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Thursday, February 26, 2015

Power/Rangers Fan-Film Goes Too Dark for Copyright Holder (But It's Pretty Awesome)

Posted By on Thu, Feb 26, 2015 at 1:41 PM

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Have the shows we grew up with started to grow up with us? Recently released on YouTube.com, Power/Rangers is a gritty, fan-made short film that lifts its content from a popular TV show whose name might be familiar if you were born in 1990s: Mighty Morphin' Power Rangers.

But this R-rated re-imagining is far from what you may remember from those Saturday mornings of the past. 

In the classic TV series, the characters wore bright colors and upheld a simple concept of fighting evil with the power of good. Thrown in with some sci-fi elements, the show featured a sextet of high-school kids who battled a never-ending string of monsters, robots and aliens in a goofy, action-packed whirl of primary colors. In Power/Rangers, there are plenty of monsters, robots and aliens, but gone is the goofiness and the colors are decidedly dark. Say goodbye to the innocence of the original concept.

Released on Feb. 24, the 14-minuted-long Power/Rangers has gone viral with almost 12 million views and counting. Judging from the comments on the  video, fans' reactions are mixed. Some praised its impressive production value and adult themes, while others complained that it trashed a beloved childhood memory.

Drugs, sex and violence are front and center in the film, which has stirred up controversy with the owners of the original Power Rangers franchise, Saban. The company is planning to release a full-length Power Rangers movie sometime in the future, but it almost certainly won't look like Power/Rangers. Meanwhile, Saban has decided to sue the fan-film’s creator for copyright infringement. The fan creation doesn't fall within the realm of the actual storyline of the Power Rangers, but according to an unnamed entertainment copyright attorney, speaking to deadline.com, "there is a gray area of 'fan fiction,' where tributes are made by fans and the studios don’t want to piss off their base by going after these people legally. The [creator] may have a fair use defense, or a de minimis use defense. It’s not a slam dunk by either side. Trademark law applies as well."

If you haven't watched Power/Rangers yet, check it below, before it's removed.


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Monday, February 23, 2015

Mr. Cope's Cave: Grilling O'Reilly

Posted By on Mon, Feb 23, 2015 at 3:31 PM

As a card-carrying member of the Far-Left Zealots' Club—as Bill O'Reilly would designate all those who have, or will, call him out as the lying sack of stringy shit he is currently being proved to be—I wish to announce how delighted I am that this vile travesty of a human being is, at long last, being peeled like a rotting onion. Our most profound gratitude must go out to David Corn and Mother Jones magazine for initiating the peeling process.

Of course, Mr. O'Reilly, ever a feisty defender of his own empty pomposity, is cat-fighting back, calling Corn and Mother Jones the "bottom rung of journalism." But need the world be reminded that, coming as it is from a top-tier turd at Fox News, even the bottom rung of journalism is leagues above this pretender, squatting like some mutant species of bile-sucking flea on the scrotum of a feral pig, wallowing about in the reeking swamp of Roger Ailse's diseased dream?

No, of course not. The world—at least the decent and honorable part of it—knows all too well where Fox News and the bile-sucking fleas there-on are in relationship to real journalism. It is roughly the same relationship a cockroach might have to the kitchen in which it slithers the night away.

It is the same relationship an intestinal parasite might have to the nobler creature in whose bowels it feeds.

It is the same relationship... well, I don't wish to be too graphic here... but it is the same relationship Bill O'Reilly has to David Corn, or any of the other real journalists who will undoubtedly keep exposing O'Reilly for the horse's ass he truly is, especially now that the dumbshit has defiantly declared war on anyone who dares question his non-existent credibility.

So does anyone over there on the Right care to make a little wager on whether Fox News—as more and more of O'Reilly' self-aggrandizing whoppers are found to be no more than fictions of his imagination—will do what NBC has done with Brian Williams, that being: get him the hell off the air before he besmirches Truth any further?

C'mon, you Fox-suckling, lie-swilling nuts! Put your money where your big mouths are. My money is on... No, they will not take this vulture off the air, no matter how many exaggerations, misrepresentations, distortions, prevarications, tall tales, libelous slurs, inflated boasts, cock-and-bull fantasies, fraudulent statements, flim-flam fabrications and bald-faced lies he has told, or will tell in the future. 

