Four IowaWatch reports that aired on The IowaWatch Connection radio program collected awards — two of them for first place — for large market radio reporting during 2019. The awards were given at the annual Iowa Broadcast News Association convention in Pella on Saturday, June 27, 2020.
The radio program, which ran from July 2014 until finishing its run at the end of 2019, examined an IowaWatch story in depth during a 23-minute program that aired on more than 20 radio stations and as an IowaWatch.org podcast.
The program’s winning entries were:
- First Place: Political Coverage, for a program by reporter Lyle Muller and host Jeff Stein on the opening of the 2019 Iowa legislative session. This was the second straight year IowaWatch took first place in the IBNA large-market radio competition.
- First place: Public Affairs, for a report by IowaWatch Science in the Media fellow Emily Highnam on the dangers of silica dust in northeast Iowa and southwest Wisconsin.
- Second place: Farm and Agribusiness, for an investigation by Science in the Media Fellow Lauren Wade into a reduction in the number of inspectors for pesticide application violations in Iowa.
- Third place: Public Affairs, for a report by Lyle Muller in a program about the costs of pressures high school students endure when preparing for the costs of attending college.
“It is terrific to see IowaWatch recognized for work that is deeply researched and reported at a time when we are in critical need of accurate stories,” said Suzanne Behnke, executive director of the Iowa Center for Public Affairs Journalism, which runs IowaWatch. “This was the first award for IowaWatch in my time as executive director, and it’s a thrill to see the work of college journalists get recognition by such a longstanding organization.”
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The Science in the Media Fellows were student journalists in 2019 whose reporting was supported by a University of Northern Iowa reporting program. Highnam was a student at the University of Dubuque; Wade was a University of Iowa student.