Spokesman-Review

Jun. 12—WASHINGTON — America's local news outlets are in crisis and in search of a new business model, forced to cut staff or close altogether amid rising costs and falling revenue. But two proposals backed by Northwest lawmakers in Congress may offer a solution.

The Local Journalism Sustainability Act, introduced in 2021 by Washington Sen. Maria Cantwell, a Democrat, and GOP Rep. Dan Newhouse … [Read more...]

Meet Your IPC: Lisa Chavez

Lisa Chavez is one of the newest members of the Idaho Press Club board.  She is the Director of Content at KTVB.  She oversees the news department and all news platforms.

Interviewed by Joan Cartan-Hansen

Where are you from?

I was born and raised in Powell, Wyoming.

Why did you go to Boise State University?

I initially wanted to focus on documentary shooting and producing. Boise is so … [Read more...]