After all, if all the vultures on Fox were kicked out, what would be left?

Oh, and while we're at it, is anyone but me curious to know exactly what portion of those big, blockbuster books O'Reilly takes credit for having written (Killing Jesus, Killing Kennedy, Killing Lincoln, Killing Patton) did he actually write himself, and what portion were written by the man he hires to do his writing for him?

Now, let us cleanse our palettes of the O'Reilly stench and pay our respects to Clark Terry, a gentleman who truly was as authentically accomplished as Mr. No Spin Zone can only lie about being. Clark died over the weekend. He was 95.


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Monday, September 22, 2014

Emma Watson Delivers Feminism Speech at UN Headquarters

Posted By on Mon, Sep 22, 2014 at 12:13 PM

Emma Watson - WIKIMEDIA COMMONS
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  • Emma Watson
Emma Watson, the actor perhaps best known for playing Hermione Granger in the Harry Potter film franchise, has been making headlines since her graduation in May from Brown University. First, she was named the United Nations Women Goodwill Ambassador—and when she tweeted the news to her then-13.6 million followers, they promptly crashed the UN Women's website.

Now, after departing from the silver screen to become a worldwide feminist icon, Watson has delivered an impassioned speech at UN Headquarters in New York to launch the HeForShe campaign, which seeks to engage men and boys in a global conversation about sex and gender equality.

During her nearly 15-minute-long speech, she outlined what the HeForShe campaign hopes to achieve, but she also had pointed remarks regarding misconceptions about feminism and the urgency of taking gender and sex issues seriously.

"Why has the word [feminism] become such an uncomfortable one?" she asked. "No country in the world can yet say that they have achieved gender equality."

In Idaho, equality is a major issue, the seriousness of which is embodied by women's earnings across the state. In the most recent figures provided by the Idaho Department of Labor, the median annual income for an Idaho man is $33,623. The median annual income for a woman is $21,908—the lowest in the nation.



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Friday, August 22, 2014

Mr. Cope’s Cave: I Did What!?

Posted By on Fri, Aug 22, 2014 at 9:00 AM

Mr. Cope, do you have anything to add about Lauren Bacall?

Anything to add?

Yes. Something personal, as you did with James Garner and Robin Williams. 

Uh, all I can say is that I’ve always enjoyed watching her, and I’m sorry she died.

That’s not very personal. I was hoping for something about how she touched your life. Maybe how things will never be the same without her. 

I’m sorry. I just didn’t have that kind of relationship with Lauren Bacall. She seemed to be a very nice lady, and… and a pretty good actress, I thought… and, uh… sorry, but that’s all I got.

Just great. Disappointing, Mr. Cope. Dis! Uh! Pointing! Sometimes I wonder why I bother to come over here and interview you. You never give me anything to work with. Now what am I supposed to do?… go back and report that “Mr. Cope thinks Lauren Bacall was a nice lady and could act pretty good?” I ask you… does that seem interesting to you? Huh? Does it?

Gosh, I said I was sorry. What do you want me to do? Make up something?

Well why not? You do it all the time when it serves your purposes. You make up some cock and bull about leaving this blog to be Jim Risch’s press secretary. You make up characters for your column all the time. You make up hypothetical scenarios, you’re always making up dumb series, and you make up words anytime you feel like it. But you can’t make up one darn reportable reaction to Lauren Bacall’s passing that I can take back and turn into a story? Thank you Mr. Cope. Thank you very darn much!

Uuuuuuh…

You know, you’re not the only one trying to make a few bucks writing stuff. And I got expenses, you know. Who do you think pays for the darn gas to get me over here for these dumb interviews, anyway? Me! That’s who! I’m not on some fancy-schmancy expense account. It comes out of my pocket! But what would you know about that? You never leave the house. You just sit here making stuff up. Except when I’m here, that is, trying to get you to say something interesting about Donald Sterling or soccer or Lauren Bacall. Oh noooooo… you can’t make up anything about that stuff, can you!? Not you! 

Okay okay okaaaay. Gad! I’ll make something up about Lauren Bacall, for god’s sakes! Will that make you happy?

Well… we’ll see. What you got?

Okay, I slept with Lauren Bacall once. There. Is that what you’re looking for?

Wow! You slept with Lauren Bacall? 

