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.
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.
Does a limit on speech and expression exist on Iowa’s college campuses, where you expect the free flow of ideas to broaden education? Help a team of Iowa college student journalists working with IowaWatch answer that question by giving a tax-deductible donation that supports the students’ efforts. Don’t wait. The deadline to donate is Friday, April 8, 2016.
Iowa’s Judicial Branch flunked a recent transparency and accountability study because of barriers to public access to information, a lack of legal requirements for judicial evaluations and issues surrounding potential conflicts of interest. They include limited access judicial officers’ asset disclosures and a lack of restrictions on judges returning to the private sector after the bench.
I know you are being bombarded today with #GivingTuesday requests for support for your favorite charities. But I’d like to ask you to please consider giving a tax-deductible donation of $25, $50, $100 or more today to our nonprofit, nonpartisan center so that we can continue good work that has been recognized this past year by groups such as the Iowa Broadcast News Association and Society of Professional Journalists. Thank you for helping us celebrate our fifth anniversary in 2015. This one-time experiment has published more than 290 explanatory and investigative, multimedia stories at IowaWatch.org and share those stories with others. Through November of this year 41 Iowa newspapers, 25 radio stations in our IowaWatch Connection radio network, two commercial television stations, Iowa Public Television, Iowa Public Radio and 52 news websites have republished or aired 33 IowaWatch stories 1,319 times.
We are capping off our fifth anniversary celebrations with an autumn fundraiser at the beautiful Walker Homestead on the outskirts of Iowa City. Join us for wine, wood-fired pizza, live music and a silent auction with items ranging from original photography to international crafts and a catered dinner for 30.
Steve Berry, IowaWatch co-founder and University of Iowa Journalism professor, and Lyle Muller, IowaWatch executive director-editor, give a preview of things to come and discuss highlights of the year, including stories on traffic cameras, meth addiction, the treatment of college students who are here from other countries, payday loans and more.
On December 17, 1903, Orville and Wilbur Wright took to the air in the famous Kitty Hawk flight, the first successful flight in a man-powered airplane. Over the next decades, the adventure of conquering the air captivated the world, including many Iowans. Test your knowledge about the roots of aviation in Iowa.
Watch a video, read the liveblog: An IowaWatch forum, Criticial Decisions about Elder Care, focused on important decisions Iowans face about long-term elder care. A panel of three distinguished experts spoke about the difficulty of improving the quality of long-term elder care.