The first radio programs in an IowaWatch series on Pulitzer Prize-winning Iowa journalism focus on a unique way of handling news reports of a difficult topic in 1990 – rape.

The programs, aired as part of the statewide IowaWatch Connection radio program, were on 21 radio stations during the weekends of March 22-24 and April 1-3. has posted podcasts of the programs, which feature former Des Moines Register reporter Jane Schorer Meisner’s 1990 newspaper series on the stigma attached to women who are raped. The series, which told the story of an Iowa woman who was raped but willing to talk about it and be named, won The Register the 1991 Pulitzer Prize for Public Service.

Meisner talks in the programs about her reporting, its impact on how people view rape as a crime and how journalists report it.

The radio programs are part of the Pulitzer Prizes Centennial Campfires Initiative, a joint venture of the Pulitzer Prizes Board and the Federation of State Humanities Council and Humanities Iowa, a state affiliate of the National Endowment for the Humanities in celebration of the 2016 centennial of the Prizes.

The Pulitzer initiative in Iowa, part of a national observance of the Pulitzer’s centennial anniversary, exists to illuminate the impact Iowa journalists have on Iowa’s history.

The Iowa Center for Public Affairs Journalism-IowaWatch was awarded a $4,500 Humanities Iowa contract to support reporting IowaWatch did for the Pulitzer project. IowaWatch selected the topics for the IowaWatch Connection programs and how to report them. Other Iowa media outlets in the project are Iowa Public Television and Iowa Public Radio. More programs are planned.

The IowaWatch Connection produces a weekly 23-minute report that airs each weekend on the 21 radio stations in the IowaWatch network. The radio programs are part of an IowaWatch effort to engage audiences in important news topics. Programs are posted at on Mondays as podcasts that can be downloaded. The IowaWatch Connection receives underwriting support from AARP Iowa.

The Iowa Center for Public Affairs Journalism-IowaWatch is a 501(c)3 non-profit news organization dedicated to producing independent, non-partisan, explanatory and investigative reports on matters of public interest and training young journalists in Iowa.

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