Yes, definitely. I definitely slept with Lauren Bacall. What’s more, we did it in the White House when Kennedy was president. It was, like, a party. An inauguration party, I think. Or something.

Wow! You slept with Lauren Bacall in the White House? 

Yes. No! It was a Bay of Pigs party, that’s what it was. Now I remember better. Heck, I was only 14 or so at the time, and it was definitely a Bay of Pigs party Kennedy threw for… for, uh… for Marilyn Monroe! Yeah, that’s it. Definitely Marilyn Monroe. And Lauren Bacall was there because she was famous, and I was there because that’s the year I both won the National Spelling Bee and invented Super Glue, and she and I did it. In the White House. On a big rug made out of… of, uh… tiger skins! Yeah, that’s it.

Wow! You slept with Lauren Bacall on a tiger skin rug in the White House?

Yup.

Does anyone else know about this?

Well, Lauren Bacall knew about it. But, of course, she’s not here to…

No, I mean have you told anyone else about this. Like another reporter, maybe?

Nope. You’re the only one I’ve ever told. I wouldn’t even tell my wife a story like that.

So this is a scoop?

Yes, it’s a scoop all right. Definitely, a scoop.

Thank you, Mr. Cope. Thank you, thank you, thank you. I won’t forget this. 

But look, if you release this story, I’ll deny it ever happened. Or that I ever told you it happened.

That’s okay, that’s okay. I got what I need, so you do what you have to do. 

All right then, so we’re both good?

You bet. Good as gold.
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Monday, August 11, 2014

Mr. Cope’s Cave: I Was Kidding

Posted By on Mon, Aug 11, 2014 at 10:45 AM

So last week, when you said you were quitting this blog to go be Jim Risch’s press secretary, were you kidding? Or what?

Yes, I was kidding. I assumed everyone knew that.

Not everyone, Mr. Cope. There were people who took you seriously. Do you think it was fair to them that you didn’t tell them you were just kidding?

My goodness, I hope you’re not holding me accountable for other people’s shallowness of comprehension. Besides, who on earth would believe that Jim Risch would ever hire me? For his press secretary or anything else?

Uh… well… uh… I… uh…

Ridiculous! Any person who believed that would have to be a real dope, don’t you think?

Well… I… uh… I suppose… uh… well…

Exactly! A real dope. And what am I supposed to do? Announce I’m about to do some kidding before I do it, so the dopes don’t get all confused? How ridiculous is that, huh? Imagine what humor would be like if comedy had to come with a warning label. WARNING: THE JOKE YOU ARE ABOUT TO EXPERIENCE MAY NOT BE ENTIRELY TRUE! Ridiculous!

Uh… well… I… er…

So, is that what you came to interview me about, or was there something else?

Uh, no. I was merely hoping to clear up some lingering questions about what your plans are.

And have you?

I… uh… guess so. Now that I know you are definitely not going to work as Jim Risch’s press secretary, I guess that… uh…

Jeez, just the thought of it. Working for Jim Risch. Gag on a stick! Makes my skin crawl. Doesn’t it you? I mean… Jim Risch!?

Uh… so… uh, Mr. Cope, does this mean that the job of being Jim Risch’s press secretary is still open?

Who knows? Far as I know, it’s never been open. Hell, as far as I know, Jim Risch doesn’t even have a press secretary. Who’d want to hear about anything Jim Risch has to say, anyway? I mean… hey, it’s not like anything important ever came from the mouth of Jim Risch, is it?

Uh… yeah. I guess. But as far as you know, Jim Risch might have a press secretary, and the job might be open. Is that about right?

I guess, yeah. But think about it… what kind of self-respecting journalist would want to go to work as Jim Risch’s press secretary? Huh? Huh? Think about it.

Uuuuuh… gee… I don’t know. Maybe a journalist who isn’t very confident there’s much of a future in journalism.

Well, maybe if all the good journalists weren’t abandoning ship, snatching any puny PR gloss job they can get their claws on, then journalism might have a brighter future, you suppose? They hop from reporting the truth over to polishing the truth, or even obscuring the truth, then complain that people have lost faith in journalism. It’s like cops on the take from mobsters griping about the lack of respect for law enforcement, right?

