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.

Darin Oswald / Idaho Statesman

While Idaho is experiencing its sharpest spike in coronavirus cases of the entire pandemic, Gov. Brad Little is pushing for K-12 schools to re-open for in-person instruction this fall.

James Dawson / Boise State Public Radio

As Ada County was grappling with growing evidence of a spike in cases of COVID-19 in mid-June linked to the reopening of bars, a high-ranking Republican state lawmaker voted to block further monitoring of these outbreaks.

Courtesy of St. Luke's Health System

Idaho’s largest hospitals say they’re admitting more and more people with cases of COVID-19 as the community has failed to stem the spread of the disease in recent weeks.

AP Images

While Idaho appears to have closed out its most recent fiscal year in the black, Gov. Brad Little is wasting no time in preemptively cutting $200 million from state budgets in the face of falling revenue.

Two new laws went into effect in Idaho this week that target transgender residents. The enactment comes on the heels of a major U.S. Supreme Court decision in June, which greatly expanded LGBTQ rights.

One of the laws bans transgender people from changing the sex on their birth certificates while the other bars transgender girls and women from playing on sports teams that align with their gender identity.

Lauren McLean / via Facebook

Starting Saturday, face coverings will be mandatory at all indoor and outdoor public spaces in Boise for most people.

Boise State University

Boise State University is cutting some of its sports programs as the school continues to deal with the financial fallout of COVID-19.

Ada County Courthouse Fountain Court Law
Lacey Daley / Boise State Public Radio

Ada County will now require all employees and anyone entering a county building to wear a mask, as the area battles a large surge in coronavirus cases.

James Dawson / Boise State Public Radio

Two new laws have just gone into effect in Idaho that target transgender residents, coming on the heels of a major U.S. Supreme Court decision that greatly expanded LGBTQ rights.

SalFalko / Flickr

Idaho’s governor and secretary of state are asking a federal judge to reconsider his decision after he ruled they had violated the constitutional rights of a ballot initiative campaign.

Idaho Statesman

A surge in new coronavirus cases is keeping most of Idaho locked into Stage 4 of Gov. Brad Little’s reopening plan for at least another couple of weeks.

Luke Mayville, Medicaid for Idaho, Idahoans for Healthcare, Proposition 2
James Dawson / Boise State Public Radio

A federal judge has ruled Idaho must either allow a ballot initiative campaign to collect signatures electronically, or include the initiative on the general election ballot in November.

Jim Callender / Flickr Creative Commons

Bars and large venues in Ada County must close starting Wednesday due to a rash of coronavirus cases spreading like wildfire in the area.


Darin Oswald / Idaho Statesman

When he launched Idaho’s phased reopening plan in April, Gov. Brad Little said if cases of coronavirus in Idaho spiked, the entire state could move back through these four different stages. That no longer appears to be the case.

James Dawson / Boise State Public Radio

After fewer businesses than expected applied for help from the state to weather the recent coronavirus shutdown, Idaho is using up to $100 million of that money to push people to go back to work.

James Dawson / Boise State Public Radio

You’ll have to look elsewhere for your corndog or elephant ear fix come August. Organizers of the Western Idaho Fair say they’re cancelling this year’s event out of an abundance of caution over fears it could spread the coronavirus.

James Dawson / Boise State Public Radio

Monday’s U.S. Supreme Court ruling has delivered another blow to a pair of controversial laws set to take effect next month that roll back transgender rights in Idaho.

When I was 8 years old, just about all I could think of was how I was going to die that day.

No, I didn't grow up in the middle of a war zone, though many others on the other side of the world were living through that kind of nightmare in 1996.

I was born and raised in a safe, small town in Idaho where murder was a rarity. It wouldn't be a gun, a child predator, or a car accident that killed me, I figured.

Luke Mayville, Medicaid for Idaho, Idahoans for Healthcare, Proposition 2
James Dawson / Boise State Public Radio

Reclaim Idaho has sued Gov. Brad Little and Secretary of State Lawerence Denney after they both declined to allow electronic signature gathering for ballot initiatives earlier this year.

Screenshot / Idaho Ed News

After nearly 90 minutes of constitutional arguments and pointed questions, a turf war between state superintendent Sherri Ybarra, the Legislature and the State Board of Education is now in the Idaho Supreme Court's hands.

James Dawson / Boise State Public Radio

Tuesday’s primary results saw the right-wing faction of the Republican gain ground in the Idaho House, but it also potentially netted an even bigger prize.

Jens Alfke / Flickr

It looks like at least one far-right candidate in Eastern Idaho won’t be returning to the statehouse in January.

James Dawson / Boise State Public Radio

A federal judge says her ruling from two years ago barring the automatic denial of a transgender person wanting to change their birth certificate still stands.

IIP Photo Archive / Flickr

The Ada County Republican Central Committee may have made an illegal payment to its chairman without a permanent treasurer to sign off on the party’s campaign finance records.