The Iowa Center for Public Affairs Journalism—IowaWatch has received two major grants for operating expenses in 2016, including a $75,000 renewal grant from the Ethics and Excellence in Journalism Foundation. The foundation has supported the Iowa center since fall 2011.
“The IowaWatch board is grateful for continued support from the Ethics and Excellence in Journalism Foundation,” Erin Jordan, president of the Iowa Center for Public Affairs Journalism-IowaWatch board of directors and an investigative reporter at The Gazette (Cedar Rapids, IA), said. “We see it as recognition of our mission to provide investigative and explanatory news, often produced by students, to Iowa news outlets. At the same time, the board has been working to diversify funding sources and develop new events that raise money and increase awareness about IowaWatch.”
Terms for the 2016 grant call for awarding $40,000 outright at the end of February and the remaining $35,000 as a match to new revenue IowaWatch is challenged to raise by the end of January 2017. Meeting the match would bring the Oklahoma City, OK-based foundation’s total support to the Iowa-based non-profit news organization to $450,000 over five years.
“On behalf of all the talented Iowa journalism students who have learned and practiced investigative journalism through IowaWatch.org, I wish to thank the Ethics and Excellence in Journalism Foundation for making this possible,” IowaWatch co-founder Stephen Berry said.
“Journalism is noble profession, and by allowing IowaWatch to do this work for a purely non-profit, public-service motivation, EEJF and our other supporters have allowed IowaWatch.org to give that notion new meaning. Not only are our young journalists learning the meaning of ethics and excellence in journalism, they are providing our readers and listeners with vitally important reporting on serious public policy issues confronting Iowans.”
IowaWatch also has received a $10,000 grant from The Gazette Co. for 2016 operating expenses. This marks the fourth year the multimedia company based in Cedar Rapids, IA, has given IowaWatch financial support.
“We never take this kind of support for granted so we certainly are gratified to earn once again the confidence from the Ethics and Excellence in Journalism Foundation and The Gazette Co. have shown us over the years,” Lyle Muller, IowaWatch’s executive director and editor, said. “The grants come with important challenges. We need to earn support from others, as well, to meet the $35,000 challenge grant and in order to be a sustainable organization.”
IowaWatch provided 141 newspapers, web-based news organizations, radio stations and television stations 35 news stories to republish or air in 2015. This resulted in 1,389 publications or airings of those stories during the year. News organizations produced another 121 stories based on IowaWatch reports in 2015.
Most of the IowaWatch news stories were written by student journalists from several Iowa college campuses, assisted by IowaWatch’s professional staff: Muller, reporter/digital analyst Lauren Mills and IowaWatch Connection radio show host and producer Jeff Stein.
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.