PRESS RELEASE — Friday, January 4, 2013
For Information Call Anne Peterson at 208-373-7368
           or Bob Evancho at 373-7369

IdahoPTV Expands, Reorganizes Coverage of State Govt.; Moves Include Additional Weeks of IDAHO REPORTS

Coverage of House and Senate sessions, legislative committee meetings, state Supreme Court hearings, and more via broadcast television and online streaming are part of Idaho Public Television’s expanded and reorganized service that includes technology upgrades, a new name, and a new website.

In addition, beginning with today’s show, IDAHO REPORTS, which provides insight on and analysis of the Legislature and state government, will air through June instead of the end of the legislative session.

IDAHO IN SESSION is the new title of IdahoPTV’s overall coverage of all three branches of state government. It includes live broadcasting on air and/or online of the House and Senate in session and some archived material of many non-legislative meetings. The website is http://www.idahoptv.org/insession/.

According to Jeff Tucker, Idaho Public Television production manager, the website was created to provide “a new overarching site for all of our streaming from the Capitol,” and many of the upgrades were implemented for mobile device users.

“We also wanted the service to reflect the fact that it wasn’t just the Legislature we are covering,” Tucker adds. “This is part of Idaho’s continuing efforts for openness in government.”

Under this new restructuring, IDAHO IN SESSION includes:

  • LEGISLATURE LIVE, which continues to offer live television coverage of the Idaho House and Senate when either is in session. House floor action is on IdahoPTV’s Learn/Create Subchannel 3 and the Senate is on World Subchannel 4. Anyone with over-the-air reception of IdahoPTV’s four digital channels can watch the gavel-to-gavel action. The channels also are carried by some cable companies across the state. LEGISLATURE LIVE is also available online at idahoptv.org by computer or iOS and most Android devices. In addition, Joint Finance-Appropriations Committee (JFAC) meetings and other hearings in the Capitol Auditorium are live video streamed. Also, nine committee rooms in the House and Senate sides are wired for audio-only live streaming.
  • GOVERNOR LIVE, which provides video-on-demand of the annual Governor’s State of the State address and some live online press conferences from the Governor’s Office.
  • JUDICIARY LIVE, which was implemented last summer, provides live streaming of Idaho Supreme Court oral arguments in Boise; no television broadcasts of arguments are scheduled.

“The interface was designed with mobile devices in mind and will help with site navigation,” says Tucker of the upgrades and expanded coverage. “The biggest change is the fact that all of the garden level committee rooms (audio only), Auditorium (audio and video), JFAC, House and Senate will now stream to Macs, PCs, iOS devices and most Android devices.”

The expanded coverage is a partnership of IdahoPTV, Idaho Legislative Services and Idaho Department of Administration. Operational funding for the service is provided by grants from the Idaho State Broadcasters Association, Union Pacific Foundation, Association of Idaho Cities, Idaho Association of Counties, Idaho Cable Telecommunications Association, and the Idaho Public Television Endowment.

“IDAHO IN SESSION has the ability to stream committee meetings, hearings and press conferences from all branches of state government that are conducting business within the Capitol building,” says Tucker. “We’ve also live streamed many other agency meetings and even off-site meetings around the Capitol Mall area and around the state. It’s a great way for the public to stay involved in their state government.”

Also as part of IdahoPTV’s expanded coverage, IDAHO REPORTS (Fridays at 8:00 p.m. MT/PT and repeated Sundays at 10:30/9:30 a.m. MT/PT) will add additional weeks to its coverage of Idaho’s government.

“The biggest change from previous years is that we’re going to run the show all the way through June, covering the Legislature with the same blend of interviews, meet-the-press-style panels and in-depth stories,” says host Greg Hahn, “and then devote the same level of attention to issues of statewide importance for the next several weeks following the legislative session.”

Unlike IDAHO IN SESSION, IDAHO REPORTS provides commentary and analysis of the developments within the state government. Betsy Russell of the Spokesman Review and veteran political analyst Jim Weatherby will continue to be hourlong show’s mainstays, says Hahn, “and we’ll still bring in top newsmakers from the governor on down, as well as the best news reporters in the state,” he adds.

Look for more information and tidbits online at idahoptv.org/idreports, @idahoreports on Twitter, and Idaho Reports on Facebook. The shows can be streamed online at idahoptv.org after they are broadcast and will be archived online.