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.

James is 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 him fly fishing, buffing up on his photography or watching the Seattle Mariners' latest rebuilding season.

Medicaid, medicaid expansion, ilana rubel
James Dawson / Boise State Public Radio

Despite intense public pressure and threats of legal action, Gov. Brad Little has signed a bill making it significantly harder for citizens to get an initiative on the ballot.

Darin Oswald / Idaho Statesman

Gov. Brad Little has vetoed two bills that would constrict executive authority during an emergency and expand legislative powers.

Gustavo Sagrero / Boise State Public Radio

Idaho state Rep. Aaron von Ehlinger, a freshman Republican from Lewiston, is under investigation by the House ethics committee for allegedly raping an adult legislative volunteer.

James Dawson / Boise State Public Radio

Idaho House lawmakers Thursday rejected a proposed constitutional amendment that would’ve blocked the ability of citizens to legalize any drug through a ballot initiative.

Heath Druzin / Boise State Public Radio

Idaho House lawmakers easily passed a measure that would block any level of government from imposing a mask mandate.

James Dawson / Boise State Public Radio

A bill giving raises for public K-12 teachers died by a single vote in the Idaho House Tuesday, with many Republicans again saying there needs to be stronger protections against teaching children about social justice issues.


The NCAA Monday reaffirmed its support for transgender athletes, saying championships should only be held in locations “free of discrimination.”

James Dawson / Boise State Public Radio

A $6 million federal grant to boost early childhood education in Idaho passed the state Senate by a single vote Monday.

James Dawson / Boise State Public Radio

After months of negotiations, the Idaho legislature has passed two bills in response to the pandemic that would reign in a governor’s power during an emergency.

Flickr Creative Commons

Idaho Republican legislative leaders are alleging the state health department is illegally collecting and maintaining an adult vaccination database.

Idaho Capitol Dome
Emilie Ritter Saunders / Boise State Public Radio

A proposed $389.4 million tax cut and rebate plan is heading out of committee to the full Idaho Senate for amendments.




A bill that would outlaw abortions in Idaho after a fetal heartbeat can be detected has passed the state senate. James Dawson has more.

Megan Kent

The coronavirus pandemic has taxed America’s mental health system over the past year and one thing is clear: young adults are having the hardest time coping out of any age group.

James Dawson / Boise State Public Radio

State lawmakers have begun dancing the “legislative shuffle” – even with more than a year to go until the 2022 primary.

James Dawson / Boise State Public Radio

The man accused of slashing his way through a child’s birthday party and killing a three-year-old in 2018 has pleaded guilty to a dozen crimes, including first-degree murder.

Idaho Shakespeare Festival

The Idaho Shakespeare Festival is delaying its upcoming season as it continues to work through how to safely put on live theater amid the coronavirus pandemic.

bgwashburn / Flickr

A devastating disease sometimes referred to as “rabbit Ebola” has been detected for the first time in Idaho, with state officials warning domestic rabbit owners to take precautions.

Tamanoeconomico / Wikimedia Commons

The Idaho Supreme Court has unanimously ruled against an influential right-wing lobbying group that sought to invalidate two urban renewal districts in Boise.

Jenny Kane / AP Photo

The Idaho Tax Commission has officially extended the state’s deadline for filing income taxes to May 17.

Darin Oswald / Idaho Statesman

Gov. Brad Little announced Wednesday all Idahoans who are at least 16 years old will be able to make an appointment to get the COVID-19 vaccine beginning April 5 – three weeks earlier than the state originally planned.