Tag Archive for Boise State Public Radio

6 Nuggets Of Multimedia-Reporting Wisdom…And What Comes Next

IMG_0454It’s my last day at Boise State Public Radio, and my last day (for now) working in public media. I’ve grown and learned so much over the last decade in public radio. And I know for sure the future is bright for public radio stations across the country.

Thanks, Idaho, for listening, for your support, and for helping me grow!

Here are six little pieces of wisdom I left my Boise State Public Radio newsroom colleagues. These are tailored to digital journalism, but really, these nuggets can apply to so many other worlds.

  1. Never publish your first headline. Headlines are mini works-of-art; take your time, write a bunch, riff with someone. Your headline is the window to your story. Sell it!
  2. Plan out the best way to visualize your post. Every story is different. Is it a visual story? Should you rely on photos/video? Should you use sub-heads? What about charts or maps? Let the contents of the story direct how you’ll present it. It won’t be the same each time.
  3. Pretend like you’re a copy editor. Go through each post with a fine-toothed comb to make sure you don’t have silly spelling errors or grammar mistakes. If what’s written doesn’t really make sense to you, the editor, it won’t make sense to someone else.
  4. Sell your content. Don’t assume people will just stumble upon your brilliant post on their own. Use Facebook, Twitter, Reddit, etc. — whatever tool works best — to drive eyes to your content. Remember that old saying, “if a tree falls in the forest…..”
  5. Pay attention to details. Double check how your story is categorized, tagged, add external links, and related content.
  6. Experiment. You won’t break the Internet. Digital journalism is changing rapidly. Don’t be afraid to try new tools. See what works. Learn from mistakes. Make it better the next time. Have fun!
As for what’s next, starting later this month I’ll be the Communications Director for Montana’s Superintendent of Public Instruction, Denise Juneau.

Extension Of ‘Secure Rural Schools’ Means Rural Counties Can Breathe Easy…For Now

This story aired May 7, 2015 on NPR’s All Things Considered

President Barack Obama has signed a $200 billion Medicare bill that reforms payments to physicians. Tucked inside that massive Medicare bill was a two-year extension of the Secure Rural Schools Act, a federal program that pays rural counties and school districts with a lot of non-taxable forest land.

Secure Rural Schools was first approved by Congress in 2000. Since then, it’s been paying counties that have a lot of federal timber land because local governments can’t make money on that land. It’s not taxable. You can’t develop much of it.

Being A Public Radio Host Is Harder Than It Sounds…

Fellow Boise State Public Radio colleague Jodie Martinson came up with the brilliant idea to sit random people in the master control studio chair, hand them copy they’d never seen before, open the mic, and turn on the camera.

During the station’s September grand-opening event, Martinson captured some one-of-a-kind candor with willing would-be radio hosts. She pulled some of the best stuff and edited it together.

I added some post-production effects to give it that old-timey feel, added some music, and voila — it really IS harder than it sounds to be a radio host!

In Crisis: Idaho Police, Social Workers On The Front Lines Of Mental Health

Philip Mazeikas, mobile crisis, mental health Philip Mazeikas has schizophrenia and was aided two years ago by a Mobile Crisis Unit. His parents had called police, seriously concerned about their son. The crisis unit's visit was the first step in getting Mazeikas the help and medication he needed. [Credit Joe Jaszewski / Idaho Statesman]

Philip Mazeikas, mobile crisis, mental health
Philip Mazeikas has schizophrenia and was aided two years ago by a Mobile Crisis Unit. His parents had called police, seriously concerned about their son. The crisis unit’s visit was the first step in getting Mazeikas the help and medication he needed.
[Credit Joe Jaszewski / Idaho Statesman]

This story published in the Idaho Statesman and was broadcast on Boise State Public Radio’s KBSX 91.5 FM Oct. 28, 2014. See the entire series, here.

Two years ago, Philip Mazeikas answered the front door of his family home. The course of his life changed when he opened it.

At 24-years-old, Mazeikas found himself in the middle of his first psychotic episode. He thought he’d been contacted by aliens who were using him in a scheme to control the world. He wasn’t eating well. He was drinking his own urine.

“I was storming around the house, really angry, when I heard a knock at the door,” Mazeikas recalls. “I remember thinking to myself, stay cool, act normal, whatever you do, don’t say anything about aliens, because they’ll think you’re crazy.”

