James Dawson


James Dawson serves as a reporter for Boise State Public Radio's award-winning news department. 

Most recently, he covered state politics and government for Delaware Public Media since the station first began broadcasting in 2012 as the country's newest NPR affiliate. Those reports spanned two governors, three sessions of the Delaware General Assembly, and three consequential elections. His work has been featured on Morning Edition, All Things Considered and NPR's newscast division. 

An Idaho native from north of the time zone bridge, James previously served as the public affairs reporter and interim news director for the commercial radio network Inland Northwest Broadcasting. His reporting experience included state and local government, arts and culture, crime, and agriculture.

He's a proud University of Idaho graduate with a bachelor's degree in Broadcasting and Digital Media. When he's not in the office, you can find James fly fishing, buffing up on his photography or watching the Seattle Mariners' latest rebuilding season.

Ken Lund via Flickr

Washington County Commissioners signed off 2-1 Monday morning on three ordinances that the state attorney general’s office said are likely unconstitutional.

Washington County Commissioners will vote this morning on three controversial ordinances that would put them partly in charge over federal public lands there. James Dawson has this preview.

SalFalko / Flickr

The ACLU of Idaho is asking a federal judge to strike down part of the state’s crimes against nature law, saying it’s unconstitutional.

Central District Health

Public health officials say a sudden spike in coronavirus cases in Ada County is one reason why they aren’t lifting a mask mandate just yet.

Ken Lund via Flickr

Washington County Commissioners are considering three ordinances that supporters say would wrestle back authority of public lands from the feds, despite the state saying they’re likely unconstitutional.

Darin Oswald / Idaho Statesman

High coronavirus hospitalization rates are still preventing Idaho from fully graduating out of his reopening plan.

Anne Frank Memorial (3)
Scott Graf / Boise State Public Radio

A new survey ranks younger Idahoans among the most well-educated in the country when it comes to the Holocaust, but there’s room for improvement, according to one expert.

U.S. Census Bureau

A new analysis finds there’s a bit of hope for Idaho to still gain a third congressional seat this decade due in part to the early deadline for the census.

David Goldman / AP Images


The coronavirus pandemic has taken a toll, not just on people’s physical health, but also their mental health.

Darin Oswald / Idaho Statesman

With Labor Day behind us, Idahoans are wondering how they can celebrate the next major holiday safely, as the question of what to do with Halloween is a touchy subject.

Super 45 | Música Independiente / Flickr

An Idaho District Court judge will not block rapper Kanye West from appearing as an independent presidential candidate on the November ballot.

The coronavirus pandemic has taken a toll, not just on people’s physical health, but also their mental health.

For some people, long-term planning or routine tasks that were easier last year are now roadblocks that are hard to get around. Others are suddenly overly focused on cleaning or washing their hands.

James Dawson / Boise State Public Radio

Boise State University President Marlene Tromp is announcing the school will lay off some portion of its workforce after the coronavirus pandemic punched holes into its budget.

Jens Alfke / Flickr

A U.S. Postal service mailer on how to vote this fall, which is the subject of at least one federal lawsuit, has started hitting mailboxes in Idaho.

James Dawson / Boise State Public Radio

Gov. Brad Little wants to use about $150 million in federal coronavirus aid money to restore cuts made to K-12 education in Idaho and issue grants to families.

Richard Vogel / AP

A group of Republicans in Twin Falls is pushing back against a proposed ordinance that would open a recreational marijuana dispensary just across the border in Nevada.

James Dawson / Boise State Public Radio

Idaho’s surprising surge in tax revenue the past two months stands in stark contrast to most of the country where the coronavirus pandemic has torn state budgets to shreds.

AP Images

Tech problems for Idaho’s largest school district meant a shakey start to the first day of school Tuesday.

Darin Oswald / Idaho Statesman

For the sixth time since mid-June, Gov. Brad Little is keeping Idaho in Stage 4 of his reopening plan due to overall elevated hospitalization numbers statewide.

Coleen Danger / Flickr Creative Commons

An ordinance that would allow a recreational marijuana dispensary to open in Jackpot, Nevada cleared its first hurdle.

Idaho Capitol Dome
Emilie Ritter Saunders / Boise State Public Radio

State Treasurer Julie Ellsworth is appealing a lower court ruling that would remove much of her staff from the Idaho Capitol building and hand over the office space to legislators.

Park Ranger / Flickr Creative Commons

Elko County Commissioners will consider allowing Jackpot to open the county’s first marijuana dispensary as the local economy tries to recover from the coronavirus pandemic.

James Dawson / Boise State Public Radio

Voters in the Boise School District Tuesday will choose among three candidates to fill two seats on the board of trustees.

Fork Restaurant in downtown Boise
Sáša Woodruff / Boise State Public Radio

Starting today, businesses on one of downtown Boise’s busiest blocks will be able to permanently reclaim the street from vehicle traffic.

Elaine Thompson / AP

Unemployment claims in Idaho have ticked up for the second week in a row after significant declines from the beginning of the pandemic.