Video Letters To The Editor Anyone?

I think it is time to begin posting Video Letters to the Editor (V-LTE) in the digital Idaho Statesman.

We have a very healthy assortment of letters that we daily publish in print and re-purpose digitally. But not with video.

It occurs to me that we are surrounded by smart people with smart phones and this can be done. The only variables are getting the goods from you — roughly 50-second opinions — and uploading them.

I am happy on occasion to venture out to public venues or coffee shops in the morning to meet people who want to do a V-LTE. Or, contact me beforehand and we can arrange to record you at the Statesman.  I have an iPhone and a handy little tripod that allows me to record you. But I am also open to receiving posts you produce yourselves.

As with all Letters to the Editor, the V-LTEs will be subject to standards for taste and accuracy. Whether you or I produce it, we will take a closer look at it before we post it on or elsewhere. Plus, we will have to be sure contributors are who they say they are, which is what we do with the traditional letters we publish.

Today I am looking for a few “early adopters” who would like to participate in a V-LTE experiment and offer an opinion on a particular topic. Sen. Mike Lee (R-Utah) has called on Republicans to refuse to vote on a continuing resolution (CR) to fund the federal government as a way to prevent further implementation of the Affordable Care Act, a.k.a. Obamacare. Without the CR, the government could shut down on or around Oct. 1, which also happens to be the day when state exchanges like the Idaho Health Insurance Exchange are to begin offering coverage through the Affordable Care Act.

Should members of the all Republican Idaho congressional delegation (Rep. Raul Labrador, Rep. Mike Simpson, Sen. Mike Crapo and Sen. Jim Risch) vote against the CR?

We will open up the V-LTE format to any and all topics in the future, but I just want to sample this timely CR vote as a way to launch it.

Interested parties should email me at so we can arrange to record your opinion on this topic.

It’s a simple format. When I start recording you will state your:

1) Name

2) City of residence

3) Affiliation if speaking on behalf of an organization

4) State your opinion in no more than 40-50 seconds.

How long is 40 to 50 seconds? It takes me about 12 seconds to recite the 20 words of the Pledge of Allegiance. It took me about 50 seconds to read the first 150 words of the Declaration of Independence. So, let that be your guide if you plan to write something — or you can just wing it.

I look forward to hearing from some V-LTE volunteers. If you’ve
got a minute and an opinion you qualify.







Posted in Hello Idaho