Election Central

Barker, Popkey to yak about journalism, storytelling tonight at the Library!

Veteran Statesman reporter Rocky Barker and I will speak tonight as part of the seven-week Read Me Treasure Valley program.

Our talk, titled, “Journalism — Storytelling with a Purpose,” begins at 7 p.m. in the Hayes Auditorium at the main Boise Public Library, 715 S. Capitol Blvd.

Mary DeWalt, who runs the Ada Community Libraries, will moderate. We’ll talk about how to begin a story, the reporting process, story ideas, the challenges of controversial topics and take questions. If you’re free tonight, please stop by and contribute to the conversation.

If we’re lucky, we can convince Barker to recount one of his career scoops, the sinking of a house through thin ice on Lake Superior in 1977. The story landed Barker’s photos and reporting on front pages of major metropolitan newspapers. You’ll find a a nice account of the mishap on Barker’s website, including photos and a song written to commemorate the sinking. Barker also has written books about the history of wildfires, the Endangered Species Act, fly fishing and bird hunting.

Read Me Treasure Valley began in 2001 as a community-wide book event. This year’s selection is “The Orchid Thief” by Susan Orlean. Orlean will speak March 11 at the Egyptian Theater, presented by The Cabin.

Sponsors include The Cabin, Ada Community Library, Boise Public Library, Idaho Humanities Council, The Story Initiative at Boise State University and the Idaho Statesman.




Dan Popkey came to Idaho in 1984 to work as a police reporter. Since 1987, he has covered politics and has reported on 25 sessions of the Legislature. Dan has a bachelor's in political science from Santa Clara University and a master's in journalism from Columbia University. He was a Congressional Fellow of the American Political Science Association and a Journalism Fellow at the University of Michigan. A former page in the U.S. House of Representatives, he graduated Capitol Page High School in 1976. In 2007, he led the Statesman’s coverage of the Sen. Larry Craig sex scandal, which was one of three Pulitzer Prize finalists in breaking news. In 2003, he won the Ted M. Natt First Amendment award from the Pacific Northwest Newspaper Association for coverage of University Place, the University of Idaho’s troubled real estate development in Boise. Dan helped start the community reading project "Big Read." He has two children in college and lives on the Boise Bench with an old gray cat.

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