The Idaho Media Initiative at Boise State University, which funded five reporting projects this year as part of its mission to promote civic engagement through public interest journalism, education, research and collaboration, will host a public discussion on “Why News Matters” this Saturday from 6-7:30 p.m. in Boise, along with presentations on each of the five reporting projects. The event is free and open to the public; it will be at BSU’s downtown center in BoDo, 301 S. Capitol Blvd.
“We’ve lost about one third of our working journalists across the nation in the past three decades,” said IMI co-creator Carissa Wolf. “This has dire consequences on the health of our democracy. We’re committed to filling in the reporting gaps left by these resource shortfalls through collaborations, partnerships and project funding that engage our communities and offer our students a chance to learn real-world reporting skills.”
The IMI is one of roughly two-dozen university-based news centers and initiatives that have emerged around the country in recent years as a response to the changing media environment. “Universities have long been places of problem solving, innovation and discovery. It makes sense that universities have stepped up to advance the future of journalism,” Wolf said. “It’s a challenge that’s in the public interest and a challenge that puts Boise State University and the Idaho Media Initiative in the forefront of media innovation and education,” Wolf said.
The five reporting projects, in print, radio and film, are in-depth public affairs stories ranging from reporting on loose oversight of alternative health care providers to a look at problems surrounding homelessness in Idaho. All included BSU students in the research, reporting and production of the projects.