The Iowa Association for Justice (IAJ) has given its 2014 Excellence in Journalism Award to the Iowa Center for Public Affairs Journalism, which runs the non-profit news organization IowaWatch.org.
The IAJ gives the award to an individual or group in the media that has made an important contribution to society by either fostering greater public understanding of the civil justice system and the rights and liberties the association seeks to preserve, or by furthering the public’s knowledge of the prevalence and/or prevention of injury.
The award was given at the IAJ Annual Convention Awards Luncheon on Thursday, Nov. 6, 2014, at the Marriott Downtown Des Moines. [ED.NOTE: This story was updated after Nov. 6 to reflect that the award has been given.]
“The emergence of the Iowa Center for Public Affairs Journalism is a most sanguine development for Iowa’s news media industry,” IAJ executive director Brad Lint said. “At a time of shrinking newsroom budgets, the Center is actually building capacity for explanatory and investigative journalism, through both its collaborative efforts with other news organizations and its own production of original research and reports.
“The Center’s IowaWatch investigative reports are incredibly incisive and intensive – two qualities that seldom fit together easily or nicely. Most importantly, they are relevant and rewarding to Iowans from all walks of life. Iowans are truly blessed to have the Iowa Center on the scene to shine a light on the hidden recesses of government, politics and society, and to illuminate issues that effect their health, safety and pocketbooks.”
Lyle Muller, the Iowa Center’s executive director-editor, said: “We are honored, and thank the association for being willing to give this recognition.
“This award was a nice surprise. Our organization is less than five years old, yet we have been able to produce a steady diet of investigative and community affairs reporting that has drawn attention to issues Iowans are trying to solve. It’s gratifying to know that others notice our work, which, for the most part, comes from highly motivated student journalists who care about telling important stories.”
The Iowa Center for Public Affairs Journalism-IowaWatch is an independent, 501(c)(3) non-profit and non-partisan journalistic program founded in 2010. It is dedicated to producing high quality investigative and community affairs journalism in Iowa while training journalism students on this work at a high, ethical level.
The Iowa Association for Justice consists of licensed lawyers who band together to uphold the U.S. and state constitutions, advance the science of jurisprudence, conduct training, promote the administration of justice for the public good, uphold the honor and dignity of the law, and advance the cause of those needing legal help after sustaining personal injury or property damage. The association also seeks to uphold and improve the adversary system and the right of trial by jury.