The Iowa Newspaper Foundation Celebrates 40 Years in 2024 

In 1984, the Iowa Newspaper Association’s board decided to create a way for members to make tax-deductible contributions to support enhanced member programming. To accomplish this and protect the association’s not-for-profit status, the Iowa Newspaper Foundation was created. Originally, the foundation concentrated on fund raising to underwrite affordable, high-quality educational opportunities for members and the public. Its mission has been broadened by its board of directors over the years.

The foundation’s work has expanded to include the education and retention of) future employees of the newspaper industry; to raise money to meet key challenges facing the newspaper profession and to fund various industry-related programs.

A few of the examples the Foundation works to meet this mission:

  • The Mores Media Fellowship whose mission is to enhance the leadership, organizational and performance skills of mid- to upper-level newspaper professionals.
  • The annual Writing Workshop which focuses on one-on-one professional writing training
  • The Iowa Newspaper Foundation Internship program, which provides financial assistance to several newspapers to employ paid interns, giving these aspiring young journalists eight weeks of real-world experience in the newspaper industry.
  • The Online Media Campus that provides almost 200 webinars to all members for free. Last year 22 new webinars were added.
  • The INF Better Newspaper Contest that celebrates the work of newspaper members, this year there were nearly 3,000 entries.

Many of these programs are made possible from the generous support of Iowa Newspaper Association members. We are excited to announce new and additional funding to help propel the Foundation forward in 2024.

Newly Named Woodward Writing Workshop

We are pleased to announce the annual writing workshop will now be named the Woodward Writing Workshop thanks to a $20,000 investment from Tom and Bob Woodward and the Woodward Communications Foundation.

This long-standing program is designed to provide participants with multiple contacts with a professional coach to build interviewing, writing and story development skills. Following a one-day kick off, participants have one-on-one conferences with a writing coach over the course of four weeks to hone their skills.

“Story development, interviewing, and writing are key journalism skills that are at the core of every Iowa community newspaper. As a company and a family, we are proud to help the development of these skills across the state and proud to sponsor the Woodward Writing Workshop through INF.”

Bob Woodward

“Supporting the Workshop aligns very well with our company’s Purpose, which is to ‘Provide quality local content and services that support and grow strong communities.’ “

Tom Woodward

Thank you to the Woodward’s for their commitment to building strong Iowa journalists.

Mores Family Gives Additional $14,000 … Nominations open for 2024 Mores Media Fellowship

The Mores Media Fellowship is a three-day program created to enhance the leadership, organizational and performance skills of mid-to-upper level newspaper professionals. The program establishes a network of current and future newspaper leaders who understand and can respond to local, regional, and national issues impacting the newspaper industry.

The fellowship is made possible by a $60,000 grant from Steve and Alan Mores of Harlan Newspapers in honor of their father Leo Mores, longtime publisher of the Harlan News-Advertiser and Harlan Tribune. Steve and Alan recently provided an additional $14,000 to the program to offset the costs of travel and lodging for participants.

“We’re still a believer in good community journalism and keeping your hometowns informed.  Though the printed products might be struggling a bit, digital efforts along with those print forms will hopefully continue.   The Mores Media Fellowship is one way we hope to “push” for continuance and encourage new providers and participants in our trade.”  –Steve Mores

We are grateful for Steve and Alan’s investment in Iowa newspapers.

More information and the 2024 application can be found at

Chris Mudge Next Generation Fund

The Foundation is also excited to have completed the match requirement for the Chris Mudge Next Generation Fund thanks to donations from Iowa Newspaper Association members.

The fund is named after former Iowa Newspaper Association Executive Director Chris Mudge who carried a deep passion for mentoring young journalists into the industry.

“Chris always felt strongly in the need to encourage young people to pursue careers in journalism. When board members started a fund in her name upon her retirement, she asked that the fund be dedicated to help attract younger people to the newspaper field. Chris and I are also contributors to the fund.”

-Bill Monroe

When the Chris Mudge Next Generation Fund reaches completion of $60,000 in 2026, the fund will generate enough money to fully support the high school journalism camp and other potential high school outreach programs.

The Foundation is excited about the opportunities this fund will bring to mentoring students in the coming years. Thank you to Bill and Chris Monroe for their commitment to the industry.

Rhoades Family Donation Match

The Iowa Newspaper Foundation has a once in a lifetime opportunity to celebrate its 40-year anniversary and raise funds thanks to the generosity of the Rhoades family.

For individual donations given in 2024, the Rhoades family will match up to $10,000.

If you have ever thought about contributing to the mission of the Iowa Newspaper Foundation, 2024 is the year to do it. Pledges at every level are being accepted now. We’ll be campaigning throughout the year until we hit our goal.

“We are hoping these funds can go towards training for new reporters for community newspapers.  It is our hope that we can develop some local community writers who have little or no training in journalism but have a passion for their community and their local newspapers.  Developing these local journalists will go a long way towards keeping community newspapers strong for many years to come.”

Mark Rhoades

This opportunity from the Rhoades family is a true gift in support of all newspapers of Iowa. We are deeply grateful.

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