Business Columns & Blogs

David Staats: ‘Catch’ catches you up, mostly

One of my regular editing tasks is the “Catching Up on Idaho Business News” roundup to the right of this column. I compile “Catch” with business reporters Audrey Dutton and Zach Kyle. As the deadline for this edition neared, I thought: It has been a slow month for local business news. Do we have enough stories to fill it?

I made a list of story, photo and graphic candidates. “Catch” typically has room for 12 to 15 briefs and two to four images (pictures, maps or graphics). Christmas and New Year’s notwithstanding, I tallied more than 40 good stories and 15 images since the last edition, and that was being selective. Way more than enough.

Which means a lot of good journalism does not make the cut. A newsy update on development in Boise’s West End neighborhood didn’t make it. Neither did a human-interest piece about a property manager who helps Vietnam vets, an ag story on global warming’s positive impact on Idaho’s wine-grape growers, and lots of other stories.

Telling you this is a confession of sorts, because I know that many readers cannot read the paper, app or website every day, or even digest most of the local business news on days they do. So “Catch” gives you a chance to catch up. Just not completely.

Still, the roundup requires lots of space. So I think we will stick with what we are doing. I welcome comments.

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A brief update: Two months ago I wrote about how we handled Cynthia Sewell’s exclusive on the fatal police-involved shooting of Adams County rancher, “Rancher’s wife: I saw them murder my husband.” That story drew more traffic to the Statesman’s website than any other in 2015, with 1.1 million views. Other sites in the McClatchy chain (which owns the Statesman) drew about 800,000 views, and the combined 1.9 million was the highest of any story our company produced.

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