Press Club’s Watkins scholarships available to working journalists for projects, students for college

By Melissa McGrath

Did you know the Idaho Press Club offers scholarships to working journalists every year? It’s true! Through the Don Watkins Scholarships, the Idaho Press Club funds scholarships for both working journalists and students.

You're probably familiar with the Don Watkins Memorial Scholarship for college students; there's more info on that below. But we also have the Don Watkins Mid-Career Scholarship, which is available to any Idaho Press Club member for a worthy project or expense.

Last year, … [Read more...]

Meet your IPC: Martha Borchers

Name: Martha Borchers

Press Club position, and how long you've held it:

Executive Director, since April 1992.

Background/career path:

Prior to my years with the Idaho Press Club I worked for several years at a law firm as a secretary/ legal clerk.   Then, to indulge my interest in healthcare, switched gears and worked for a new doctor just opening his practice.   I enjoyed the variety of work in a solo medical practice environment because I did everything from receptionist to … [Read more...]

EarthFix site takes top national online honors

By Sadie Babits

More than a year ago, Boise State Public Radio and Idaho Public Television teamed up with Oregon Public Broadcasting in Portland to help launch a regional journalism initiative called EarthFix. This public media project is now being recognized by the Online News Association (ONA ) with two prestigious awards.

At the September ONA awards banquet in San Francisco, EarthFix won in the small site category for topical reporting. It also was honored with another award for its emphasis on explanatory … [Read more...]




Brad W. Gary has been promoted to assistant city editor at the Lewiston Tribune after spending six years as a reporter at the paper. Before coming to the Tribune, he was a reporter for the Columbia Basin Herald in Moses Lake, Wash., the Shoshone News-Press in Kellogg and the Clark Fork Valley Press in Plains, Mont. He is a 2003 graduate of the University of Montana School of Journalism. He replaces Randy Thompson, who was recently named editor of the Hermiston (Ore.) Herald.

IDAHO FALLS[Read more...]

Fall conference to explore media ethics in the thick of election season

The Idaho Press Club's fall conference this year will be held in partnership with the University of Idaho School of Journalism and Mass Media and its Oppenheimer Ethics Symposium, which is set for Oct. 19 at the Idaho State Capitol Auditorium.

All Press Club members are invited to attend; the symposium and conference are free and open to the public. The topic will be especially timely: "Politicians vs. the Press: Media Ethics in an Election Season."

The conference will run from 8 a.m. to noon, starting with a continental … [Read more...]

Mining public records to tell the story, break the news

By Todd Dvorak

When Ian Marquand told the Idaho Press Club he was just passing through Boise and would be willing to give a freebie seminar on public records and the Freedom of Information Act, we jumped at the opportunity.

Marquand is the former Freedom of Information chairman of the Society of Professional Journalists and a longtime leading voice in the West for teaching reporters why mining public records is essential to what we do, and how to better use the law to our advantage. He lives in Helena, Mont., and was … [Read more...]

President’s Column: Idaho Supreme Court begins live-streaming arguments, improves public access

By Betsy Russell

In August, the Idaho Supreme Court began live video streaming its oral arguments from its main courtroom in Boise.

That means we can watch and report on them live from anywhere in the state; it's a great step forward for access.

This is occurring through cooperation between the court and Idaho Public Television, in an expansion of the Idaho Legislature Live streaming service (which is now being renamed "Idaho Live"). At least initially, the streaming will occur only for Supreme Court … [Read more...]

Press Club contest entry, judging goes all-online

Press Club contest entry, judging goes all-online


Starting in December, you'll be able to enter your best work in the Idaho Press Club's annual awards competition entirely online.

"Most other professional competitions have moved to an online system. It was time," said contest committee chair Joan Cartan-Hansen.

The online system will accept most standard files: .pdf, .jpg, mp3, .wmv, .mov

"Broadcasters should be familiar with the video uploading process," Cartan-Hansen said. "We are using the same company … [Read more...]

Longtime journalist, public official Swisher dies at 88

Joseph "Perry" Swisher died June 6, 2012 at his residence in Boise at the age of 88.

Perry was born Sept. 21, 1923 in Bruneau, Idaho, the son of James Joyce and Maymee (Blakeslee) Swisher. He graduated Pocatello H.S. in 1941, and received a Certificate in Arts in 1943 from University of Idaho Southern Branch, Pocatello; and B.A. from Idaho State University in 1968. His residences in Idaho included: Blackfoot, Idaho (childhood): Pocatello, Idaho (1930s to 1976); Lewiston, Idaho (1976-1979); and Boise (1979-death).

Perry … [Read more...]

Longtime reporter Pat McCoy dies of cancer at 65

Note: This obituary first appeared in the Idaho Statesman on June 5.

Patricia Rae McCoy Rohleder, 65, peacefully died in her sleep on Friday, June 1, 2012 of complications due to cancer.

Pat was born June 3, 1946, in Boise, to Stanley Eugene and Edna L. Chaffin McCoy. She was the fourth of six children.

As a cleft palate baby, she became acquainted with many doctors and nurses throughout her life. One vivid memory was how excited the family became when she learned to whistle at age 7, something the doctors … [Read more...]

President’s Column: Hunt through records reveals Idaho reporting history

By Betsy Russell

I was puzzled when I saw the arguments that the state filed on May 30 in our court case over media access to Idaho executions, suggesting that unlike California - where a 9th Circuit decision in 2002 ordered executions opened to witnesses in their entirety - a review of Idaho's laws showed no history of media witnesses observing executions.

The state suggested in court documents that because an 1899 Idaho law moved executions to the state level - they'd previously been done at the county level, and … [Read more...]

News media witnesses: A longstanding tradition at Idaho executions

By Betsy Z. Russell

BOISE - As Idaho’s news media sparred with the state in federal court this spring over limits on access to executions, the case turned a spotlight on Idaho’s long and consistent history of media witnesses attending its state executions to serve as the eyes and ears of the public.

Media witnesses have been present for all but one Idaho execution since 1901 and published detailed accounts of them. That's what history shows, and it counters arguments the state presented in federal court, claiming … [Read more...]

10 Steps to Maybe Getting Your Nonfiction Book Published

By Nathaniel Hoffman

A generation ago we learned that the medium is the message. We segregated ourselves into media categories: TV people or radio people or print people, and we perfected our medium with inverted pyramids and driveway moments and close-up, highly emotional footage.

And then, in the late '90s, Google or Al Gore invented the internet and the media blew up again, mashing together our disciplines and ruining our attention spans. Some of us took to blogging, learned video and audio editing and survived. I dropped … [Read more...]



Twin Falls Times-News

Former editor Josh Awtry was named managing editor at The Coloradoan in Fort Collins, Colo., in December. Alison Gene Smith, formerly a reporter for NCW Media in Wenatchee, Wash., joined the Times-News in December as criminal justice reporter.

Melissa Davlin, formerly a features reporter, moved to politics and government reporter in December and is covering this year's legislative session. Natalie Dicou, who formerly covered education for the Salt Lake Tribune, signed on as features reporter in … [Read more...]