The seventh annual Celebrating a Free Press and Open Government Banquet will celebrate the work of those who promote open government and an independent news media in Iowa. The event will be held the evening of Sept. 26, 2019, at the Des Moines Marriott in downtown Des Moines.
Washington Post political reporter Jenna Johnson, an Iowa native, will be the guest speaker. Johnson is a national political correspondent covering campaigns and voters for the Post. She also covered the 2016 presidential campaign, which led to her covering for a while the White House. She also has covered Maryland politics and higher education for the newspaper.
The banquet, hosted by the Iowa Center for Public Affairs Journalism with the Iowa Freedom of Information Council and Iowa Newspaper Foundation, brings awareness to the importance of an open government and an unrestricted press to our democracy. It also is a fundraiser for the Iowa Center for Public Affairs Journalism, which operates IowaWatch.
The Iowa Freedom of Information Council will present its annual Harrison “Skip” Weber Friend of the First Amendment award at the banquet. IowaWatch will present its Stephen Berry and Randy Brubaker Free Press Champion awards to a working journalist or journalism educator and to an Iowan who is not involved with journalism but who promotes the role of an unrestricted news media and open government.
Tickets are $60 per person.
Please register here by Thursday, Sept. 19.
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Need to Know:
The Downtown Marriott has a special group room rate through 5 p.m. Thursday, Sept. 5, for attendees staying overnight Sept. 26 after the banquet. Call 1-800-228-9290 or 515-245-5500 and ask for the Iowa Center for Public Affairs Journalism special rate.
The Iowa Center for Public Affairs Journalism is an independent, 501(c)(3) non-profit and non-partisan journalistic program dedicated to producing high quality investigative journalism while training journalism students on this work at a high, ethical level. IowaWatch provides mentorship to college students in Iowa who want to be journalists and helps in getting their work published by newspapers and news web sites, and exposed through broadcast outlets. IowaWatch.org also publishes their work.
- Presenting Sponsors — Iowa Freedom of Information Council and Iowa Newspaper Foundation.
- Event Sponsors — The Iowa Broadcasters Association, Faegre Baker Daniels law firm of Des Moines, the Des Moines Register, Iowa State University Greenlee School of Journalism and Communication, University of Iowa School of Journalism and Mass Communication.
- Additional Support — the Associated Press.