Meet Your IPC: Nick Draper

Interview by Melissa McGrath

Meet Nick Draper. He moved to Idaho Falls shortly after graduating from Missouri Western State University in 2006 to cover the state Legislature for the Idaho Falls Post-Register. Draper, 26, is now one of the newest members of the Idaho Press Club state board of directors, serving as the print representative since spring 2009.  Here’s a little more about Draper.

Hometown: West Plains, Mo.

Previous work experience: Worked part-time in the sports department at the St. Joseph (Mo.) News-Press

Family: Draper and his wife Samantha have been married seven months

Q: Why’d you choose to move to Idaho Falls?

A: I moved to Idaho Falls because former Post Register Managing Editor Dean Miller offered me a reporting job a week before I graduated college in May 2006. I’d never been east of Mount Rushmore but decided to take a chance and was thankful to have a job immediately upon graduation.

Q: What’s your favorite part of living in Idaho?

A: There are very few places in the country with as much natural beauty as you’ll find in Idaho, especially right out your front door. I love that I live so close to great camping, hiking and skiing.

Q: What’s your favorite part of covering the Legislature?

A: I guess the sense of importance. The reporters covering the Legislature are writing about things have will have a direct impact on people’s lives, like how much funding will be going to your child’s school next year and where your tax dollars are being spent.

Q: What’s your least favorite part of covering the Legislature?

A: The long hours are probably the worst part, without a doubt. A 10-hour day is pretty standard. Although it does get tough, too, being away from home and my wife the first few months of the year.

Q: If you could cover any beat at the newspaper, what would it be and why?

A: I’d do what I’m doing now, covering the Legislature. I think it’s interesting witnessing, first-hand, how government works in Idaho.

Q: What’s different about covering the Legislature this year in the newly remodeled Statehouse?

A: The big difference is the amount of space, which can be both a good thing and a bad thing. It’s nice that the reporters don’t have to work in a closet anymore, which was the case at the annex. But with several stairways and spaces at the new capitol, it can sometimes be difficult to track down people.

Q: Many reporters are embracing social media these days. Are you utilizing Facebook/ Twitter/blog for your coverage? Why or why not?

A: I don’t use any social media in my reporting, but mainly use it to see what reporters are covering. The Post Register hasn’t put that much of a priority on blogs or other social media, so I’m just reporting the “old-fashioned” way.

Q: If you couldn’t be a reporter, what other profession would you like to attempt?

A: I think I’d like to try law. I covered the courts at the Post Register for more than a year and found a lot of the cases were very interesting.

Q: Which other writers do you admire and read frequently?

A: I read Bill Simmons’ columns pretty religiously and will always read pieces by Malcolm Gladwell in The New Yorker. It’d be quite an accomplishment if I would

ever make it to Gladwell’s level of expertise.

Q: Being a reporter is a stressful job. What do you do in your spare time to kick back and relax?

A: Mostly I try to leave work at work, especially on the weekends. Anything to take your mind off your job seems to work for me. I also like to read about, play and watch sports. I play golf in the summer and ski in the winter. A good beer after a long day helps do the trick, too.

Q: What’s the best trip you’ve ever taken and why?

A: My favorite trip was with my wife in Belize. It was such an experience to go snorkeling with manta rays, nurse sharks and schools of fish in the second largest barrier reef on the planet, which is off the coast of Belize. We stayed on one of the outer islands but traveled into the jungle on a day trip to walk around some Mayan ruins. I’d love to go back.

Q: What’s your favorite book?

A: It’s hard to pick a favorite, so I’ll list a few I’ve really enjoyed. “The Great Gatsby,” “East of Eden,” “The Rum Diary,” and “The Life and Opinions of Tristram Shandy, Gentleman.” (I only list the last book because it was an accomplishment to finish it.)

Q: What’s your favorite movie?

A: My favorite movie of all time is “Back to the Future.” I love that movie because of all the great quotes, such as “There’s that word again; ‘heavy.’ Why are things so heavy in the future? Is there a problem with the earth’s gravitational pull?”