Behind This Story

Nate Hegyi produced this story for the Mountain West News Bureau as part of the America Amplified: Election 2020 initiative, using community engagement to inform and strengthen local, regional and national journalism.

America Amplified is a public media initiative funded by the Corporation for Public Broadcasting. You can follow America Amplified on Twitter @amplified2020.

Read more about what Hegyi learned in this Q&A:

Q: What did the people you talked to say about the experience of being interviewed for public radio?
Journalists are sometimes uncomfortable being interviewed by other journalists -- it feels a bit like naval gazing -- but the sources in this story were very open with their time, despite the breaking news circumstances.

Q: What surprised you about this type of community engagement?
I was pleasantly surprised with Olson's ability to share his feelings about the paper laying off his staff and the stress and time it takes to produce solid local journalism.

Q: What lessons do you have for others who want to do the same?
Clearly explain why you are doing this story at the top of the interview. Be open about your interest in other stories in the community while making sure you aren't parachuting in and trying to tell a local story better than the local journalists on the ground.

Q: Do you plan to go back to this group for more conversations? When and how? Yes -- Olson has been open to helping me with information as I work on more community engagement stories in North Idaho.