Welcome to the
Iowa Freedom of Information Council


The Iowa FOI Council is a coalition of journalists, librarians, lawyers, educators and other Iowans interested in open government. We welcome your questions, your comments and your support.

Expanded News Media Coverage Rules Amended

The Iowa Supreme Court is instituting the most sweeping changes to its rules for Expanded News Media Coverage since the program was adopted in 1979.


The amended rules are designed to reflect changing communications technologies and newsgathering practices. Beginning May 1, 2014, journalists will be allowed to provide live coverage of Iowa court proceedings using such techniques as texting, Tweeting and blogging, and mobile technologies like smart phones and tablet computers.
In addition, the definition of  “news media” representatives allowed to participate in electronic coverage of the judiciary is broadened to include non-mainstream journalists.


The Supreme Court has sent information about the changes to judges around the state, and the Iowa Freedom of Information Council, the central coordinator of Expanded News Media Coverage, is working with its regional coordinators to educate journalists about the updated rules and procedures.

Text of the amended rules can be found elsewhere on this website.

For further information, contact:
The Iowa Freedom of Information Council
School of Journalism and Mass Communication
Drake University
Des Moines, Iowa 50311
(515) 271-2295

'The People Have the Power': FOI training for citizens material available

"The People Have the Power: Making a Difference in Your Community," an interactive 90-minute program, was held around the state in 2012 and again in 2013 to introduce Iowans to the tools for becoming an engaged citizen. Workshop topics included how to participate in local government meetings and obtain public records, as well as information about resources available through the new Iowa Public Information Board. Workshop materials are available at EmpoweringIowans.com.

15th edition of 'Open Meetings, Open Records Handbook' published

The Iowa FOI Council's popular handbook on Chapters 21 and 22 of the Iowa Code has been updated to incorporate changes made in the laws. The booklets include the text of the new Iowa Public Information Board Act, which creates a state agency to provide information on and resolve issues related to the state "sunshine" laws. The handbook is available for $2 apiece. To order, contact kathleen.richardson@drake.edu or call 515-271-2295. The text is also available online at the link in the righthand column of this page.

Please contact us with comments or questions at:
The Iowa Freedom of Information Council
c/o Kathleen Richardson
515-271-2295
School of Journalism and Mass Communication
Drake University
Des Moines, Iowa 50311