N.D. man will be both a state rep and a reporter

Can a state legislator be both a lawmaker and a journalist?

The short answer is “no.” That’s also the long answer, but a North Dakota public radio organization and a newspaper in Grand Forks are going to give it a try.

Matt Eidson is a first-term Democrat and a former Marine, pursuing a master’s in English at the University of North Dakota.

He’s been hired to do freelance work for the Grand Forks Herald and also will work as an unpaid intern for the summer at Prairie Public Radio.

Both news organizations acknowledge it’s an unusual arrangement, but they think it can work because Eidson won’t report on anything that presents a conflict of interest.

The devil is in the details, of course. But the reality is there’s very little that isn’t somehow affected by public policy.

“I have to be mindful of my bias just as any journalist would have to be mindful of their bias,” Eidson said.

Herald Publisher Korrie Wenzel acknowledged being a little reluctant to hire the lawmaker, but Wenzel said there are open positions that have been hard to fill.