States Newsroom, the nation’s leading network of state-based nonprofit news outlets, today launched Iowa Capital Dispatch, the organization’s 14th newsroom and fourth in the Midwest. Iowa Capital Dispatch will be led by veteran Iowa journalist Kathie Obradovich.
Waverly Newspapers will periodically publish Iowa Capital Dispatch reports when they pertain to the Bremer and Butler county areas.
Community journalism is essential to democracy. Iowa Capital Dispatch will provide top-quality journalism focused on keeping government accountable and ensuring all Iowans have a voice in the issues that affect them most: education, health care, agriculture and the environment, jobs and the economy, justice and public safety. The news at IowaCapitalDispatch.com is free to readers and other community journalism outlets, with no subscription fees or advertising.
“Faced with declining revenue and an uncertain business environment, I’ve seen the Statehouse press corps in Des Moines shrink year after year — and that’s hurting Iowans,” Obradovich said. “The Iowa Capital Dispatch will fill the void in state coverage with relentless reporting and insightful commentary to connect people to the state leaders and government policies that affect their daily lives.”
Obradovich is a leading voice on Iowa politics. She comes to States Newsroom following 16 years at the Des Moines Register, most recently as the opinion editor. Obradovich joined the Des Moines Register in 2003 as politics editor and directed nationally award-winning coverage of the 2004 and 2008 Iowa caucuses.
She leads a team of experienced Iowa reporters. Pulitzer finalist Clark Kauffman has won state and national awards for investigative reporting. Perry Beeman is a nationally recognized environmental and business writer, and Linh Ta was the Iowa Newspaper Association’s Young Iowa Journalist of the Year for 2019.
According to a recent Pew Research Center study, newsroom employment in the U.S. fell 25% between 2008 and 2018, with a 47% decline at newspapers. As a result, important state issues are under-covered, with real consequences for real people. States Newsroom is bucking that trend: in the last year, States Newsroom has grown from 9 to 14 outlets, added a Washington, DC, bureau and has grown to more than 50 editors, reporters and support staff.
“We are reimagining journalism at the state level to ensure that no matter who you are or where you live, you have access to high-quality, non-partisan reporting on the crucial issues of our time,” said Chris Fitzsimon, Director and Publisher of States Newsroom. “By bringing on top-tier talent like Kathie and providing the resources needed to succeed, we’ve been able to establish States Newsroom as an innovative leader in statehouse reporting across the country.”
Previously Fitzsimon founded and led NC Policy Watch, North Carolina’s leading online news and commentary outlet. In 2017, Fitzsimon left NC Policy Watch to launch what would become States Newsroom to replicate the successes of North Carolina in states around the country.
States Newsroom is a 501©(3) nonprofit that is funded exclusively by the generous contributions of readers and philanthropists. States Newsroom is committed to supporting fact-based, non-partisan news to the public at no cost and ad-free.