Well, er… uh… Mr. Cope, I just wanted to get your confirmation on that…

Or like politicians who leave office and become lobbyists, know what I mean? Or military brass who retire and go to work for defense contractors. See what I mean? It’s all becoming one big mashed-up ball of interchangeable components.

…on that one matter, so I believe I have everything I nee…

There are no clear lines anymore. You can see that, can’t you? You’re a bright young journalist. You ought to write a story about it, about how the whole country is dissolving into a big gloppy mess of professional whoredom. What’s next? Firemen who go to work for arsonists? Doctors who take jobs promoting trans-fats and smoking? College professors singing the praises of dropping out of high school? Dentists who…

…everything I need, so I should get back to the office and get this…

…sell soda pop and candy on the side? Investment planners who recommend trips to Jackpot? Professional athletes who hawk Snuggies and Cheesy Puffs? Veterinarians who…

Goodbye, Mr. Cope. Until next time.

…throw dog fighting in the back room? Environmentalists who take jobs from BP? Preachers who…
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Monday, August 4, 2014

Mr. Cope’s Cave: I’m Not So Much Selling Out As Cashing In

Posted By on Mon, Aug 4, 2014 at 10:00 AM

I have an announcement to make. Some of you will be shocked, no doubt, but this was bound to happen sooner or later. I just can’t go on doing the same thing forever, can I?

No, of course I can’t. Truly, writing blogs will always be my first love, and I will always look back on these past nine months with the fondest of memories. And the friends I have made, sitting here in my basement pounding out two episodes of Mr. Cope’s Cave a week will always be invaluable to me.

But I feel most strongly I must move on. I am at that point in my life where being free to express any opinion or thought or whim in any way I am so inclined is simply not enough. My heart demands more. My soul cries out for change. My gut grumbles for growth.

So as of today, as soon as I complete this blog you are now reading, I am done here. Mr. Cope’s Cave is closing up shop. And first thing tomorrow morning, I will begin my next adventure as a press secretary for a prominent Idaho politician. From now on, any opinion, thought or whim I express will be his, and the way I do it will be how he is inclined to have it done.

In a way, I feel like I have been moving toward this moment all of my life. I am so excited. Just think… issuing utterly predictable press releases and making sure his hair is combed for television interviews… a dream come true!

Incidentally, the man I will be covering for is Jim Risch. Senator Jim Risch. Now I know, many of you will be thinking, But Bill, wasn’t it just a few weeks ago you called Sen. Risch a weasel?

That is entirely possible, of course. I have called so many Idaho politicians “weasels” during my time here in Mr. Cope’s Cave that I have lost track. Whether or not I have called Sen. Risch specifically a weasel, the fact remains that over the long course of his political rise from lowly legislator to lofty senator, I have called Sen. Risch a social-climbing embarrassment, a fraud, a pompous ass, a jerk, a douche, a creep, a racist, a nepotistic bum, a craven opportunist and a corporate stooge. But as to calling him a weasel?… I simply don’t remember.

I would even understand those of you who would feel going to a job in which my primary duty is trying to paint a self-serving and money-hungry politician out to be a wise and dedicated public servant flies somewhat in the face of everything I have been doing these past 20 years, between this blog and the time I have spent writing columns for the Boise Weekly.

Oh sure, I suppose, if you want to get picky about it. But ask yourself… hasn’t integrity always been a luxury, perhaps even an illusion, for those people with few assets to exploit? And as it turns out, I have accumulated a healthy build-up of assets since beginning. First of all, there’s my reputation, and why even have a reputation if you can’t leverage it for personal gain.

What’s more, I have a way with words. Whatever empty drivel may drip from the lips of my new employer, I am confident I can twist them into something—if not exactly meaningful—then something that will make him look less like a dick.

In other words, I have something other than integrity to exploit, and I intend to exploit it. And perhaps the best part is, guess who will be paying my salary. Hah hah, you! That’s right, you. The American taxpayer will be paying me to make Sen. Risch sound like a somewhat respectable human being.

You didn’t think those Congress guys pay their staff out of their own pockets did you? Good honk, no! They each get around $1,350,000 in public funds to pay the little toadies who do all their research, writing and grunt work. That includes me, starting tomorrow.

So I thank you, Mr. and Mrs. J.Q. Public. Turns out it doesn’t matter what you’ve thought of me all these years. Liberal, muckraking, trouble-making, journalist scumball… all of that. It’ll be your money keeping me in hair gel from now on.

