2014 Banquet

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The second annual Celebrating a Free Press and Open Government Banquet — held in Des Moines on Thursday, October 2 — will feature guest speaker Jim Bohannon, host of the nationally syndicated “The Jim Bohannon Show” and “America in the Morning” radio programs.

The banquet, hosted by The Iowa Center for Public Affairs Journalism-IowaWatch with the Iowa Freedom of Information Council and Iowa Newspaper Foundation, will cap a day of bringing attention to the need of an unrestricted news media and open government in our democracy.

Register Registration is required for the banquet. Please register by Thursday, September 25.

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

Take a look at last year’s banquet here.

GUEST SPEAKER — Jim Bohannon

Talk show host Jim Bohannon

Talk show host Jim Bohannon

Bohannon is one of America’s top radio personalities. Voted one of The 100 Most Important Radio Talk Show Hosts in America by TALKERS Magazine, his show is heard from 9 p.m. to midnight Mondays through Fridays on more than 300 radio stations, including stations in Iowa. He brings listeners a unique blend of breaking news, interesting features and informative reports on a spectrum of topics. Bohannon, who has more than 50 years of broadcasting experience, also talks to special guests and callers.

Bohannon was the principal back-up for Larry King on the Larry King Show until taking over the prestigious nighttime talk show slot in February 1993. He joined WestwoodOne in 1983 and has anchored newscasts, political conventions and election night coverage in addition to his weekday programs. He is a recipient of a Special Recognition First Amendment Award from the Radio Television Digital News Association and was named by the TALKERS magazine editorial board as the 2013 recipient of the publication’s prestigious Lifetime Achievement Award.



1:00 – 3:00 p.m. — Freedom of Information Roundtable co-sponsored by Register Media and the Iowa Newspaper Association

  • Where: Des Moines Register Community Room, Capital Square lower level, 400 Locust St.
  • Join other members of the media, legislators and openness proponents to discuss open meetings and open records issues and opportunities.
  • Registration: Registration is not required, but is appreciated. Register here.

3:30 – 4:30 p.m. — Iowa Freedom of Information Council annual business meeting

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

6:00 – 8:30 p.m. — Celebrating a Free Press and Open Government Banquet

  • Where: Hall of Cities, Des Moines Marriott Downtown, 700 Grand Ave.
  • The banquet is a fundraiser for the Iowa Center for Investigative Journalism, a 501(c)(3) nonprofit, nonpartisan organization. The Center is an independent, nonprofit and nonpartisan news service that collaborates with Iowa media partners to produce investigative and explanatory journalism, and trains college students to do this kind of work at a professional and ethical level. It was founded in 2010.
  • Registration: Tickets are $55 a plate and registration is required. Please register here by Sept. 25.
  • Sponsors:
    • Presenting Sponsors – Iowa Freedom of Information Council and Iowa Newspaper Foundation
    • Supporting Sponsor — Associated Press
    • Event Sponsors – Iowa Broadcasters Association and the Faegre Baker Daniels law firm of Des Moines
    • Additional Support From — Iowa Public Information Board