Celebrating a Free Press and Open Government

The fourth annual celebration of democracy, bringing together Iowa’s leading advocates for open government and the rights of a free press will held Thursday, September 29, 2016 at the Des Moines Marriott Downtown. Dozens of people will attend the various events, shining a light on open meetings and open records issues and opportunities.

Below are details of the 2016 event. 



FOI Roundtable
Topic: Police investigative files: Is there a role for the public?
Sponsored by Register Media, the Iowa Newspaper Association and the Iowa Freedom of Information Council
2:00 p.m. - 4:00 p.m.
Des Moines Register Community Room
Capital Square lower level
400 Locust St., Des Moines

Iowa Freedom of Information Council Annual Business Meeting
4:30 p.m. - 5:30 p.m.
Des Moines Marriott Downtown
700 Grand Ave, Des Moines

Fourty Years, Freedom of Information: The Fight Continues


Des Moines Marriott Downtown
700 Grand Ave., Des Moines, IA 50309
5:30 p.m. - 8:30 p.m.
Reception starting at 5:30 p.m. Dinner at 6 p.m.

$55 per plate

Join the Iowa Center for Public Affairs Journalism as it brings attention to the importance of open government and a news media free of government restriction in a thriving democracy.
• IFOIC presents annual Harrison “Skip” Weber Friend of the First Amendment
• IowaWatch presents Steve Berry Free Press Champion
• IowaWatch presents Randy Brubaker Free Press Champion
• Guest Speaker Corinna Zarek, Deputy U.S. Chief Technology Officer at the White House

Presenting Sponsor: Greenlee School of Journalism and Communication and the Iowa Freedom of Information Council

Registration is required for evening banquet. Please register by Thursday, September 22.

To register click here

Parking is available in the 7th and Grand Garage, the 9th and Locust Garage and the Greater Des Moines Partnership Garage. Valet Parking is also available at the Marriott.

Event Sponsors:
Iowa Freedom of Information Council
Register Media
Greenlee School of Journalism and Communication
Iowa Newspaper Foundation

Other Sponsors:
Iowa Broadcasters Association
Raegre Baker Daniels
SJMC UI School of Journalism and Mass Communication


About Cori Zarek

Cori Zarek has been an advocate for open government and transparency for more than a decade. Currently, she is the Deputy U.S. Chief Technology Officer at the White House where she leads the team's work to build a more digital, open and collaborative government. Zarek also coordinates U.S. involvement with the global Open Government Partnership, a 70-country platform driving greater transparency and accountability around the world. Previously, she was an attorney at the U.S. National Archives, working on open government and FOIA policy.

Before joining the government, Zarek was the Freedom of Information Director at The Reporters Committee for Freedom of the Press where she assisted journalists with legal issues, and she also practiced for a Washington law firm. She received her B.A. from the University of Iowa where she was editor of the student-run newspaper The Daily Iowan. Zarek also received her J.D. from Iowa where she wrote for The Des Moines Register and the Iowa Law Review.

Outside the office, Zarek is the Vice President of the D.C. Open Government Coalition and teaches a media law class at American University.

Fun fact: she grew up in Carter Lake – the only part of Iowa that is west of the Missouri River.

Promote the Event

Help promote this important schedule of events. PSAs are available in various sizes. Click the links below to download.

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View videos from the 2015 FOI Roundtable:

Public records forum on police body cameras