President’s report: The Foundation successfully pivots

Mark Spensley
2020 Iowa newspaper foundation PRESIDENT
Monticello Express

The Iowa Newspaper Foundation was uniquely positioned to navigate the online world of 2020 due to the work done by INF board members, committees, and staff in previous years. When other organizations were scrambling to move business online, the INF had already provided hundreds of online training programs and was well-versed in the ever popular, Zoom.

Over the past year, we have continued to impact newspapers across Iowa and the nation through high-quality, accessible programming. Some highlights from the Foundation’s 2020 year include:

  • 25 new Online Media Campus webinars that reached at least 2,300 views. This does not include the 145 archived webinars also available for download through Online Media Campus!
  • The INF Annual Writing Workshop (formerly Mauck Stoufer) transitioned online with a half-day opening educational session followed by three weeks of top-notch mentor opportunities. Registrations maxed out and feedback from participants on the experience was overwhelmingly positive.
  • INF’s new summer camp partnership program Media Now, provided intense online training for more than 80 Iowa high school journalism students over the course of three-days. 
  • The Iowa Newspaper Association, the Minnesota Newspaper Association and the Wisconsin Newspaper Association joined forces to plan two days of top-notch training for the Tri-State Virtual Convention. Register your team today to take advantage of this great opportunity.
  • The INF Better Newspaper Contest brought in nearly 3,000 entries. The contests are a critical piece to INF’s fundraising efforts. Awards will be announced online February 11, 2021. Please consider gathering your team for your very own watch party!

None of this would be possible without the support of our member newspapers and individual donors. Newspapers who participate in our Pages for the 21st Century or Kitty fundraisers along with individual donations underwrite nearly $140,000 of our costs each year. We are grateful for your continuing support.