By Melissa Davlin
We’ve been pretty quiet over here on the Idaho Reports blog this summer, but don’t think we’re idle. With the exception of some analysis and our Sept. 1 Cecil Andrus special, we’ve kept busy with other projects.
As some of you may know, Aaron Kunz isn’t just co-host of Idaho Reports — he’s the production manager for all of Idaho Public Television, and also shoots footage for various IdahoPTV productions. He’s spent most of his summer laying the groundwork for “Idaho Experience,” a new history series debuting in 2018. We’re excited to share more about this project when it’s ready to be released into the wild. In the meantime, Kunz is taking a hiatus from Idaho Reports to focus on the new show with director Bill Krumm.
Producer Seth Ogilvie is working on upcoming Outdoor Idaho specials, including the tentatively named “Hops and Barley,” featuring Idaho’s beer scene and related support industries. The production has taken him across the state, touring breweries and sitting in combines during the barley harvest. He’s also working on ongoing investigations for Idaho Reports. In addition, Ogilvie and director Troy Shreve are hammering out a new look for Idaho Reports, which we hope to unveil when the new season starts in December.
Shreve has also worked on Outdoor Idaho productions, including “Hops and Barley” and “Into The Pioneers.” In July, Shreve joined the OI crew on a four-day backpacking trip to the base of Standhope Peak. He also shot footage of a 100 mile mountain bike race for the Pioneers show.
In August, I produced a segment for “Into The Pioneers,” an upcoming Outdoor Idaho show scheduled to air in early December. I climbed Old Hyndman in the Pioneer range — the hardest peak I’ve ever summited — with Bill Manny of the Idaho Statesman, Manny’s daughter Helen, and House Minority Leader Mat Erpelding. (This way, I can claim it’s sort of related to political journalism.) I’ve also started production for an episode of “Idaho Experience,” focusing on how Chinese immigrants have quietly shaped Idaho since the 1860s. I’ve spent the last several weeks reading newspaper articles from the 1870s and 80s and tracking down stories of this little-discussed community that helped build Idaho’s infrastructure.
In June, Ogilvie and I attended the Investigative Reporters and Editors conference in Phoenix, Arizona, to hone our reporting and storytelling skills. We spent five days getting great story ideas, learning database and PDF skills that will assist our investigations, and discussing underreported issues in the western United States.
We haven’t entirely abandoned politics. Idaho Reports will return Dec. 1, running half-hour shows every Friday until the start of the 2018 legislative session in January. We’ll switch to hour-long shows during the session. We’re also gearing up for the Idaho Debates.
So stick around. You know us — We can never stay away from politics for too long.