The Idaho Reports Staff
Melissa Davlin and Aaron Kunz come from different backgrounds and different mediums, but both bring track records of journalistic excellence to the Idaho Reports table.
Melissa Davlin comes from the world of print news. She studied English at the University of Idaho and put those narrative skills to work at the Twin Falls Times-News. Melissa has covered the Idaho Legislature for the past three years, breaking major stories and keeping the residents of Magic Valley informed and engaged with their legislature. She believes in making Idaho politics more accessible to citizens while providing historical perspectives and in-depth analysis on big-picture implications.
Davlin also spearheaded a project on Bhutanese refugees who resettled in Idaho. While in Nepal, she interviewed refugees, aid workers and government officials about the plight of the Bhutanese. She visited three refugee camps, including one recently ravaged by a devastating fire, and followed the resettlement of several families from the plains of southeast Nepal to Idaho's Magic Valley. She also covered the 2010 deployment and subsequent return of the Idaho National Guard 116th Cavalry Brigade Combat Team, following families through the process of preparing for deployment and the transition back to life at home.
Aaron Kunz comes from the world of technology. He has been in broadcast since 1993, when he got a job as a board operator at a radio station in Blackfoot. He joined the Army and then, in 2000, got his first job as a television reporter.
Over the next decade, Aaron wore many hats, including host, anchor, photographer, reporter and weather forecaster. He has done it all, but the common thread was storytelling. Aaron documented eastern Idaho farmers who were finding ways to make their operations better for the environment while improving their crops, followed a family struggling to survive in a draught stricken eastern Idaho, and hosted programming for the 2002 Winter Olympics. During the Olympics, Aaron grabbed the first interview with Rulan Gardner after he was stranded in Wyoming and flown to Idaho Falls to treat his severe frostbite. That interview aired on national network news, including "Today" and "NBC Nightly News."
Aaron has covered the Idaho Legislature for the past eight years. He became the face of the statehouse in eastern Idaho and worked for regional public media project EarthFix. Aaron joined Idaho Public Television full-time in 2013, acting as production manager and co-host of Idaho Reports.
The two of them together bring decades of journalistic experience to the table, different backgrounds and different sensibilites. Expect great things now and great things to come.
Betsy Z. Russell covers Idaho news from the Boise bureau of The Spokesman-Review in Spokane, WA. Her "Eye on Boise" blog offers up-to-the-minute news and happenings from the state capital throughout the year - it is one of the must-have bookmarks for any politically-minded person in the Intermountain West. She is the longtime president of the Idaho Press Club and has worked with journalists, state officials and others to preserve and improve openness and access in government.
Dr. Jim Weatherby is a Boise State University emeritus professor and a political analyst. He served as Director of the BSU Public Affairs Program and later as Chair of the Department of Public Policy and Administration. Weatherby has been interviewed by most of the print and broadcast media in Idaho and by most of the major daily newspapers in the United States. He is co-author of The Urban West: Managing Growth and Decline and Governing Idaho: Politics, People, and Power. Weatherby has also written numerous manuals on state and local government and conducted workshops for state and local officials for over thirty-five years. He is a former executive director of the Association of Idaho Cities and served on the faculty at the University of Idaho and Northwest Nazarene University. Dr. Weatherby serves on the board of directors of the City Club of Boise, the Idaho Tax Foundation, and Sage Community Resources, Inc. His wife, Dana, is the former Director of Legal Education for the Idaho State Bar and Associate Director of the Idaho Law Foundation, Inc. They enjoy their daughter, son, daughter-in-law and two grand-children who live in Boise. He is a longtime member of the "Die Hard Chicago Cubs Fan Club" and is a co-owner of the Green Bay Packers.
Producer, videographer and editor Seth Ogilvie started as a intern at Idaho Public Television. He went on to work in commercial news at KBCI, covering diverse stories from the Larry Craig scandal to the 2007 Boise State win in the Fiesta Bowl. He returned to Idaho Public Television as a videographer and associate producer for Idaho Reports. He quickly took on more responsibility, becoming a co-producer with Greg Hahn in 2011 and now as producer with Melissa and Aaron.
Director Ricardo Ochoa has worked at Idaho Public Television since 1977. He splits his year between Idaho Reports and Dialogue and has been a part of legislative coverage for decades.
Alison Sweet helps produce both Idaho Reports and Dialogue. She makes the drive down from Idaho City every morning.
Executive Producer Bruce Reichert comes inside from his glamorous and adventurous Outdoor Idaho lifestyle every once in a while to make sure everything is running smoothly.