Iowa Center co-founders Stephen J. Berry and Robert Gutsche Jr. attended the second annual conference on new journalism and media ethics at the University of Wisconsin-Madison on April 30, 2010. The conference, which included dozens of regional and national journalists and academics, was hosted by UW-Madison’s Center for Journalism Ethics in the School of Journalism and Mass Communication. “As new entrants into the exciting world of non-profit journalism, we gained valuable knowledge and new ideas from some of this movement’s courageous pioneers, like Charles Lewis, founder of the Center for Public Integrity,” said Berry, interim executive director of the Iowa Center and associate professor of journalism at The University of Iowa. “Personally, I came away from this conference inspired to make full disclosure and transparency signature characteristics of the Center.”
Participants discussed the need for new media and non-profit outlets to apply the highest standards of ethics, including a commitment to transparency about donors and news staff. They also stressed the importance of collaboration with media and other partners.
Planning for The Iowa Center for Public Affairs Journalism, an independent, nonprofit and nonpartisan news service, began in the spring of 2010. The effort is led by Stephen J. Berry, a Pulitzer-prize winning investigative journalist and an associate professor of journalism at The University of Iowa, and Robert Gutsche Jr., a University of Iowa Ph.D. student and journalist who helped launch the Wisconsin Center for Investigative Journalism at the University of Wisconsin-Madison in the summer of 2009. We hope to apply for 501c3 status in spring 2010. The Center and its Web site, www.IowaWatch.org, will be managed, further developed and edited by a visionary, executive director/editor, who will become the full-time, salaried leader of the Center. We look forward to hearing from you.