August 11, 2011

IowaWatch Receives Ethics and Excellence Grant

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The Ethics and Excellence in Journalism Foundation has awarded $100,000 grant to The Iowa Center for Public Affairs Journalism for the support of IowaWatch,org, a non-partisan, non-profit explanatory and investigative journalism website.
IowaWatch received official notice of the grant Thursday.

“This grant is an important development for the people in Iowa who crave solid explanatory and investigative journalism,” said Interim Executive Director-Editor Stephen J. Berry. “I and our board are deeply grateful to Foundation’s board and advisory committee for showing their trust in us in such a generous manner.”

The Iowa Center was founded in February 2010 and began publishing four months later. Since then, it has relied almost totally on individual donations, volunteers and student journalists from the University of Iowa’s School of Journalism and Mass Communication.

“We are indebted to a dedicated band of student journalists who have been working tirelessly and for free since May 2010 to produce the kind of good journalism that would serve the public and establish IowaWatch as a journalistic force,” Berry said. “Thanks to them, generous funders like the Ethics and Excellence in Journalism Foundation could just look at our website and see hard evidence that they are investing in more than just a good idea.”

He said IowaWatch plans to use the grant to hire a highly accomplished, well-respected professional to lead IowaWatch and to help us establish a long-range financial strategy that will include a mix of self-sustaining revenues, individual donations and grants.

IowaWatch was founded as a non-profit, non-partisan news organization in February2010 and began publishing four months later. Its mission is to train student journalists and produce explanatory and investigative multimedia projects independently or in collaboration with other news organizations. It distributes almost all of its stories free to news organizations statewide.

The Ethics and Excellence in Journalism Foundation’s mission is to “invest in the future of journalism by building the ethics, skills and opportunities needed to advance principled, probing news and information,” according to its website.

It focuses much of its grants “on innovative and entrepreneurial organizations who we believe may be the future models for gathering news and disseminating information to the public,”sBob Ross, president and chief executive officer of the Foundation, said in a statement in earlier this year. The foundation was established by the late Edith Kinney Gaylord, a pioneering newspaper reporter and the daughter of the publisher of The Oklahoman and the Oklahoma City Times. She worked at her father’s paper and the Associated Press and created the foundation in 1982.

 

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