This article is free to use and publish in your publication.  Randy Evans, executive director Iowa Freedom of Information Council When the Iowa Legislature wrote the state’s public records law 50 years ago, lawmakers wanted to guarantee that anyone could obtain copies of state and local government records that are not designated by statute to…

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Al CrossPresident, The Society of Professional Journalists Just as some people are tiring of taking precautions against the novel coronavirus, helping it spread, I’m sure some newsrooms are tiring of covering it. And that helps it spread, too, by making it seem less of a threat, and discouraging precautions. And I fear that some newsrooms…

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Few of us get into journalism to win awards. Many more of us seek to learn every day, introduce and highlight interesting people and the work done in our towns or better the places we live through connecting people economically. So why participate in the INF Better Newspaper Contest? The awards program helps us do…

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As journalists we don’t often take time to savor our work. There’s always another story to write, another deadline to hit, another product to get out the door. Preparing entries for the INA contest each fall provides an opportunity to take a moment to look over the body of work we have done in a…

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We’re getting down to the wire. The deadline to submit entries for the Better Newspaper Contests is Friday, October 16. All entries must be submitted and uploaded to the betternewspapercontest.com website by 4:30 p.m.; hard-copy examples must be postmarked on or before October 16. In past years, many entries were submitted in the 1-2 hours…

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What a year! Wait — it’s only September. To say the least, 2020 has been a challenge for newspapers. We crossed boundaries we didn’t even know existed. We discovered how to do business without a handshake. Has everything been a bed of roses? Absolutely not. Truthfully, we are still getting poked by thorns each day. …

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The Better Newspaper Contests are judged by members of other state press associations. Judging is a reciprocal arrangement; each year INA “trades” with another state press association. For the 2020 contests, judges will be members of the Virginia Press Association; in turn, INA members judged VPA’s contest entries. Because those judging INA members’ contest entries…

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Each year, starting on the Monday following the contest entry deadline, INA staff members begin the process of checking all entries to confirm they are prepared correctly. Newspapers are contacted to resolve any questions prior to the entries being judged, to ensure that all entries are judged fairly and properly.  INA newspapers submitted 3,335 entries…

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