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Keeping our promise: We’re making changes to stay focused on what matters most to you

Exterior of the Idaho Statesman office, 2018
Exterior of the Idaho Statesman office, 2018 Idaho Statesman

It’s been almost a year since we revamped our news teams to focus on the stories and coverage that are relevant and important to you – our readers.

We’ve put more resources in reporting that impacts your lives – the influence of growth on Boise and the Treasure Valley, investigative coverage of worker safety, sexual assault at the University of Idaho and a deeper look at domestic abuse crime, raising awareness to find solutions for victims.

More recently, reporter Nicole Blanchard, a native Idahoan, is exploring how our state’s culture evolves as we engage in rapid change.

Nicole grew up in Mountain Home before earning two degrees in journalism. She’s written about the Mormon faith defying trends affecting other Christian faiths and how Democrats of the past shared many values with today’s Republicans. She also detailed the most liberal and conservative places in the state. Have ideas and feedback to share? Reach Nicole at nblanchard@idahostatesman.com or call 208-377-6410.

We’re also focusing on how health concerns impact our quality of life in Idaho.

Audrey Dutton is examining barriers to effective mental health treatment in rural Idaho and how a lack of access to care leads to serious crises and deaths. The idea for the project grew out of Dutton’s story on the death of Nigel Youngberg, a young man who had schizophrenia and lived in Gem County. She also created a Facebook group, Mental Health in Idaho, to help those in need find resources and solutions for this challenging issue across our state. Her goal is to support productive conversations about mental health, co-occurring substance use disorders, health care and recovery in Idaho. Reach Audrey at adutton@idahostatesman.com

Maria La Ganga, who has written about Treasure Valley growth issues, is starting a year-long fellowship that has her focusing on the intersection of Idaho’s growth and public health. Reach Maria at mlaganga@idahostatesman.com

We’ll soon welcome an additional reporter to cover the hot topics of growth and economic development in the valley and we’ll be filling the considerable shoes of longtime environmental reporter Rocky Barker, who retired in May after 22 years with the Statesman. We hired video producer/videographer Kelsey Grey in January to beef up our video work.

We continue to work to meet you in the many places you have said you want to engage with us. Here are changes you might have seen and some that are coming:

  • We increased our sports e-mail newsletter to daily publication, we added a weekly politics newsletter and we’re revamping our morning and afternoon newsletters. In addition, you can get breaking news alerts sent to you. (You can sign up for those here.)
  • In a few weeks, we’ll debut a new way for you to connect with newsroom editors and reporters about stories and topics you wonder about as an Idahoan. It’s a public-powered model of journalism ignited by your curiosity. We’re excited to share this with you. For newcomers to our area, it will provide ways to learn about this beautiful state. And if you’ve lived here for awhile, I think you’ll learn something you did not know.
  • We are partnering with other Western McClatchy papers to work on investigative coverage as part of a high-impact team to deliver accountability work with consistency.
  • Our website is getting a facelift by early fall – we think you’ll like what’s coming.
  • For print readers, we’re bringing back a popular comic, Tundra, in the Sunday comics section in August.

Across all our editions – digital and print – we’re reaching more people than we ever have. It’s important that our storytelling is compelling in all the spaces where readers exist: mobile phones, on social media, newsletters, video and print.

Our future depends on it — our future as a trusted local news organization, and our future as the Valley’s watchdog. With a digital subscription, you support the journalism that impacts your everyday life and allows the Statesman to continue essential accountability work and keep you informed.

With that subscription, you can find more than two dozen additional “print” pages in our e-edition, covering sports, news, business and more, each day – making it easy for you to access all of the nation and world news you need in one spot.

Thank you for reading and for your continued support. I’ll keep you updated on more exciting work as 2018 continues.

Rhonda Prast is the Statesman’s Executive Editor. She came to Boise in August 2016 from the Kansas City Star.

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