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Questions you have about obituaries, CNN, Latter-day Saints and other news

From the Newsroom

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We couldn’t find another photo for this column so we decided to share this picture of the EastIdahoNews.com team in the Idaho Fall 4th of July parade. | Nate Eaton, EastIdahoNews.com.

Every day, EastIdahoNews.com receives around a dozen or so emails and Facebook messages from our users. Some of you send ideas and tips (we love those!), others write with concerns about stories we’ve posted (we love those too) and many simply contact us with questions.

We’ve received several inquiries about the same topics lately. I figure you may have similar questions, so here are the answers.

Can you please post more obituaries?

Obituaries are the most visited section on EastIdahoNews.com. Our data shows thousands of people coming to our website and free mobile app every day from across the country to read obituaries.

When we launched this section early last year, we met with almost every funeral home in eastern Idaho. We left an information sheet for funeral directors to provide to families wanting to share their loved-ones death notices and obituaries on EastIdahoNews.com.

Those families usually tell the funeral home to send the obituary to us, and we post it. Additionally, anyone can submit an obituary directly to us by using this link.

We don’t pick and choose which obituaries to feature (as one EIN user suggested), and we can’t simply take obits from a newspaper or other websites (thanks for the suggestion, though). We need them submitted to us from a funeral home, family or friend.

Every obituary we receive is shared on the East Idaho Obituaries Facebook page, and it’s very sweet to see so many people publicly sharing memories of their deceased friends or family members.

Why is all your national news from CNN?

Ahhh, CNN. Most of you love it or despise it with a passion.

When EastIdahoNews.com launched in July 2015, none of the national news providers would partner with us. We are a small, independent newsroom, and The Associated Press wanted us to be affiliated with radio, TV, or a newspaper. We aren’t. Other networks didn’t offer partnerships unless we were a station affiliate (NBC, CBS, Fox, etc.).

CNN was the exception. And that isn’t necessarily a bad thing.

There are more than 1,100 CNN partners around the world – news outlets just like EastIdahoNews.com providing local content to their audiences. As a CNN affiliate, we share our stories with those stations — and vice versa.

If something big happens in Utah or Montana or Wyoming (places many of you visit), we can check the CNN Newsource Wire and post a story. This saves us time to work on more local content for you.

We realize CNN can be a polarizing network and many of you feel the same way about Fox News and MSNBC. If those outlets agreed to partner with us for national news, half of you would be upset and the other half would be thrilled.

Is CNN perfect? No. In an ideal world, I would love to post news from every national outlet and give a sampling of how stories are covered differently. But for now, we’re trying our best to share the most balanced, fair articles that we can.

Some have suggested we drop national news altogether. It’s a valid point that we’ve discussed, but we feel that offering a bit of everything helps you feel more informed. Nearly every local newscast and newspaper features some national and world news, and data shows our users regularly read those stories (sometimes more than local content).

Why do you only cover ‘Mormon’ news?

No, we aren’t owned by The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints, and it’s not the only church we cover.

We try to report a variety of news about a variety of religions in the area, but here’s the thing: we often don’t know about those happenings until someone tells us.

The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints has a robust media relations department and newsroom. We get their news releases, and because it’s the predominant religion in eastern Idaho, we post many stories about that church.

To broaden our religion coverage, we launched a podcast Sunday called Finding Faith. Each week, Rett Nelson will focus on a different religion in eastern Idaho and inform us about our differences and similarities.

If you are a member of any faith (or no faith at all) and have a story idea, please let us know. Email news@eastidahonews.com or send us a Facebook message.

Why don’t you cover more news in my neighborhood/community/city?

We wish we could have a reporter living and working in every eastern Idaho city and town. Unfortunately, we don’t, but we do try to cover as much as we can with our relatively small newsroom staff of six people.

We have spent this year trying to explore nearly every city in our We Are East Idaho series. Our reporters agree that these have been some of the most enjoyable and fun stories we’ve done (and everyone we’ve met is so darn nice!).

Although we can’t be everywhere, we hope you’ll help us. If you see something happening, reach out and send us a photo. You can always call our newsroom directly at (208) 528-NEWS and talk with us personally. We also have our community calendar where you can post events for free.

Within the coming months, we plan to expand and open at least one additional newsroom. We need good writers and reporters, so if you have any experience and want to work with EastIdahoNews.com (either full-time, part-time or freelance), apply here or shoot me an email: neaton@eastidahonews.com.

As always, we appreciate your feedback and suggestions. We can’t do our jobs without you, and if you have any questions about why we do what we do, please reach out.

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