IowaWatch Honored For Exchanging Ideas With International Journalists

The Iowa Center for Public Affairs Journalism was one of three 2018 Citizen Diplomat Award recipients honored the night of April 16 by the Council for International Visitors to Iowa Cities, or CIVIC. The other award recipients were Diamond V of Cedar Rapids, for business and industry, and Johnson County Supervisor Lisa Green-Douglass as an individual. They received the awards at CIVIC’s Fourth Annual Celebration of Citizen Diplomacy Dinner in Iowa City. The center, which runs IowaWatch.org, was cited for its work as a nonprofit organization because of the several years it has met with international journalists CIVIC brings to Iowa on U.S. visits that bring them to Iowa. The non-profit CIVIC is a community-based, member-driven organization established to create, support and sustain citizen diplomacy efforts in the Iowa City-Cedar Rapids area of Eastern Iowa.

Podcast: Iowa Legislative Session Adds Flood Relief To Budget Deliberations

Iowa Gov. Kim Reynolds said in the latest IowaWatch Connection radio report and podcast that Iowa needs to streamline the process for getting flood relief to portions of the state pounded with spring flooding. The process will include coming up with funds in Iowa to provide flood relief, matching at some level federal aid that eventually comes into the state, Reynolds said in the weekend radio report. On Monday, Reynolds announced a $15 million legislative funding package the current fiscal year, which ends June 30, and her request that the Iowa Legislature approve about $10 million for fiscal 2020. The money next fiscal year would fund housing tax credits for flood-stricken areas of the state. Reynolds also signed an executive order that creates a flood advisory board to coordinate the state’s flood recovery and rebuilding effort.

IowaWatch Wins Top Broadcast News Awards For Politics, Farm And Agribusiness Reporting

The IowaWatch Connection radio program collected seven awards — including first place for political coverage and farm/agribusiness reporting — for large market radio reporting during 2018 at the annual Iowa Broadcast News Association convention in Johnston, Iowa, on Saturday, April 13, 2019. The radio program had won first place the previous year, too, for farm and agribusiness reporting. The program is part of IowaWatch’s multimedia reporting effort. Each week, program host and producer Jeff Stein and IowaWatch reporters examine a story in depth during a 23-minute program that airs on 21 radio stations and then serves as an IowaWatch.org podcast. The program’s winning entries were:

First place: Political coverage for reporting on year-round interest in politics.

Vilsack: Tragedy Three Decades Ago Emphasized Faith, Challenges

LISTEN TO THE PODCAST

The December 1986 murder of Mount Pleasant’s mayor at a City Council meeting taught his successor, former Iowa Secretary of Agriculture and former Iowa Gov. Tom Vilsack, the value of faith and confidence to confront challenges, Vilsack said in a new IowaWatch Connection radio interview. A disgruntled resident shot and killed Edward King and wounded two City Council members, shouting obscenities about a dispute the resident had with the city. “That experience indicated to me that the community was willing to come together,” Vilsack said in the interview. “It also taught me the important role in public life of being willing to listen, and being close to people, and giving them the opportunity to share with you their hopes, their aspirations, their concerns, their irritations.” Vilsack established “mayor’s hours” after King’s death in the city’s public library after a failed attempt at City Hall — people were reticent to go to where the murder happened, Vilsack said — to talk with people about municipal concerns in Mount Pleasant.