Journalism

In Up All Night, author and journalist Lisa Napoli tells how we went from an age of nightly news broadcasts on three national networks to the age of 24-hour channels and constantly breaking news. The answer—thanks to Ted Turner and an oddball cast of cable television visionaries, big league rejects, and nonunion newbies—can be found in the basement of an abandoned country club in Atlanta. Because it was there, in the summer of 1980, that this motley crew somehow, against all odds, launched CNN. 


In 2016, following a contentious Presidential campaign season, City Club of Boise partnered with the National Institute for Civil Discourse to organize a series of events exploring civility in our public discourse. The goal of this project, to paraphrase City Club founder Dottie Stimpson, was to "get people to start talking" to each other, and to chart a course for communicating outside of traditional partisan lines.

Now, nearly four years later, we appear to be at another test of civility. The 2020 Presidential election and a global pandemic of historic proportions are once again challenging elected leaders and citizens to talk to each other-- not at each other.


Courtesy of Ben Olson

This story was powered by America Amplified, a public radio initiative.

A small-town newspaper in the region that lost most of its staff due to the economic impacts of COVID–19 received a helping hand Friday. The Sandpoint Reader in North Idaho, a free weekly, was able to temporarily rehire its employees for the next six weeks using an influx of reader donations and the stimulus package's Paycheck Protection Program.

Ben Olson / Sandpoint Reader

This story was powered by America Amplified, a public radio initiative. 

Sitting at his desk within the small office of the Sandpoint Reader, a weekly newspaper in northern Idaho, publisher Ben Olson is exhausted. 

This interview was originally broadcast in April, 2019.

The overthrow of the Saddam Hussein and his Ba’ath regime in 2007 threw a war-torn nation into even deeper turmoil. Travelling to Damascus to report on the sudden exodus of Iraqis to Syria, our guest today, Deborah Campbell, met Ahlam, a refugee known in the industry as a “fixer” – someone who provides Western media with dependable information and contacts.


Kathy Stephenson has worked as a reporter for The Salt Lake Tribune since 1982. She’s taking this fellow journalist on a tour of its downtown newsroom and points to a row of empty, gray cubicles.

This interview was originally broadcast in August, 2019.

The wars in Afghanistan and Iraq have spanned three administrations, costing billions of dollars, thousands of lives, and untold casualties. Additionally, more than 2.7 million Americans have served in Afghanistan or Iraq since September 11, 2001. But many of these personal stories remain untold.

  

Marie Colvin was one of the foremost war reporters of her generation, risking her life covering conflicts in Chechnya, East Timor, Kosovo, and the Middle East. Killed in an artillery attack in Syria in 2012, Colvin left behind a profound record of the victims of wars that she covered, and a reputation as an unflinching and nonconformist reporter.


On March 27th, the City Club of Boise welcomed Kendra Pierre-Louis to discuss reporting on climate for the New York Times on the climate desk where she reports on climate science and the social impacts of climate change. 

Heath Druzin / Boise State Public Radio

Journalists have been under increasing threat in America in recent years. This year alone, a gunman killed five Maryland newspaper employees, someone sent pipe bombs to CNN and reporters have been attacked at demonstrations. This environment is leading some in the Idaho news business to reassess safety.


She's a former journalist, who wrote books on the side, until she took the plunge to become a full-time writer in 2015. Now Brenda Stanley is an author with eight books to her credit. When her novel, "The Color of Snow" did well, she decided to quit her job in journalism and focus on writing. Her latest book, "The Treasure of Cedar Creek" is a mystery/thriller, set in the Idaho wilderness.

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Kevin Davenport has been covering science content for the Idaho Statesman this summer. He joins Idaho Matters to talk about algae blooms, bee colony collapse and a plague affecting humans and pets alike.

The descriptive phrase, “The Wild West,” brings to mind images of gunslingers, dusty miners and pioneering families eager to forge a fresh start in an inhospitable place. But in a new book, journalist Blaire Briody takes us on a tour of America’s contemporary Wild West: the badlands of North Dakota, under which reside an estimated 4.3 billion gallons of recoverable oil, making it the largest oil reserve in the lower 48 states.


Idaho Student Journalists Tackle New News Media

May 8, 2018
JESSICA ROBERTS

News media has changed drastically since the beginning of the 2016 presidential election. Fake news, Russian bots, data mining and targeted news have changed the way front-line reporters get their content to consumers. 

This program was originally broadcast in December, 2016.

On a hot January afternoon in 2010, reporter Jonathan M. Katz heard a loud rumbling outside his home in the hills above Port-au-Prince, Haiti.  At first, he thought it was a water truck. Then the bed began to vibrate, bottles shimmied on a nearby table, and the floor started to move. The roar increased as the deadliest earthquake in the history of the Western Hemisphere unleashed its full force. Mr. Katz survived. Thousands upon thousands of others were not so lucky.

This interview was originally broadcast in November of 2014.

In a brutal labor camp in a remote part of western China, a man imprisoned for 20 years plots his escape.  In Beijing, an ambitious foreign correspondent stumbles into a web of secrets that are more valuable than he ever dreams. And in London, British intelligence agents who bear little resemblance to James Bond scramble to pursue a surprising and intriguing lead.

Emilie Ritter Saunders / Boise State Public Radio

An Idaho high school senior made waves earlier this month for a pointed editorial taking aim at Superintendent of Public Instruction-elect Sherri Ybarra.

Harmony Soto, 17, decided to plagiarize Boise Weekly writer George Prentice after Ybarra narrowly won November's election -- even after Ybarra was accused of plagiarizing her opponent's campaign website.

South-central Idaho police officers say they are investigating after someone shot at the front entrance of a newspaper building.

The Times-News reports that someone shot the front window at their Twin Falls building on Oct. 25.

Police stopped by two days later to take pictures of the damage and interview reporters who were in the building over the weekend.

Reporter Mychel Mathews says she was working at the time the bullet fired into the building but thought the sound was a rock hitting the window.

Dan Popkey
Otter For Idaho Twitter

The news business as we know it is in crisis. It's been well reported that revenue has been drying up as advertisers move online, causing newspapers to shrink their staffs. Something that's less-often reported is how much the public relations business has been booming.

Courtesy Futuro Media Group

It’s estimated that by 2043, white Americans will no longer be a majority of the U.S. population. But in Coeur d'Alene, Caucasians already make up a whopping 92 percent of the population. Nationally, whites total 63 percent of the population.

Coeur d'Alene has been homogeneous for the last 20 years as nearly 90 percent of new residents were white.

Associated Press reporter Rebecca Boone has won a national Sigma Delta Chi Award for excellence in public service journalism for a series of stories covering understaffing at Idaho's largest prison.

Boone's investigation revealed that private prison company Corrections Corporation of America falsified staffing records in violation of the company's $29-million-a-year state contract. She also examined how the state missed warning signs of problems at the prison despite increased oversight of CCA's operations.

Courtesy of RTDNA

Boise State Public Radio’s website has been named the best in the country by the Radio Television Digital News Association (RTDNA). The organization announced Wednesday, the winners of the 2013 national Edward R. Murrow Awards. These awards honor the highest caliber journalism being produced by radio, television and online news organizations around the world.

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Idaho is now one of more than 30 states that has a closed or semi closed primary. For the first time Tuesday voters must declare a party affiliation before casting a ballot. That presents an ethical dilemma for some people who want to remain non-partisan including journalists.