Or until my new boss loses an election… and that ain’t apt to happen, is it?
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Friday, June 20, 2014

Meet Facebook's Answer to Snapchat

Posted By on Fri, Jun 20, 2014 at 12:25 PM


It’s Facebook’s attempt to compete against the successful and popular app known as Snapchat. Both feature sending pictures to friends, only allowing them to see the images for a set amount of time before they disappear forever. However Slingshot requires the user to send a picture of their own to be able to view one sent to them—a reply-to-unlock feature. It seems like a hassle to some, making image messaging more time consuming than just replying with a quick pic of the couch.

However, Facebook aims to make Slingshot more of a status update app rather than a messaging app. It caters to users who prefer sharing casual videos and pictures, with a handy select all function—something Snapchat users have been waiting for.

Still, Snapchat users can choose what friends they include on their contacts list, while Slingshot intrusively adds all of your friends, from phone or Facebook—the app experience is less private and more akin to a public spectacle. You can’t pick and choose which friends you add, since they’re all included.

Facebook doesn’t seem to be solidifying people’s trust in their privacy, not with their new tracking of likes or how Slingshot doesn’t notify you when a friend takes a screenshot of your picture. But it seems that the aim of the app is to be a visual display of a status update, lacking the immediacy of Snapchat’s messaging tone.

Most mobile phone users seem to forget about Instagram’s similar feature called Direct. The pictures you send don’t disappear forever, but only the people you choose can see them and the filters are better. As the digital world transitions from instant messaging to picture messaging, these apps have a way to go before one of them contains the feature and privacy settings app consumers crave. 
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Monday, May 19, 2014

Boise's Salmon Social Wants Your Input

Posted By on Mon, May 19, 2014 at 2:00 PM

SALMON SOCIAL
  • Salmon Social

You may have heard of the new Boise-based social networking app Salmon Social. If you haven't, there is a new Boise-based social networking app named Salmon Social. The makers of the app are aiming for success of Facebook proportions and they need input from people like you.

They're hosting a mixer at Brewforia tonight, when you'll have a chance to try the app and fill out a questionnaire. You'll snag a free T-shirt, free beer and perhaps get a friend request from a fish. RSVP at salmonsocial.com/beta-mixers.

4:30 p.m. FREE. Brewforia, 3030 E. Overland Road, Meridian, 208-888-7668, salmonsocial.com.

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Monday, May 5, 2014

Mr. Cope’s Cave: So What’s the News Here?

Posted By on Mon, May 5, 2014 at 12:00 PM

Mr. Cope, do you have a few minutes to discuss your opinion on the Donald Sterling controversy?

Nope.

Do you mean nope, you do not have a few minutes? Or do you mean nope, you will not discuss your opinion on this matter?

It’s more like nope, I’m not going to waste a few minutes discussing a controversy about which I have no opinions to discuss. Besides, from what I can tell, about everything that could be said about that has pretty much all been said.

But it’s still an ongoing story. We can’t just stop talking about an ongoing story just because everything there is to be said about it has already been said.

We can’t?

Absolutely not! If we were to quit covering stories about which there is nothing left to be covered, why... why... it would be chaos. It would be news pandemonium! We would be turning on the news or opening a paper without having any idea whatsoever of what we would find there. Is that what you want?... new news every day? Every hour?

Gosh, I hadn’t thought of it like that. Getting new news all the time would mean they’d need more news reporters, wouldn’t it? And they’d probably have to lay off the opinion writers to pay for the new news reporters. And without opinion writers, where would regular people get their opinions?

That’s right, that’s absolutely right! We can’t have regular people running around trying to think of what they should be thinking. Nothing would get done!

Jeez, I see what you mean. It would be like taking cellphones away from teenagers.

Exactly! It would be the end of life in America as we know it. And another thing, Mr. Cope. The idea that you can’t think of a single thing to add to the Donald Sterling discussion is simply hard to believe.

So you don’t care if what I say about it is the same damn old thing that’s been said and said and said?

No. Why would I?

OK, then. What if I were to say the whole Donald Sterling controversy is no more than what a lot of us have been saying for years, that America is still crawling with racists, and that all you have to do is barely scratch the surface to find them, and that anyone who would argue that there is no more significant racism left in America is either a stupid racist, or a lying racist?

