Lots happening, and now is the time!

President’s Column

By Betsy Z. Russell

There is SO MUCH going on with the Idaho Press Club right now! It’s time to sign up for our first gala awards banquet since 2019 on April 30; don’t miss it! We are also just a week away from the deadline to register for our top-notch “Journalists Institute on Covering the Courts” the same day as the banquet; registration deadline for that also is April 20.

The courts training, for which we’ve teamed up with Attorneys for Civic Education and the University of Idaho College of Law, is FREE and includes lunch and snacks. It will run 8:30 am to 3:40 pm on April 30, and the planned sessions include information on journalists’ access to court proceedings, a discussion on prosecutorial discretion, and the role and importance of jury instructions. We invite all Idaho journalists and editors to participate.

This year’s theme is “Without Fear or Favor: Reporting on the Rule of Law and the Work of an Independent, Impartial Judiciary.” Register online now at https://idahopressclub.org/events/

Also happening right now: The Idaho Debates kick off next week, co-sponsored by the Idaho Press Club, Idaho Public Television, the League of Women Voters and Idaho’s state universities. You can see the full schedule online at Idaho Debates (idahoptv.org). These important forums, broadcast live statewide on Idaho Public TV, are a three-decade institution in Idaho and a vital public service. And after this round of primary-election debates, they’ll be back again in the fall for the general election.

In addition, we are breathing a sign of relief at the close of an extremely busy legislative session that kept our First Amendment Committee and our excellent pro-bono lobbyist, Ken Burgess, hopping this year to successfully keep up the fight for openness in government. You can read more about all of this session’s bills in the article in this issue of the Communicator by First Amendment Chair Scott McIntosh.

Meanwhile, we are hard at work judging the work of journalists who enter out-of-state journalism contests, as part of our judging exchange: We help judge other states’ contests, and they help judge ours. We have a TON of entries to judge right now! If anyone is interested in helping judge, please contact me.

Things never let up, do they? It’s an extremely busy time, but it’s also a time of hope this spring. We are getting together again. Let’s enjoy it.

Betsy Russell is the Boise bureau chief for the Idaho Press, and is the president of the Idaho Press Club.