January 30, 2013

Iowa Center for Public Affairs Journalism receives major grants worth more than $120,000

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The Iowa Center for Public Affairs Journalism received word that it has been awarded a $100,000 grant from the Ethics and Excellence in Journalism Foundation. This is the second grant from foundation, which also awarded the Center and its news operation, IowaWatch, $100,000 in August 2011.

The new funds will be used for operating expenses while the Center develops sustainable revenue sources. The Iowa Center for Public Affairs Journalism is a non-profit, non-partisan news organization that produces investigative and public affairs journalism in collaboration with other Iowa newsrooms; and works one-on-one with college students who want to produce this kind of journalism.

“Finding a way to fund IowaWatch on a consistent basis is necessary for this kind of non-profit journalism to succeed,” Lyle Muller, the Center’s Executive Director-Editor, said. “The foundation’s grant is our largest source of funding this year, but we want to shift our financing so that any future help we’d be fortunate to receive from foundations supplements financial support we hope to get from within Iowa.”

The Ethics and Excellence in Journalism Foundation grant is one of six the Iowa Center for Public Affairs Journalism has received in recent months. The others:

SourceMedia Group of Iowa, which includes The Gazette newspaper and KCRG-TV9, has given $10,000 to help support a digital analysis/reporter initiative at IowaWatch.

Woodward Communications, which includes the Dubuque Telegraph Herald, has given $5,000 to help support the digital analysis/reporter initiative.

The Burlington Hawk Eye has pledged $5,000 to the digital analysis/reporter initiative. That initiative also is funded with a $20,000 Nicholas B. Ottaway grant that was announced in August 2012. “Support from these forward-thinking Iowa media companies is huge because it shows that they are serious about providing good investigative and public affairs journalism,” Muller said.

The Community Foundation of Johnson County awarded a $600 grant in November for operational support at the Center and its news effort called IowaWatch. “That grant, in particular, is appreciated because it was included among so many worthy local Johnson County projects, and because it acknowledges the benefits we provide for the local community,” Muller said.

The Foundation for Investigative Journalism awarded IowaWatch and reporters Sujin Kim and Sarah Hadley a $1,035 grant to help them investigate the gap between recycling and dumping garbage into Iowa landfills. The grant covered expenses associated with travel and obtaining documents and producing the story.

— January 30, 2013

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