Meet your IPC: Deanna Darr, Boise Weekly

Board member profile

deannaBy Natalie Hurst

It’s no wonder creativity is interwoven into sentence structure at the Boise Weekly. Just take a look at the Features Editor.

She’s a founding board member of Riot Act, Inc., a theater company in Jackson, Wyo., has enjoyed whitewater rafting her whole life and travels whenever she can.

“It’s no secret that we do have fun in our jobs and our writing reflects that,” said 34-year-old Deanna Darr, the newest member of the Idaho Press Club Board. “As an alternative paper, we definitely have more freedom to have a voice in our writing, and sometimes that voice is silly or sarcastic.”

Darr, who joined the state board just a few months ago, has worked at the weekly newspaper for 3-1/2 years. She said balancing the job of a journalist with the creative style of the newspaper is more challenging than many expect.

“Being responsible and funny isn’t easy,” she said. “Our readers respond well to our style, though, and have come to expect it from the Boise Weekly. It’s part of our identity.”

Darr said much of the Boise Weekly content is planned weeks, if not months, in advance. There are seven full-time editorial employees and a select group of freelance writers.

“Boise Weekly is true to its designation as an alternative weekly, meaning we offer another voice to the community,” she said. “As a news organization, we strive to break stories online and then to offer a more in-depth perspective in print. We have a heavy focus on local business, the arts and the local music scene, as well as politics.”

Stories are reviewed in an editorial workshop on the Thursday prior to publication. Section editors spend Fridays and Mondays reading page proofs before the paper is sent electronically to the printing facility in Ogden, Utah by noon Tuesday. The newspaper is then brought to Boise overnight for delivery Wednesday morning.

The Weekly also has a strong web presence. Internet content that’s identical to the print version is posted by 4 a.m. Wednesdays. The Boise Weekly staff also adds new, online-only content to the web

throughout the week and posts to social media sites like Facebook, Twitter, 4square and Gowalla.

“Our online growth is a huge part of our changing focus over the last year as we’ve worked to increase our online presence and offerings while maintaining and defining the print edition,” Darr said.

She said her favorite issues tend to be the ones that require the most work: Best of Boise, Annual Manual and Fiction 101.

Darr, who graduated from Arizona State University’s Walter Cronkite School of Journalism and Mass Communications, previously worked for The Bulletin in Bend, Ore. and the Jackson Hole News and Guide in Jackson, Wyo. She’s found a home now in the Treasure Valley.

“I get to have fun at my job, work with an amazing group of people who are equal parts talented and crazy,” she said. “And I get to meet wonderful people in the community while doing things most people don’t get to do.”

Natalie Hurst is a news anchor at KBOI-TV, and is a broadcast representative on the Idaho Press Club