Where's the Idaho news?

Question: It has long been a frustration of mine that the "Handle" section carries much too much of what is not "Handle" news. I have even fired off e-mails to Oliveria over this pointing out instances when 3 of the 5 articles on the page were anything but North Idaho in origin or content. Who makes the decisions about what appears on this page and how do we get more of what the page purports to be covering? -- Jacques Lemieux, Kellogg

Answer: One of our goals each day is to provide Idaho readers with as much local Idaho news and regional news of Idaho interest as we possibly can given our resources. Our Idaho reporting staff has been reduced in size in recent years, mostly because economic conditions in the region have forced us to tighten our belts.

Susan Drumheller, the editor in charge of our Idaho bureau, explains: “Our approach out here has been to focus on the news of importance to our core readership in Kootenai County, and on those stories of general interest to all our readers. We have organized our beat coverage around government, education and public safety/crime stories in Kootenai County, statewide coverage by our Boise reporter, and local and regional natural resource issues, as well as regular human interest features.”

Drumheller and her staff work hard to provide at least one Idaho/North Idaho story on the front page each day, and all local Idaho stories on the front page of the Handle section. As you noted, we are not always able to provide an all-Idaho report on the Handle, but we still provide a healthy report of Idaho news each day. I would also say that the volume of stories is often not as important as the quality of the stories. I would strongly argue that the quality our writing, the detail and depth in our reporting and the compelling images we capture in our photography far surpass that of any of our competitors. -- Gary Graham, managing editor

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