In Crisis: Idaho Medicaid In Flux Causes A Big Shift In Care

Kendra sits with her community based rehabilitation worker Jennifer Beason working on her feelings journal during her last CBRS appointment. [Katherine Jones | Idaho Statesman]

Kendra sits with her community based rehabilitation worker Jennifer Beason working on her feelings journal during her last CBRS appointment. [Katherine Jones | Idaho Statesman]


This story was published in the Idaho Statesman and broadcast on Boise State Public Radio KBSX 91.5 FM Oct. 30, 2014. See the entire series, here.

Nine-year-old Kendra sits in one of the private rooms on the second floor of Boise’s Downtown public library with her community-based rehabilitation services worker, Jennifer Beason.

Beason slides a workbook to Kendra. It is what she calls her feelings journal. “Do you know what relieved is?” she asked.

Without missing a beat, Kendra rattles off examples of feeling relieved.

“Like you forgot to bring home a paper, a really, really important paper, and then you brought it home, but you left it in your backpack and you thought you left it at school,” she said. “And then you’re relieved you still have it.”

For a year and a half, Kendra and Beason have spent about four hours each week developing social and personal skills Kendra falls short on because of a tumultuous start to her life.

By the time she was 3, Kendra was in a foster home, removed from her biological parents because of severe abuse and neglect.

“No child should go through what she went through,” said Kendra’s adoptive mother, Ginger Kreiter. “Because of what she went through, it put her in severe trauma. She had no coping skills with your ordinary life.”

What Do Idaho Voters Want? Without Recent Public Opinion Polls, It’s Hard To Tell

Election day might be the most consequential poll, but routine public opinion polling can also impact policy. [Credit: Emilie Ritter Saunders]

Election day might be the most consequential poll, but routine public opinion polling can also impact policy. [Credit: Emilie Ritter Saunders]

This story aired on Boise State Public Radio April 17, 2014. It was published in the Idaho Statesman April 23, 2014.

Idaho voters will soon be inundated with campaign ads and sound bites from political candidates who proclaim to know exactly what Idahoans want. But it’s unclear how voters are feeling heading into the May 20 primary election, thanks to a lack of public opinion polling. Without such polling, it’s tough to tell if politicians’ rhetoric matches the electorate’s viewpoint.

U.S. Senate candidate Nels Mitchell, a Democrat, said at his campaign announcement that voters “tell me  they don’t want their government shutdown, they want their government to work. They want a government that is efficient, and is responsive.”

Using Tumblr To Document The Construction Of Boise State Public Radio’s Broadcast Center

Seven months ago (almost to the day) I launched a Tumblr blog to document the demolition and construction of Boise State Public Radio’s new broadcast center. To date, I’ve posted 141 images, beginning on July 25, 2013…and I’m not quite finished.

Now, along with my colleagues in the news department and peers in production and engineering, we are within weeks of moving from a windowless maze of cubicles into a bright, modern public radio station.

This is big.

One Boise Startup Joins The Crowded Subscription Box Market

Rachael and Joe Bunt mailed their first Crafters Crate in March 2013. They have nearly 200 monthly subscribers.

Rachael and Joe Bunt mailed their first Crafters Crate in March 2013. They have nearly 200 monthly subscribers.

This story aired on KBSX 91.5 fm on Sept. 12, 2013. It appeared in the Idaho Statesman on Oct. 29, 2013.

At a mostly empty, metal-sided warehouse near the Boise Airport, Rachael and Joe Bunt are organizing hand-made craft kits into a small assembly line. They’re putting together September’s Crafters Crate that will be mailed to subscribers this week.

“This is like Pinterest in real life,” Joe Bunt says. “I’m always wanting to create something new.”

Joe and his wife Rachael started Crafters Crate in March. It’s a subscription-based business; no brick-and-mortar storefront is required. That’s partly what drew the couple to jumping on the subscription-box trend.

Why More Idaho Moms Breastfeed Than Anywhere In The U.S.

Rachel Gootchey nurses her 10-month-old son Jasper. She also breast-fed her first child without complications.

Rachel Gootchey nurses her 10-month-old son Jasper. She also breast-fed her first child without complications.” credit=”Emilie Ritter Saunders

A report issued by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention last month shows more Idaho moms breastfeed their babies than anywhere else in the country.

We wanted to know why. It turns out Idaho’s cultural and racial makeup are two of the largest contributing factors to the increasing number of breastfeeding moms.

Rachel Gootchey nurses her 10-month-old son Jasper, and she also nursed her first child. Gootchey was raised by a mom who breastfed, so it seemed like the most natural thing for her to do with her own children.

“And honestly, one of the biggest deciding factors was it’s just cheaper. It’s free,” Gootchey says with a laugh. “I’m a cheapskate, so I breastfeed.”