The Iowa Center for Public Affairs Journalism has been accepted into the Investigative News Network, a national consortium of non-profit investigative news centers.

The Center was among seven other non-profit journalism organizations to have its membership application approved earlier this week by the INN membership committee, bringing the total membership to 33.

“The [Iowa Center’s] application sailed through, due to the strengths of the their plans, staff and board,” said Andy Hall, a member of the INN membership committee, executive director of the Wisconsin Center for Investigative Journalism, and an Iowa Center board member.

According to its Web site, the INN plans to aid nonprofit start-ups in producing investigative and public service stories, encouraging editorial collaboration, and developing business models that will help sustain INN member organizations.

“It gives us a chance to get involved in national collaborative journalistic efforts with other non-profit investigative journalism organizations,” said Stephen J. Berry, interim executive director-editor of the Center.

Planning for the Center began in October 2009. In February 2010, the state of Iowa certified the Center as a non-profit corporation and its Articles of Incorporation were approved. The Center is currently in the process of establishing itself as a 501(3)c tax-exempt charity – its application is now pending approval from the IRS.

During this time, the Center is being sponsored by the Wisconsin Center for Investigative Journalism. The sponsorship allows the Iowa Center to receive tax deductable donations as well as apply for most major grants.

For more information on the Iowa Center’s fund-raising efforts, click here.

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