President’s Column

Reporting still matters, and it always will

By Betsy Russell

Yes, this is a terrible time for our business. Newspapers are closing. Talented journalists are losing their jobs to layoffs, through no fault of their own, in all media.

What we do is threatened at a time when it perhaps matters the most – when people really need to know what’s going on, to understand how it affects their lives and livelihoods as our nation and state suffer through economic turmoil.
Reporting still matters, and it … [Read more...]

Idaho Falls paper drops its Monday print edition

Among the dramatic cutbacks seen at news outlets across Idaho amid the economic downturn was the Idaho Falls Post Register’s decision to drop its Monday print edition as of March 2.  The paper has published seven days a week since 1996, when it added a Saturday edition. The decision to stop Monday publication – a day that’s often the thinnest paper of the week for many newspapers – is a sign of how far the cuts are reaching in Idaho’s newspaper business.

Here is an article by Post Register Publisher Roger Plothow … [Read more...]

Meet your IPC: Melissa McGrath

Interviewed by John Miller

Age: 25

College: degrees in Journalism and Government and Politics from University of Maryland, College Park, Go 'Terps!
Hometown: Grew up in Meridian (well, moved there when I was 9), and graduated from Eagle High School

Career Path: I interned a lot in college, at The Buffalo News (Washington bureau), Capital News Service (Washington, DC), and Frederick News-Post (Frederick, Md.) during college. I was hired at Idaho Statesman after I graduated in May 2005 and … [Read more...]

New faces join Statehouse press corps

By Melissa McGrath

Though the number of reporters covering Idaho’s Statehouse is about the same this year as last year, there’s been significant turnover, meaning a number of new faces. Full-time Statehouse reporters who have returned this year include Betsy Russell of the Spokesman-Review, John Miller of the Associated Press, Jared Hopkins of the Times-News and Dan Popkey of the Idaho Statesman.

Here is a brief look at some of the new reporters covering the Idaho Legislature this year:

Nick Draper, … [Read more...]

PR exec editor, Dean Miller let go

By Corey Taule

Editor’s Note: This article first appeared in the Post Register in Idaho Falls.

Post Register Publisher Roger Plothow fired Executive Editor Dean Miller on Feb. 18, citing a desire “to change the direction of the paper a little bit.”

A veteran of three decades in Idaho journalism, Miller began his career at the Twin Falls Times-News. He moved to the Spokesman-Review of Spokane, Wash., where he manned the newspaper’s Sandpoint bureau and later its full-time office in Boise.[Read more...]

Media Moves


KTVB- Char Jackson returns to KTVB as a news producer. Jordan Gray joins KTVB from University of Idaho as a web producer.  Caroline Sullivan leaves KTVB from role as producer.

KTRV - Shannon Paterson, anchor for Fox12News@Nine, left to be a mom and to start up her on-line venture,

Mike Vogel,  veteran local reporter/anchor, came on board in June.  He is a reporter/anchor for the News at Nine as well.

[Read more...]

Meet Your IPC: Natalie Hurst

Natalie is one of the newest members of the Idaho Press Club board having joined the statewide board this spring as our TV representative. We welcome her aboard!

Age: 38
Job: Anchor, CBS 2 News-KBCI
Education: B.A., Ohio Wesleyan University (print journalism/French). M.A. Northwestern University Medill School of Journalism (broadcast journalism)
Hometown: Bethesda, MD
Family: Parents, no siblings

Q: Describe your career path, how you got to where you are today.

A: After … [Read more...]

Point-Counterpoint: Facebook

The Facebook dilemma for journalists: Who really should be your "friend"?

Marcia's View:  Assume it's Public
By Marcia Franklin

I'm what is known as an "early majority" adopter - that is, I'm skittish to try a new product until the "innovators" and "early adopters" have proven its reliability and ease.

So I ignored the first requests from people to be their "friend" on Facebook. To me, Facebook was the equivalent of MySpace, and I had stumbled across enough MySpace pages to know they weren't for … [Read more...]

President’s Column

An important resource for Idaho journalists

By Betsy Russell

If you're covering a story from Idaho's courts, or one that has anything to do with our state's judiciary, don't miss the newly revamped online "Media Guide to the Idaho Courts," which has recently been extensively updated.

The guide is located on the Idaho Supreme Court's Web site, In the bar on the left, click on "Media Guide," which gives you two options, a PDF to print out the entire thing, or the handy and highly … [Read more...]

How long are your Google Searches?

By Nathaniel Hoffman

Marshall Simmonds, SEO guru for the New York Times, told a group of Boise reporters and PR flaks at a recent Idaho Press Club event that Google search queries are getting longer.

So how long are your searches? Do you type a whole sentence, or are you more about quality of search terms than raw, uncut length?

SEO, for those of you who have never even heard of it, is search engine optimization, and according to Simmonds, there is nothing wrong with it, nothing sinister. It is just … [Read more...]

It requires real reporting

By Marc Johnson

As a very, very green – green as in no experience – aspiring journalist many years ago, I now know how fortunate I was to have the opportunity to endure a few months of sheer terror working under the knowing influence of a truly accomplished city editor.  At an impressionable age, those few weeks of education at the hands of an exacting news veteran have had a marked impact on all the years of my professional life.

My early mentor, at least as I remember him, always had a pencil stuck behind … [Read more...]

Evening News: Is 9 p.m. the new 10?

By Natalie Hurst

It's 8:58 pm. For the past four years at this time, I've usually been going through my 10 p.m. scripts and reviewing the lead reporter's top story before her live shot. But tonight, like any Monday-Friday in my new lifestyle, I'm instead listening to the theme song for "Emergency!" and 90 seconds away from a new show open: the 9 p.m. news on KBCI's second channel, RetroTV (KYUU).

What's happened? Has 9 become the new 10?

"It's not an age group, it's more a lifestyle that we're … [Read more...]

From Internet law to infusing meaning in news

By Shea Andersen

Although it was a beautiful Saturday, journalists and media professionals crowded inside a U.S. Bank building conference room for the 2009 Fall Conference, organized by the Southwest Chapter of the Idaho Press Club.

The theme of this year's conference was "Back to Basics." Instead of wringing their hands over the fate of the industry, reporters and editors learned about pertinent media law in the Internet age and heard from newsmakers about what it's like to be on their side of the … [Read more...]

President’s Column

Glimmers of hope in tough times
By Betsy Russell

When I asked our lead presenter at the recent Fall Conference how things were going at his paper, The Oregonian, I was startled by the answer: They're cutting 70 positions in the newsroom. I shouldn't have been startled. This, of course, is what's going on in our industry right now. My own paper is cutting three more newsroom positions right now, and we're all getting another week's furlough on top of the earlier furlough week and the pay cuts. The Statesman laid off its … [Read more...]