Join Us At Our 2017 Banquet

The fifth annual Celebrating a Free Press and Open Government Banquet, titled “Government Transparency: Now More Than Ever,” will feature White House correspondent Jennifer Jacobs as its guest speaker on Thursday, Oct. 5, in Des Moines. The banquet, at the Des Moines Marriott Downtown and hosted by the Iowa Center for Public Affairs Journalism — IowaWatch with the Iowa Freedom of Information Council and Iowa Newspaper Foundation, will follow a day of raising awareness about the importance of an open government and an unrestricted press to our democracy. The banquet will begin with a 5:30 p.m. reception, with serving beginning at 6:30 p.m.

Other events will include a public forum hosted by the Des Moines Register and Iowa Freedom of Information Council, titled, “Iowa’s Creeping Secrecy.” The forum will examine how each year brings more challenges that would erode Iowa’s long tradition of state and local government being open for scrutiny by the public. Speakers will explore this expanding secrecy – and arguments marshaled by various sides.

2014 Banquet

The second annual Celebrating a Free Press and Open Government Banquet — held in Des Moines on Thursday, October 2 — will feature guest speaker Jim Bohannon, host of the nationally syndicated “The Jim Bohannon Show” and “America in the Morning” radio programs.

The banquet, hosted by The Iowa Center for Public Affairs Journalism-IowaWatch with the Iowa Freedom of Information Council and Iowa Newspaper Foundation, will cap a day of bringing attention to the need of an unrestricted news media and open government in our democracy. Registration is required for the banquet. Please register by Thursday, September 25. During the banquet, the Iowa Freedom of Information Council will present its annual Harrison “Skip” Weber Friend of the First Amendment award. IowaWatch will present its Stephen Berry and Bill Monroe Free Press Champion awards to a working journalist or journalism educator and an Iowan who is not involved with journalism who promotes the role of an unrestricted news media and open government.

2013 Banquet

The IowaWatch banquet celebrating a free and open news media and transparent government was a success! The banquet on Thursday, October 3 was part of a day of events organized by the Iowa Newspaper Association and the Iowa Freedom of Information Council as well as our evening banquet. IowaWatch would like to thank attendees, sponsors, award recipients and the many people who worked behind the scenes to make this event possible. During the banquet, IowaWatch presented the first Free Press Champion Awards — the Steve Berry Free Press Champion Award, which given to a professional journalist or journalism educator, and the Bill Monroe Free Press Champion Award, which is given to an individual outside the journalism profession who has promoted the cause of a free press and open government. The Iowa Freedom of Information Council also presented its 2013 Harrison “Skip” Weber Friend of the First Amendment Awards.