What we do

The Iowa Capitol Press Association exists to promote and support robust coverage of Iowa state government for the benefit of the public, and to advocate for policies that encourage transparency, access, and for conditions in which press corps members can conduct their work safely and effectively.

Who we are

The Iowa Capitol Press Association's members include journalists employed by the Associated Press, the Des Moines Register, the Dubuque Telegraph Herald, the Gazette, the Iowa Capital Dispatch, Iowa Public Radio, KCCI-TV, Lee Enterprises, Radio Iowa, Sinclair Broadcast Group, WHO-TV and WOI-TV.

Officers

President: Erin Murphy

Vice President: Kathie Obradovich

Secretary: Katarina Sostaric

News

July 30, 2021*

Iowa Capitol Press Association statement regarding AP story

The following is a statement from the Iowa Capitol Press Association officers:

It is discouraging to see the state argue that Iowa’s Open Records Law is not a “clearly defined and well-recognized public policy.” It sends the wrong message to public officials, who in fact do have a clearly defined obligation under Chapter 22 to maintain public records and make them available for public examination.

One of the primary reasons members of the Statehouse press corps formed the Iowa Capitol Press Association last year was our concern about protecting and improving access to state government for the media and the public. We object to the exclusion of one of our members, Laura Belin, from Gov. Kim Reynolds’ recent news conference and will pursue this concern with the governor’s office.

(Link to AP story)

* Statement was posted on this website later, on August 20, 2021

March 10, 2021

Iowa Capitol Press Association statement regarding Andrea Sahouri verdict

The following is a statement from Iowa Capitol Press Association President Erin Murphy:

"The Iowa Capitol Press Association is relieved that a jury of her peers has acquitted Des Moines Register reporter Andrea Sahouri, who was arrested last summer while simply doing her job, covering social justice protests in Des Moines. It remains concerning that Sahouri was arrested, charged and tried for performing the basic duties of a free press. Today's verdict is a victory for Sahouri, the Register, journalists everywhere, and the First Amendment."

Nov. 30, 2020

Statehouse journalists form organization to promote transparency, public access

Members of the Iowa Statehouse press corps are announcing the formation of the Iowa Capitol Press Association.

The purpose of the association is to support robust coverage of Iowa state government for the benefit of the public and to promote policies that encourage transparency and access. The association will also advocate for conditions in which press corps members can conduct their work safely and effectively.

The Iowa Capitol Press Association shares many of the same values with similar legislative media associations in more than a dozen states.

Association members have elected the following officers: president Erin Murphy, Lee Enterprises; vice president Kathie Obradovich, Iowa Capital Dispatch; and secretary Katarina Sostaric, Iowa Public Radio.

“I am beyond humbled and honored that my colleagues, for whom I have deep respect, have put their faith in me to lead this fledgling organization, whose mission and goals I believe in deeply,” Murphy said. “Our members have enjoyed a respectful working relationship with our leaders in state government. We look forward to working with them to foster a climate of transparency and accountability, for the benefit of the people of Iowa.”

The Iowa Capitol Press Association’s members include journalists employed by the Associated Press, the Des Moines Register, the Dubuque Telegraph Herald, the Gazette, the Iowa Capital Dispatch, Iowa Public Radio, KCCI-TV, Lee Enterprises, Radio Iowa, Sinclair Broadcast Group, WHO-TV and WOI-TV.

Membership in the association is open to any journalist who is credentialed to cover the Iowa Legislature.

Read our bylaws

1.1 Mission statement

The Iowa Capitol Press Association exists to promote and support robust coverage of Iowa state government for the benefit of the public, and to advocate for policies that encourage transparency, access, and for conditions in which press corps members can conduct their work safely and effectively.

2.1 Membership

Membership is available to any journalist who is credentialed to cover the Iowa Legislature.

3.1 Executive Committee

The Executive Committee shall consist of three members who are journalists credentialed in the Iowa Legislature.

  • President

  • Vice President

  • Secretary

The Executive Committee shall not include two or more members employed by the same news organization. The ICPA shall endeavor to elect Executive Committee members who each represent a different medium.

3.2 Election of Executive Committee Members

Starting in 2021, ICPA credentialed members will hold an election every two years to fill vacant positions. The executive committee shall set the election in November of odd-numbered years by the Friday before Thanksgiving. Nominations for vacancies are due one week before the election date.

