Cofounder Steve Berry Rejoins IowaWatch for Student Projects


Steve Berry, the co-founder of The Iowa Center for Public Affairs Journalism, is returning to assist students and interns with their projects over throughout the end of April, the center recently announced.

The center’s executive director-editor Lyle Muller explained to IJEC how Berry’s experience both as an educator and a journalist helps the students reach their full potential.

“Steve brings a wealth of reporting experience but, also, his time teaching
gives him an idea of what student journalists go through to produce great
work,” Lyle said. “During his teaching career he has helped budding journalists realize something powerful inside of them that they didn’t realize until they saw it printed.”

Berry and Jeff Brazil won the 1993 Pulitzer prize for investigative reporting with their Orlando Sentinel story that exposed how a sheriff department drug squad unlawfully seized millions of dollars from mostly minority motorists.

Steve Berry. Picture from University of Iowa School of Journalism and Mass Communication.

After working as a reporter at the Los Angeles Times for seven years, Berry started teaching at the University of Iowa in 2003. He retired in 2015 and became a professor emeritus.

Berry co-founded the center in 2010 while an associate professor of journalism. His co-founder was Robert Gutsche Jr. who was a University of Iowa Ph.D. student and journalist at the time.

Berry will help with the college media project, which is an annual project where IowaWatch — the short name for the center — works together with students from colleges across Iowa, a high school student project and other stories.

Berry and the students come together in Iowa City, where they discuss projects.

“Steve sits down with student journalists in Iowa City, going through their reporting line by line,” Muller said. “These can be marathon sessions but it will help them become reporters who can complete in-depth stories that can be published at Iowa’s largest newspapers and most-listened-to news radio stations.”

For this year’s college media project, Berry will be working with students from eight Iowa colleges. They will investigate whether the past election season has influenced political rhetoric across campuses.

For more nonprofit investigative centers that work together with universities, take a look at our Investigative Centers page.

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