2021 General Excellence in Online Journalism, Micro Newsroom finalist

Idaho Education News

About the Project

Examples of user interface and interactive innovation:

1. At the start of the pandemic, we launched on our website an “”Ask Us Anything”” feature where readers can ask us anything. We answer within 24 hours. Most answers include links to stories we’ve written so the feature drives traffic. We are also able to collect emails and engage with them on an ongoing basis. We answered 600 questions in 10 months.

2. We wrote a 50-page book highlighting school data and made it easy and free to download as a PDF. It has the most recent and publicly available data on every K-12 school in Idaho. We also mail a free hard copy book to anyone who submits their address. We’ve mailed 3,000.

3. We publish opinion pieces from anyone who wants to write and join our conversations on education reform.

Examples of online technology:

1. We created, which is a user-friendly addition to our website where patrons can compare and explore data on every public school in Idaho (734).

2. We created an interactive map of COVID cases in Idaho where a user can hover over each county for local numbers.

3. We created an Idaho Report Card that compares state goals with actual numbers.

4. We ranked every school in Idaho — more than 700 — so parents can make better choices for their families.

Social tools are used every day at Idaho Education News. We engage with more than 20,000 followers on Facebook by posting news, hosting chats and live streaming expert conversations. We have nearly 15,000 people receive our weekly e-newsletter, which has a 34% open rate, ranking well above the industry average. We also capitalize on our Twitter and YouTube accounts.