Editor & Publisher - 2021-06-01




A new nonprofit is keeping Idahoans informed The Idaho Capital Sun is the latest newsroom launched by States Newsroom, a national 501(c)(3) nonprofit that works to create a network of independent partner news sites. Led by Christina Lords, the former editor of the Idaho Statesman, the Capital Sun includes three reporters: Kelcie Moseleymorris, Clark Corbin and Audrey Dutton. The digital newsroom delivers “accountability reporting on state government, politics and policy,” according to its website ( Lords was connected to the States Newsroom through a long-time colleague following her departure from the Statesman last year. (According to reports, Lords was fired after tweeting in frustration about a reporter’s struggle to get access to Microsoft Excel from parent company, Mcclatchy.) “I’m a fifth generation Idahoan. I care about this place very deeply,” Lords told E&P. “I just knew that if (a new nonprofit newsroom) could help bring more reporting resources to Idaho and expand coverage that I would be proud to be a part of that.” States Newsroom provided the seed money, but now the newsroom is fundraising for themselves. Readers can find a donation page on the website. The organization also provides continuous assistance for its newsrooms such as tech support, a national editor and access to its Washington D.C. bureau’s content. Lords shared that the States Newsroom allowed her to select what beats and topics to cover. Thus, the newsroom will be diving into subjects like health care, statewide election and campaign finance, Idaho’s exploding population, and the state’s growing housing affordability crisis. She also had the opportunity to choose her team. Mosely-morris, Corbin and Dutton are all experienced journalists that Lords has worked with in the past. Mosely-morris is an award-wining journalist who has covered many topics across Idaho since 2011; Corbin has more than a decade of experience covering Idaho government and politics; and Dutton previously served as an investigative reporter for the Statesman. Lords hopes to add more staff in the future, including an environmental reporter. To free up time for other reporters, Lords also reached out to all the major news outlets in Idaho to let them know her team was available for collaboration. This move will also help get the Capitol Sun’s work in front of more audiences—especially those without access to websites. According to Lords, one in four Idahoan’s do not have access to broadband internet. “There’s a genuine appetite for real deep and investigative journalism in Idaho, and I think people see that we hired people capable of doing that,” she said. Lords hopes that because the Capital Sun does not implement advertising, paywalls or subscription on their site, more people will have access to fact-based information. “In 2021, it’s becoming harder and harder to figure out where you can turn to for that kind of reporting,” she said. “I want to be a source for people to understand how our state politics and government works.”—em



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