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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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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Medical privacy laws can confuse the most savvy journalist and give public officials a reason not to disclose information that should be provided to the public under state open records laws. During the pandemic, a new wave of concerns about the application of the Health Insurance Portability and Accountability Act (HIPAA) are coming from NNA…

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Times Citizen Communication has come up with a creative way to get community businesses involved with supporting their local newspaper. The paper sold four weeks of different double truck coloring pages. The pages reflect messages of hope and bring people together for a timeless activity. If your newspaper has come up with a creative way…

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Randy Evans, Executive DirectorIowa Freedom of Information Council It’s quiz time. What arm of the federal government has the most contact with ordinary Americans, people like you and me? Is it the Internal Revenue Service? Social Security Administration? The Food and Drug Administration? Or the Department of Agriculture? Nope. Not that one. Not that one,…

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Local news is more important than ever in the face of COVID-19. Newz Group Publishing Support Services is pleased to announce that they will be offering no cost E-Edition hosting for three months to any paper in America to support rural and community papers during the COVID-19 pandemic. “Local journalism is the information backbone for…

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The Iowa Newspaper Association is working with its national partners to promote measures to aid local news media during the COVID-19 pandemic. We encourage our members to reach out to Sens. Charles Grassley and Joni Enst to urge support for the measures which include: There is no good reason to allow USPS to falter NNA…

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Russell T. VoughtActing DirectorThe Office of Management and Budget725 17th Street, NWWashington, DC 20503 Dear Mr. Vought, We are writing today concerning the challenges faced by local media and actions the Office of Management and Budget can take that will help ensure these important businesses are able to continue to operate throughout the COVID-19 pandemic.…

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Dear Madam Speaker and Minority Leader McCarthy: We write to ask that any future stimulus package to address the coronavirus pandemic include immediate improvements to existing lending programs to protect local news publishers and broadcasters. Reliable local information and reporting in our communities is more important than ever—newspapers and broadcasters are working “around the clock,…

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