Register editor: Big tech is squeezing the finances of newspapers in Iowa and across U.S.; here’s how an antitrust bill could help

Google and Facebook stack the deck against newspapers and broadcasters by refusing to compensate publishers for the work their journalists produce. This article is free to use and publish in your publication.  Carol HunterDes Moines Register Just as Iowa is a state of small towns, it’s a state boasting an extraordinary number of small but…

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Government needs room for common sense

Randy Evans, executive directorIowa Freedom of Information Council This article is free to use and publish in your publication. People like to talk about what the law says. And in Iowa, the law has a lot to say.  Just look at the Iowa Code. It now fills eight volumes and costs $295 for a complete set.…

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Charter schools must have sunshine, too

Randy Evans, executive directorIowa Freedom of Information Council This article is free to use and publish in your publication. The 2021 session of the Iowa Legislature will end in a few weeks, and one big issue moving toward a final vote would make charter schools easier to create as an alternative to the traditional K-12 public…

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How you can still lose while winning in court

Randy Evans, executive directorIowa Freedom of Information Council This article is free to use and publish in your publication. Many years ago, during a conversation with an old lawyer, he made a comment I still remember: “You can sue the bishop of Boston for bastardy, but that doesn’t mean you are going to collect.” It was…

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Iowa should stop keeping police discipline secret

Randy Evans, executive directorIowa Freedom of Information Council This article is free to use and publish in your publication. The actions of journalists and police officers were in the spotlight last week in a Des Moines courtroom. The scrutiny came at the trial of Andrea Sahouri, a Des Moines Register reporter. She was arrested while…

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Tri-State Newspaper Convention draws more than 500 attendees

Newspaper professionals from 14 states participated in the 2021 Tri-State Newspaper Convention, a virtual program presented on Feb. 4-5 by the Iowa, Minnesota and Wisconsin newspaper associations. More than 500 people registered for the two-day, virtual event that provided insights from more than 20 speakers on subjects ranging from “Publishing Through a Pandemic” to “Covering…

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Initiate conversations with your readers

By Jim Pumarlo A reader questions your policy for reporting suicides. A retailer challenges your staff to produce timely and relevant business news.  A reporter is confronted for printing a press release charging a candidate with unfair campaign practices without contacting the accused for a response. A family member gets emotional over publication of an…

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IowaWatch offers news stories for free

Stories from IowaWatch – The Iowa Center for Public Affairs Journalism are open to any Iowa news outlet to republish, with appropriate credit given to the decade-old nonprofit news outlet. Executive Director Suzanne Behnke offered these tips: Email her at suzanne-behnke@iowawatch.org to be added to the distribution list. When a story is published, an email…

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First installment of INA police video investigative series available!

INA members have started publishing the series in their local newspapers The Iowa Newspaper Association launched a statewide project focused on police video rules, regulations and associated policies late last year. Since the launch of the project, over 50 different journalists from across the state have requested copies of these policies from local police departments,…

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