Idaho political junkies have a new option for getting their news. Idaho Politics Weekly launched Monday, right before the state legislative session kicks off Jan 12.
But unlike other traditional media outlets in the Treasure Valley, the website and newsletter are sponsored by Utah-based Zions Bank.
“[Idaho Politics Weekly is] intended to provide original content as it relates to important public policy issues for the state of Idaho, but also serves as a news aggregator for news related to public policy issues,” says Rob Brough who is in charge of communciations and marketing at Zions.
Brough says the bank wanted to contribute to the civic conversation in Boise, and Idaho Politics Weekly is one way to do that. He says there will soon be an Idaho-based advisory board to make sure the outlet serves that purpose.
But Boise State media studies professor Seth Ashley says like with any news source, readers of the new website should do their research and be wary of any potential agenda or bias. He says the site’s direct link to one corporation is a sign of the times.
“Money always has to come from somewhere," Ashley says. "And so whether it’s an advertiser subsidy – which is what got us through most of the 20th century – or a more direct single corporate sponsor, that’s been the model for certain journalistic enterprises.”
So far, Idaho Politics Weekly hasn’t featured any writers based in Idaho.
Find reporter Frankie Barnhill on Twitter @FABarnhill
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