The Fund for Investigative Journalism has awarded IowaWatch’s Lauren Mills a $2,500 grant to support an investigative project in the remainder of 2013 and early 2014.
“This kind of support shows that a respected national organization such as the Fund for Investigative Journalism recognizes the good work we are doing at IowaWatch, and the kind of impact our stories have on Iowa,” Lyle Muller, executive director-editor of the Iowa Center for Public Affairs Journalism that runs IowaWatch, said. “It is appreciated greatly.”
The Fund for Investigative Journalism, founded in 1969, periodically awards support to investigative journalism that shows promise of having impact. In its first year, a $250 grant supported the start of reporter Seymour Hersh’s investigation into the My Lai massacre. A follow-up $2,000 grant from the fund allowed Hersh to finish that story.
Mills joined IowaWatch in January 2013. She previously was a reporter at the Sioux City Journal. She was among the students who helped report and write IowaWatch’s first stories when she was at the University of Iowa, earning degrees in journalism and mass communication, English and Spanish.
This is IowaWatch’s second Fund for Investigative Journalism grant. Last year, the organization underwrote the costs of an IowaWatch investigation called “Closing the Gap”, which revealed that more than one-half of what Iowans toss into landfills should not go there because of the pollution it causes.
The Iowa Center for Public Affairs Journalism is a nonprofit, nonpartisan group that does in-depth investigative and public affairs journalism and shares that work free of charge to collaborating news organizations. It also trains college students to do this kind of journalism at a high professional and ethical manner. It was founded in 2010 by Stephen Berry, an associate professor of journalism at the UI, and Robert “Ted” Gutsche when Gutsche was a Ph.D. student at the university.