2016 Banquet

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September 29, 2016
Des Moines Marriott Downtown, 700 Grand Avenue

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The fourth annual Celebrating a Free Press and Open Government Banquet, titled “Forty Years, Freedom of Information: The Fight Continues,” will celebrate the forty-year anniversary of the Iowa Freedom of Information Council and will feature White House Advisor Cori Zarek as guest speaker.

The banquet, 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.

Other events will include a public forum hosted by the Des Moines Register, Iowa Newspaper Association and Iowa Freedom of Information Council to explore the debate over public access to law enforcement investigative files, and the Iowa Freedom of Information Council’s annual meeting.

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The Iowa Freedom of Information Council will present its annual Harrison “Skip” Weber Friend of the First Amendment award at the banquet. IowaWatch will present its Stephen Berry and Randy Brubaker Free Press Champion awards to a working journalist or journalism educator and to an Iowan who is not involved with journalism but who promotes the role of an unrestricted news media and open government.

Admission to all events except for the banquet is free. Banquet tickets are $55 per person. Please register here by Thursday, September 22.

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Guest Speaker: Cori Zarek
Zarekmug Cori Zarek has been an advocate for open government and transparency for more than a decade. Currently, she is the Deputy U.S. Chief Technology Officer at the White House where she leads the team’s work to build a more digital, open, and collaborative government. Cori also coordinates U.S. involvement with the global Open Government Partnership, a 70-country platform driving greater transparency and accountability around the world. Previously, she was an attorney at the U.S. National Archives, working on open government and FOIA policy. Before joining the government, Cori was the Freedom of Information Director at The Reporters Committee for Freedom of the Press where she assisted journalists with legal issues, and she also practiced for a Washington law firm. Cori received her B.A. from the University of Iowa where she was editor of the student-run newspaper The Daily Iowan. Cori also received her J.D. from Iowa where she wrote for The Des Moines Register and the Iowa Law Review. Outside the office, Cori is the Vice President of the D.C. Open Government Coalition and teaches a media law class at American University. Fun fact: she grew up in Carter Lake – the only part of Iowa that is west of the Missouri River.

Events:

2:00-4:00 p.m. — Des Moines Register/Iowa Newspaper Association/Iowa Freedom of Information Council forum on public access to law enforcement investigative files

  • Where: Des Moines Register Community Room, 400 Locust St., Des Moines.
  • Join representatives of the news media, law enforcement and legal experts as they talk about the debate going on in Iowa over law enforcement investigative files. Should such files be sealed from public examination, even after cases are closed? Or should the public and news media have access to these materials at a critical time in our nation when the actions of police are under increasing scrutiny?
  • Registration: Although the roundtable is free and open to the public, as a courtesy please pre-register if you plan on attending.

4:30-5:30 p.m. — Iowa Freedom of Information Council annual meeting

  • Where: Des Moines Marriott Downtown, 700 Grand Ave.

5:30-8:30 p.m. — IowaWatch reception and “Forty Years, Freedom of Information: The Fight Continues,” the fourth annual Celebrating a Free Press and Open Government Banquet with speaker Cori Zarek

  • Where: Des Moines Marriott Downtown, 700 Grand Ave.
  • Registration: Tickets are $55 a plate and registration is required. Please register here by Thursday, September 22.

Banquet Sponsors:

  • Presenting Sponsors — Iowa Freedom of Information Council, Iowa State University Greenlee School of Journalism and Communication and Iowa Newspaper Foundation
  • Supporting Sponsor — Associated Press
  • Event Sponsors — Faegre Baker Daniels law firm of Des Moines, the Des Moines Register and the Iowa Broadcasters Association
  • Additional Support From — University of Iowa School of Journalism and Mass Communication