The Idaho Media Initiative (IMI) engages our communities in democratic participation through education, journalism and media partnerships that promote public interest reporting, engaging learning experiences and the professional development of media producers.
Founded in 2013 by a committee of concerned journalists and educators in partnership with Boise State University’s College of Social Science and Public Affairs, the IMI strives to address the media funding and resource shortfalls through innovative collaborations, educational opportunities and reporting projects that engage and inform our communities.
The IMI pursues alternative funding sources to produce in-depth, investigative and public service journalism projects that address state and local issues of importance and concern. The Initiative promotes collaboration between faculty, professionals, news organizations and students to address issues fundamental to democracy by:
- Producing original, significant reporting on under-covered issues. The IMI facilitates partnerships and collaborations between students, university faculty, news organizations and professionals to create critical, intelligent and reliable journalism projects that inform and stimulate civic engagement.
- Analyzing and experimenting with new and emerging economic models of journalism. The IMI addresses the statewide decline in media revenue and news production through the development of non-profit ventures, the sharing of news assets, and the expansion of underutilized reporting resources.
The IMI promotes education and professional development to inspire the production and demand for quality, public interest journalism though:
- Student journalist training. The IMI incubates learning laboratory experiences on the Boise State University campus and in the Boise community by embracing the journalism “teaching hospital” model to provide journalism students with real-world education and experiences.
- Professional training. The IMI conducts online journalism training, workshops and master’s level classes with visiting journalism experts to train local media producers and students in quality, original reporting methodologies.
- Media literacy education. The IMI serves as an education center and curriculum resource by teaching media literacy to students, educators and the community through campus courses, public events and symposia that promote critical media consumption and civic engagement.
- Research and scholarship in journalism innovation. The IMI develops innovative methods for conducting and distributing original investigative and enterprise reporting and explores new ways to promote citizen engagement. We share our experiences and understandings through research and scholarship that examines civic engagement through journalism and the public understanding of media and democracy.