The following legislative alert was sent by the National Newspaper Association on July 15, 2020. Community newspapers that received the Paycheck Protection Program loans urgently need to have S. 3612 included in McConnell’s proposal.  Sens. John Cornyn, R-Texas, and Charles Grassley, R-Iowa, are leading the way to get their bill included. Senate Majority Leader Mitch…

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Julie Gammack, guest columnist This column is free to publish in your publication. A woman I’ve known for decades called last week and said, “I need to process something. It’s not easy to talk about.” Now, there’s a conversation starter. She was referring to discomfort she was feeling to the Black Lives Matter movement. She,…

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Randy Evans, executive directorIowa Freedom of Information Council The decision last week to cancel the Iowa State Fair was a reminder of the seriousness of coronavirus and the consequences of many people’s anxiety about returning to activities that normally are an important part of Iowa life. But the State Fair’s decision also illuminated an embarrassing…

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Did you know that the Iowa Public Information Board staff is available to assist you with questions or problems involving open meetings and public records in Iowa?   During the month of May 2020, 58 contacts were made with the Iowa Public Information Board office. Question:  Who is the custodian of public records?  How do…

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Randy Evans, Executive DirectorIowa Freedom of Information Council There’s a quiz today. How would the tragic death of George Floyd have been perceived if the encounter occurred on a deserted side street in the middle of the night, rather than on a busy street in a business area in broad daylight?  How would our understanding…

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Facebook has announced more than 200 news organizations will receive nearly $16 million in grants through the Facebook Journalism Project’s relief fund for local news. Three Iowa newspapers in Carroll, Cedar Rapids and Des Moines in total received over $200,000 in grants. Cedar Rapids Gazette and Iowa Starting Line were announced as recipients during the…

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Classes seeking clientsHas your organization needed to shift its publications or develop new modes of communication? UNI courses focusing on workplace communication are seeking individual and organizational clients who wish to have publications created. Examples include but are not limited to newsletters, brochures, flyers, proposals, report documents, websites and exhibition storyboards. Communication topics can include…

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Randy Evans, Executive DirectorIowa Freedom of Information Council The relationship between government and the governed is a delicate arrangement, even in the best of times. Government wants us to pay our taxes. It wants us to obey its laws and directives. Citizens, in turn, expect certain things from government, things like good schools, parks, law…

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In the first week of state-mandated closures of restaurants and other businesses in Iowa, The News in Kalona launched an advertising campaign to help local businesses let customers know what is open and what is closed. Soon after sending an email announcing the campaign, Publisher Jim Johnson received a call from Ryan Schlabaugh, the Kalona…

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