The presiding officer shall distribute all nominations to all credentialed members at least three days prior to the date set for the election. Officers will be elected by secret ballot. The presiding officer shall determine whether the election will be conducted via paper or digital ballots and the presiding officer will distribute the ballots to the credentialed members.

The presiding officer shall appoint a credentialed ICPA member who is not a member of the Executive Committee or a candidate to collect the ballots and announce the results to ICPA members.

3.3 Executive Committee Terms

Officers holding the office of President, Vice President and Secretary will each hold two-year terms that shall expire the day after the election is held.

3.4 The line of succession and peaceful transition of power

In the event of a vacancy on the executive committee, the vice president shall become president, and the secretary shall become vice president. The executive committee shall call an election for secretary to be held as soon as practicable.

The transition of power shall be conducted peacefully.

3.5 Executive Committee Duties

The ICPA president shall be responsible for the following:

  1. Select the date, time and place of ICPA regular meetings.

  2. Select the date, time and place of the ICPA annual meeting.

  3. Provide agendas for regular and annual meetings to ICPA members electronically with as much advance notice as possible.

  4. Serve as the presiding officer of ICPA meetings, guided by parliamentary procedures outlined in Roberts Rules of Order.

    1. Appoint a temporary replacement for the Vice President and/or Secretary if another officer/officers are not present at the annual or regular meetings of the ICPA.

  5. Conduct ICPA elections as outlined in Section 3.2.

  6. Pursue the group’s mission as its primary advocate and consult with and/or notify ICPA membership, when possible, before speaking on behalf of the group.

  7. Maintain the ICPA email account and Twitter account. When posting on social media via the ICPA Twitter account, the president shall use standard social media principles generally followed by nonpartisan journalists. The ICPA email and Twitter accounts shall only be used for ICPA business and to advance the interests of the ICPA.

  8. Appoint a three-member Bylaws Review Committee in October of each odd-numbered year.

The ICPA Vice President shall be responsible for the following:

  1. Assume the president’s duties in the event the president is temporarily or permanently unable to serve.

  2. Serve as the conservator of the ICPA’s historical records.

    1. Maintain digital copies of each elected slate of officers.

    2. Maintain digital copies of ICPA minutes.

  3. Assist other members of the Executive Committee, when designated and appropriate.

The ICPA Secretary shall be responsible for the following:

  1. Record and maintain official minutes of all ICPA meetings.

    1. Distribute minutes electronically to ICPA members within 48 hours of a meeting’s conclusion.

  2. Notify ICPA members electronically of ICPA meetings, including the annual meeting, with as much advance notice as possible in each circumstance.

  3. Maintain the list of ICPA members and relevant contact information for the efficient conduct of ICPA business.

  4. In the temporary or permanent absence of the Vice President, assume the duties of that office.

  5. Assist other members of the Executive Committee, when designated and appropriate.

4.1 Meeting schedule

  1. The full membership of the ICPA shall meet twice each year: once during the legislative session, and once in November before the Friday that precedes Thanksgiving.

  2. The executive committee may also schedule additional meetings of the full membership any time.

  3. Members of the Executive Committee may meet periodically to conduct ICPA business.

    1. The full membership will be notified of Executive Committee meetings and may attend.

    2. The Secretary will provide minutes to the full membership of any Executive Committee meeting.

    3. No Executive Committee meeting shall be held in secret.

  4. At least five members of the ICPA may co-sign a petition directing the Executive Committee to schedule a meeting of the full membership at any time.

5.1 Bylaws

  1. Changes to the bylaws will be approved by a simple majority of credentialed members. The vote shall be conducted in person or remotely.

    1. The Executive Committee shall allow for a voting period of at least 48 hours.

  2. The president in October of odd numbered years will appoint a Bylaws Review Committee to review the bylaws and recommend any changes at the ICPA annual meeting in November.

    1. The Bylaws Review Committee shall consist of three ICPA members, including at least two members who are not part of the ICPA Executive Committee.

  3. At least five members of the ICPA may co-sign a petition proposing amendments to the bylaws at any time. The ICPA shall then hold a meeting at which changes to the bylaws may be adopted by a simple majority of credentialed members.