The Iowa Center for Public Affairs Journalism-IowaWatch has joined the Iowa Freedom of Information Council as a First Amendment member. The center joined the open-government advocacy organization, founded in 1976, because it matches the center’s goal of shining a spotlight on institutions and people who have authority over public policies, trends and events, center executive director-editor Lyle Muller said.
“We’re excited to be asked by the Freedom of Information Council to be a dues-paying First Amendment member,” Muller said. “The council works hard to ensure that government in Iowa operates in the open. That is so important in a democracy where government serves the public, and should do so transparently.”
The Iowa center and Freedom of Information Council already have ties. They have co-hosted with the Iowa Newspaper Foundation a Celebrating a Free Press and Open Government banquet the last three years.
“For 39 years, the Iowa Freedom of Information Council has educated Iowans about their rights under the state’s open-government laws and has advocated on their behalf for open and transparent government,” Randy Evans, the organization’s executive director, said. “We are pleased to have IowaWatch joining the FOI Council and helping us in this important work.”
The Iowa Freedom of Information Council consists of journalists, librarians, lawyers, educators and other Iowans devoted to government accountability. It educates Iowans about their right to open government, promoting that right in letters to government officials, newspaper columns and appearances at the Iowa Legislature.
The Iowa Center for Public Affairs Journalism-IowaWatch, a 501(c)(3) nonprofit, nonpartisan news organization that does investigative and public affairs journalism; makes that journalism available free on its website, IowaWatch.org, and through media partners; and trains college students to do this journalism at an ethical, high level.