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Media Ride-Along Report: Boise Guardian

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David R. Frazier, founder and sole proprietor of the Boise Guardian, is a man on a mission. The 66-year-old award-winning photographer and blogger founded the Guardian in 2005, out of what he called “necessity and frustration.” His objective is to give the residents of Boise a voice, while keeping the city honest. Although Frazier may be considered a thorn in the side of the city council, he has been successful in the courts and is raising political awareness in the community. Frazier has thus far sent half a dozen people to jail, had a court case named after him following a successful lawsuit and won a $3,000 award from the Sam Adams Alliance. His extensive knowledge of the federal constitution has enabled him to hold the city accountable to its laws and stipulations. For example, when the city announced it was going to build a $20 million police station with taxpayers’ dollars, Frazier pointed out that Idaho law first requires a vote of the people, unless the structure or measure is ordinary or necessary. Appearing as his own attorney, he fought the city and won. This victory earned him a fiery reputation and added credit to his name.On its website, the Guardian claims no affiliation with any religious group or political party. “If you value the rule of law, free speech, truth, honesty, and a voice in your government, the Guardian is your friend,” it reads. Frazier has no agenda, other than to raise awareness in his community. He is the only writer for the website and receives news tips from people at least once a day. Anonymity is OK with Frazier, but he checks every tip thoroughly before reporting on it. The same principle is applied to the comment section on his website, where false accusations or inaccurate information is deleted. Only constructive narratives that add substance to the story are permitted to remain.

The Guardian is currently run through donations only. Although the site has no ad revenue as of now, Frazier doesn’t rule out the possibility. “There’s always that potential of gaining advertising. We get between 1,500 and 2,500 hits per day that are unique visits, and the vast majority of those are educated people in the demographic,” he said.

Journalism runs in Frazier’s blood. “I’m an old newspaper guy. Third generation and my grandfather and father were both newspaper people and editors.” He has freelanced for the New York Times and Time magazine, among others, and he also worked for the local Boise newspaper from 1968-1973. Now, though, his “hobby” is The Guardian, written to fill the void of the local “legacy” media. “With the cutbacks in newsrooms, nobody covers anything anymore unless it’s handed to them on a platter,” Frazier said. However, he has no intention of replacing the day-to-day local newspaper. Instead, he points out and publishes the ills of the city. Lawmakers and city councilmen are held responsible for their actions while on Frazier’s watch. His job, in his own words, is “to be the name, the Guardian, to let people know when something’s crooked and where it’s bad.”

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Written by jboothe

April 5, 2012 at 4:39 pm

Posted in Uncategorized

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