You’ve been saying that for years?

Yup, for years. At least since I was old enough to read more than the funny papers in newspapers.

So you’re saying you formed your opinion on pervasive racism in American by... what? By reading the news?

Yeah. By reading the news, watching the news, listening to the news. It’s been there all along. You didn’t think this Donald Sterling asshole just dropped in from the vacuum of Planet X, did you? And who do you think he’s so worried about when it comes to his girlfriend being seen hobnobbing with black people? He doesn’t care about the contact. He just cares about other people seeing the contact. And why’s that? Because he knows there are lots and lots of people around who are just like him. People who have no problem at all with interracial relationships, as long as no one else is there to see it.

Well then, Mr. Cope. I think I have all that I need. I want to thank you for...

See, it’s the opposite of there being lots of people who have no business or social relationships at all with blacks, but who go out of their way to be seen mingling with a black person, just so no one will think they are racist.

Then you’re saying there is an opposite nature to racism? An anti-matter racism, as it were?

No, no. It’s all racism. Saying there is no racism is racist, and even insisting you’re not a racist indicates you’re probably more racist than most. Get it?

If I understand you correctly, it means everyone is a racist, and there’s no point in denying it, and there is no hope of us ever being anything but racists. Then why bother to try to fight racism, if there’s no end to it?

Because we don’t have to end racism to end racist practices and racist behavior. We can’t stop people from seeing black skin... or brown skin or white skin, for that matter... and we can’t stop people from preferring one color over another. But we can stop people from screwing with people on the basis of their skin color.

So you’re saying people can think what they want, as long as what they are thinking doesn’t translate to actions and their actions don’t adversely affect the people they are thinking about?

Uh, yeah. That about covers it.

But I don’t see how that makes racism any different from anything else. Like one’s attitudes towards the opposite sex. Or how children get along with one another. Or... or... anything!

It’s not. Not a bit different. Racism is just one of those things we have to deal with in ourselves and others every day, every hour. And how we deal with it isn’t a matter of opinion. It’s a matter of morality. You know... the whole “do onto others” thing.

I’m sorry, Mr. Cope. But what you’re telling me here does not seem very newsworthy. In fact, it seems rather like old news.

Yeah, you’re right. But I did warn you, didn’t I?
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Boise Weekly Brings Home Top Honors from Idaho Press Club Awards

Posted By on Mon, May 5, 2014 at 9:34 AM


Boise Weekly
 was once again recognized for its top-notch reporting, bringing home an armful of accolades from the annual Idaho Press Club awards banquet May 3.

BW News Editor George Prentice, who doubles as resident screen expert, nabbed first place in a number of weekly newspaper categories:

General News Story: "Out of the Panhandle, Into the Fire"

Watchdog/Investigative Report: "The Long Goodbye"

Light Feature Report: "Citizen Mark"

Specialty Column: "Screen Reviews"

Crime/Courts Reporting: "Meet the Loughs"

Prentice also scored a second-place win in Arts/Entertainment Reporting with "Dancing Around The Truth" and an honorable mention in the Sports News Coverage category for "Net Gain."

Longtime freelancer Carissa Wolf also raked in the awards, with first-place honors including:

Political Reporting: "The Patchwork Rainbow"

Business Reporting: "Maze of Myths"

Environmental Reporting: "Away with the Whey"

Health/Medical Reporting: "Broken Promise?"

Fellow BW freelancer Randy King took home first place in the Outdoor Feature category for "Cougar Chronicles," while former staffer Andrew Crisp won second place in Business Reporting for "Price of Place."

Staff writer Harrison Berry took second in Sports News Coverage for "Teed Up" and staffer Jessica Murri won first place in Serious Feature Report for "The Liver Journey."

Finally, BW staff shared a first-place award in the Special Section category for "Annual Manual 2013."

Of this year's first-place winning reports, four of BW's entries were part of the BW Watchdogs program, launched in 2013 to raise funds from readers to directly support long-form, investigative journalism. Boise Weekly sincerely thanks those who have contributed to the fund this past year and dedicates part of its success at this year's Press Club awards to those loyal readers who have generously helped us make this kind of high-quality journalism possible.

To learn how you can support investigative journalism through BW Watchdogs, click here.




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