Standing up for reporting and truth

President’s column

By Betsy Russell

It’s really quite heartening that with a significant case pending involving press freedom in Idaho, the Verity case that’s before the Idaho Supreme Court, not only Idaho news media organizations but major news media organizations across the country all signed on to an amicus, or “friend of the court,” brief, arguing against recognizing libel by implication in Idaho. We have all long known that truth is a defense against libel, and we certainly hope our laws in Idaho continue to recognize this.

The three initiating signers for the amicus brief were the Associated Press, the Hearst Corporation, and the Idaho Press Club. Here’s the impressive list of those who signed on:

Adams Publishing Group, Advance Publications, The American Society of News Editors, BuzzFeed, The Center for Investigative Reporting, CNN, Dow Jones & Company, The E.W. Scripps Company, First Look Media, Forbes, Gray Television, The Idaho Statesman, Landmark Media Enterprises, The Medin Institute, Meredith Corporation, The National Association of Broadcasters, The News Media Alliance, The New York Times Company, POLITICO, The Reporters’ Committee for Freedom of the Press, The Radio and Television Di2ital News Association, The Society for Professional Journalists, tronc, and The Washington Post.

In these days of unwarranted media-bashing by those on all sides of the political spectrum, it’s good to know that all of us in Idaho journalism stand up for reporting and truth.

And speaking of reporting, you won’t want to miss our Idaho Press Club Fall Conference this year. The Southwest Chapter has put together an epic array of speakers who will inspire, inform, and help us all do our jobs better. Look for details in this issue and register at

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