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Impact Of First IowaWatch Story 5 Years Ago Remains With Reporter


It started with a short news clip. On October 12, 2009, The Daily Iowan ran a 244-word brief saying that University of Iowa business student Jacques Similhomme, missing for two weeks, had been found dead in the Cedar River. I hadn’t heard Similhomme was missing, and that seemed strange since he was a fellow Hawkeye. Even more bizarre, his death was buried deep inside the university’s newspaper. I recalled an incident in September 2006 while I was a student at Grinnell College. Continue Reading →

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KXIC Podcast: Journalism With Impact During IowaWatch’s First Five Years

IowaWatch digital analyst/reporter Lauren Mills (left) and cofounder Stephen Berry (center) speak with KXIC morning show host Jay Capron on Aug. 19, 2014, about IowaWatch and its stories.

IowaWatch co-founder Stephen Berry and digital analyst/assistant editor Lauren Mills  talked on the Tuesday, May 19, 2015, "Your Town" show on KXIC radio, AM 800, in Iowa City about the pending fifth anniversary of IowaWatch's first story. Host Jay Capron welcomes IowaWatch each month to talk about the nonprofit news organization. You may listen to the latest interview at the link below. Advertising in the podcast is KXIC's. IowaWatch receives no revenue from it. Continue Reading →

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Campus Exhibit at University Of Iowa Marks IowaWatch 5th Anniversary

2011 IowaWatch team featured

A little more than five years ago a small group of forward-thinking people could only imagine what the Iowa Center for Public Affairs Journalism with its news website,, would be. That changed on May 29, 2010, when the first IowaWatch story was published. Continue Reading →

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SPJ Names Lu Shen IowaWatch Story Nation’s Best Student Journalism Online News Story


An IowaWatch story former reporter Lu Shen wrote about University of Iowa difficulty helping Chinese students adjust to Iowa in 2013-14 has won the Society of Professional Journalists’ (SPJ) Mark of Excellence Award for best online news story by a college journalist in 2014. Continue Reading →

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KXIC Podcast Covers Two Student-Driven Investigations For IowaWatch

Meghan Horihan speaking on KXIC radio, Tuesday, April 21, 2015, during a monthly 'Our Town' segment featuring IowaWatch.

Meghan Horihan talked on the Tuesday, April 21, 2015, "Your Town" show on KXIC radio, AM 800, in Iowa City about her two years doing public relations work at IowaWatch while a University of Iowa student. While there, she also previewed a story pending for Sunday, May 10, publication about college students in Iowa who go out of the state for jobs after graduating. Also on the program Executive Director-Editor Lyle Muller spoke about a major project about hidden illnesses at Iowa college campuses that a Simpson College student journalism team compiled. Host Jay Capron welcomes IowaWatch each month to talk about the nonprofit news organization. You may listen to the latest interview at the link below. Continue Reading →

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IowaWatch Connection Earns Six IBNA Awards


The IowaWatch Connection radio program collected six awards for large market radio reporting at the 2015 Iowa Broadcast News Association convention in Johnston, Iowa, on April 18. Each week program host and producer Jeff Stein examines an IowaWatch story in depth during the 23-minute program. The program’s winning entries were:

First place: Farm and Business reporting, for a report on farm safety that included reporting from Sarah Hadley. First place: Political coverage, for a compilation of reports related to politics. First place: In-depth/series, for a report on student debt that students from several college journalism programs in Iowa helped compile. Continue Reading →

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IowaWatch Story By Lu Shen Takes SPJ Regional Online Newswriting Award

Lu Shen

Former IowaWatch reporter Lu Shen has won a Society of Professional Journalists’ (SPJ) Region 7 Mark of Excellence Award for a story she wrote about University of Iowa difficulty in 2013-14 helping Chinese students adjust to Iowa. The award was announced at a regional meeting March 30 in Omaha, Nebraska. Shen, who joined CNN Beijing after graduating from the University of Iowa in December 2014 and also a former Daily Iowan reporter, won first place for online news reporting for her story, "Iowa Chinese students struggle to adjust, feel lack of support," published by on June 24, 2014. IowaWatch assistant editor Sarah Hadley and former IowaWatch reporters Katie Kuntz and Inma Mateos, both of the University of Iowa, and incoming IowaWatch summer intern Makayla Tendall and frequent IowaWatch contributor Danielle Ferguson of Iowa State University were finalists for the regional student journalism awards. These awards were for the SPJ’s Region 7, which comprises Iowa, Kansas, Missouri and Nebraska. Three students were cited -- one for first and two others as finalists -- in each of several categories. Continue Reading →

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