President’s Column: Press Club working to increase professional development opportunities

I want to thank members of the Idaho Press Club for trusting me with this position, and thank Betsy for her years of service and continued support.

As president, my priorities include increasing professional development opportunities for journalists across the state, fundraising, and continuing to fight for access to public records and transparent government.

Over the next few months, we are working to set up a professional development day in Coeur d’Alene for north Idaho journalists, and we hope to organize a similar event in eastern Idaho in the spring. We will also continue to host our fall training event in Boise. Keep an eye out for more information on these and other events.

Covering the courts

The Idaho Press Club is a member of the media coalition that challenged the broad nondissemination order in the Kohberger trial in Associated Press v Second District. On June 23rd, we received an amended order that limited the scope of the original gag order. The new order included only attorneys “and their agents.” In a June 27th hearing, Judge John Judge said that wording was intended to include investigators and police, and he would soon put out yet another order that made that clear.

In the June 9th hearing on the gag order and his denial of our motion to vacate, Judge stated some disappointing things about his perception of the media, including broad, unfair characterizations that group measured regional coverage with the sensational speculation we’ve seen from some national outlets. Still, through this process, we now have enshrined in the Idaho Supreme Court opinion from April our right as the media to intervene when our First Amendment rights are threatened. If there are any updates, we will let you know.

The Idaho Press Club is also keeping an eye on State v Kaylor, concerning the quadruple homicide in Kellogg.  After the public defender announced their intent to seek a nondissemination order at a June 20th hearing, we retained Stoel Rives to send a letter on our behalf drawing counsel’s attention to the Idaho Supreme Court opinion. We hope an early intervention can help us avoid an overly broad gag order like what we originally saw in Kohberger.

We continue to believe that overly broad nondissemination orders benefit only unethical outlets that will run with rumors and unverified claims. We will continue to fight for reasonable access to information so journalists can responsibly cover these tragedies in an ethical, measured, and accurate way.

On that note, if you run into any issues with local entities concerning open meetings or public records, you don’t have to fight alone. Our First Amendment Committee has helped journalists across Idaho shake loose records that have been illegally withheld, usually with a quick phone call or e-mail.

If you have any questions or concerns, please don’t hesitate to reach out. My e-mail is