Guest column: Journalism in real time

The acquisition by Adams Publishing Group of four additional newspapers in southeastern Idaho presents an exciting opportunity to forge a news and advertising operation unlike anything our region has ever seen.

It will allow us to create better and broader regional news coverage and to offer advertisers an unprecedented selection of options. We’re just beginning to work through how our seven regional newspapers can collaborate to benefit our readers and advertisers.

It also presents an opportunity to me I’ve been working toward for several years.

As has already been reported, I’m stepping aside as publisher of the Post Register to become president of an events division inside Adams Publishing Group.

Five years after producing our first policy-oriented conference, the initial Intermountain Energy Summit, we’ve produced a dozen different events on energy, health care, lands, agricultural technology, retirement planning and business. We’re going to take models developed here and by colleagues in Wyoming into other APG markets as part of our effort to establish new profit centers and expand the way journalism is practiced.

Now that the Idaho State Journal, Rexburg Standard-Journal and other newspapers in southeastern Idaho are part of APG, ISJ Publisher Andy Pennington will be heading up our eight-newspaper operation, including the Post Register. In addition to my events work, I’ll be partnering with Pennington to focus on the APG news operations in southeast Idaho, leveraging our size and experience to provide the best local and regional coverage — by a significant margin — than any other news source.

It has been my honor to be the Post Register’s editor and publisher since 2002 (and general manager and managing editor for a total of seven years before that). It’s been a challenging time for legacy news media — newspapers, television, radio and magazines. I’ve documented many of these issues over the past year in my Learning the News series, and I’ll have more to say in the future.

I still hold out hope that ethical and professional journalism will find its place in a world dominated by social media and the rest of the Internet cesspool, so that will always be my focus. That includes the events business, where we’re breaking new ground by practicing what I call journalism in real time. By bringing a journalistic ethic to the policy conference, we can make them more vital and relevant. They’re also an important new source of revenue.

All of this is my way of saying I’m not going anywhere. My team and I will produce policy conferences in Idaho, Wyoming and elsewhere. I’ll continue to beat the drum on media literacy. I’ll be engaged in creating the best local and regional news report in southeast Idaho.

By the way, I’ll be occupying the same office at 333 Northgate Mile I’ve inhabited for the past 19-plus years. Drop by and have a chat.

Plothow is president of APG Signature Events and is the former editor and publisher of the Post Register.

Plothow is president of APG Signature Events and is the former editor and publisher of the Post Register.