On the morning of Aug. 31, shortly after 8:30, a 12-year-old boy pulled out a gun in his seventh-grade classroom in Eldridge, a community just north of Davenport. In an instant, he directed his classmates to get on the floor and then pointed the gun at his teacher’s face and squeezed the trigger. Blessedly, he did not take the gun’s safety off. The gun did not fire.
IowaWatch co-founder Stephen J. Berry called for rebuilding trust in the news media with better media literacy among Americans but also on journalists to adhere to strong ethics during remarks at the 2018 Celebrating a Free Press and Open Government Banquet in Des Moines, Iowa, on Sept. 27, 2018. We’ve published his remarks here.
The weekly public affairs program, Ethical Perspectives on the News, dug into how the news media function in American society, particularly in this era when reporters are under heavy criticism for the work they do, and how they do it.
Challenges facing modern-day journalism are at to a crisis stage as many Americans’ lack understanding of a critical news media’s role in society, IowaWatch cofounder and Pulitzer Prize-winning investigative journalist Stephen Berry said during a recent visit to Iowa and in an IowaWatch Connection podcast.
Responding to a steep rise in reports of hate crimes on campus, at least 260 colleges and universities have implemented bias-response teams or other reporting policies to track such incidents. But the teams have created friction of their own, as conservative students, controversial speakers and followers of the alt-right movement claim colleges are sanitizing campuses of dissent, in violation of the First Amendment’s right to free speech.
Pulitzer Prize-winning journalist and author Stephen J. Berry, whose push for journalists to work thoroughly and ethically led him to co-found the Iowa Center for Public Affairs Journalism-IowaWatch, will be the annual Celebrating a Free Press and Open Government Banquet’s guest speaker in Des Moines on Thursday, September 27, 2018.
BySue Cross, executive director and CEO, Institute for Nonprofit News |
Today, the Institute for Nonprofit News joins journalists across the country in asking you, the public, to stand up for your rights to free speech and an open government. This started as a campaign by the Boston Globe to ask the President of the United States to knock off attacking the news media.
As we celebrate the signing of the Declaration of Independence 242 years ago on July 4, as we mourn the murders last week of five employees of the Annapolis, Md., Capital Gazette, four of them journalists, and as we think about the “fake news” accusations and slanderous “enemy of the American people” slurs that are hurled like stones at journalists, we should reflect on the important role they play in our United States and in protecting and preserving our democracy.
Thanks to 179 generous donors The Iowa Center for Public Affairs Journalism – Iowa Watch was able to raise $21,214 during its end-of-year News Match fund drive. Of that total, $19,021 was matched by the Fund for Nonprofit News at The Miami Foundation. The John S. and James L. Knight Foundation, Democracy Fund, John D. and Catherine T. MacArthur Foundation and the Ethics and Excellence in Journalism Foundation provided funds for the News Match drive for Institute for Nonprofit News members. IowaWatch is a member of the Institute for Nonprofit News, a consortium of nonprofit news organizations in the United States that, for this drive, provided fund-raising training and support. [Ed note: This paragraph was updated March 13, 2018, to reflect IowaWatch’s receipt of the News Match funds.]