The Iowa Center for Public Affairs Journalism, or IowaWatch, has hired Suzanne Behnke to be its new executive director. Behnke, who starts in August, succeeds Lyle Muller, who will retire in September after leading IowaWatch since 2012. “Journalism and its future are my professional passions, and IowaWatch will allow me to work in both areas,” Behnke said. “There’s tremendous potential for IowaWatch to grow in depth and breadth so it can serve readers for years to come.”
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Behnke comes to IowaWatch from the Des Moines Business Record, where she has been an editor and contributor since May 2017. She also is a journalism and communications instructor at Simpson College in Indianola.
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.
The Iowa Center has partnered with The Larned A. Waterman Iowa Nonprofit Resource Center to form articles of incorporation, establish bylaws and build a greater understanding of 501(c)(3) organizations. “Finding partnerships right here in Iowa to help us through this process of building a center for the people of Iowa falls directly in line with the Center’s mission,” said Robert Gutsche Jr., the Iowa Center’s outreach director. The INRC trains law students at The University of Iowa in nonprofit law and provides workshops, training, and publishes guidelines to nonprofit workers statewide. The INRC was founded in 2001 by Willard “Sandy” Boyd, a professor at The University of Iowa College of Law and President Emeritus of The University of Iowa. “The Resource Center has been instrumental in our development and we cannot thank the staff and President Boyd enough for their help,” Gutsche said.