"Free speech matters" reads the writing on three posts at Cornell College in mid-April 2016. This was a response to an initial painting on April 11 that read, “Build a Wall. Build it Tall.” That initial painting was replaced with “Wall or No Wall We Stand Tall. Land of Immigrants." Credit: File photo by Christina Rueth/IowaWatch
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Controversy on the campus of Cornell College in Mount Vernon involving free speech, especially about issues raised in the presidential election, drew the most attention of all the IowaWatch stories written in 2016.

However, it was IowaWatch stories from previous years that gained the most viewership on our website in 2016, led by a top story from the past about whether or not feeding tubes are a good idea for elderly people. That story is still drawing attention from readers seeking information about a life-altering decision for an elderly loved one.

Here are links to the most read IowaWatch stories written in 2016.

Visitors to the Newseum Institute in Washington, D.C., are asked whether or not colleges and universities should limit speech as a way to protect students from hateful comments. The informal result when this photo was taken April 3, 2016, was no. Credit: Lyle Muller/IowaWatch

Free Speech Battles Come To Boil at Cornell College This Spring

By Christina Rueth and Clare McCarthy, May 3, 2016

Search For Civil Speech On College Campuses Collides With First Amendment

By Nicholas Fisher, Clinton Olsasky, Krista Johnson and Lyle Muller, May 2, 2016

Election season fueled free speech battles at several college campuses but notably at Cornell College in spring 2016, as campus administration attempted to find balance between providing a comfortable campus environment and upholding students’ individual rights to expression. Cornell hosted two public forums for students and faculty to talk about tensions on campus.

This happened while IowaWatch was on several Iowa campuses gauging whether or not people try to limit speech there. The IowaWatch project coincided with a national project on the same topic by the Newseum Institute and John S. and James L. Knight Foundation. IowaWatch participated in a one-day conference for the national effort in April and hosted an Iowa City public forum in May on the local topic.

A naloxone nasal spray produced by Adapt Pharma was approved by the FDA in November. Previously only injectable forms had been approved. Credit: Adapt Pharma

‘Slow on the Draw’: Iowa Repeatedly Nixed Expanded Access To Life-Saving Overdose Drug

By Lauren Mills, Jan. 14, 2016

Many Iowans are fighting for better understanding of substance use disorders and for measures that could save the lives of people, including broader access in Iowa to an overdose reversal drug called naloxone or narcan.

Iowans now have access to Naloxone, a prescription medication that can reverse an opioid overdose, thanks to a legislation passing the 2016 General Assembly after this story was published and a standing order issued by Dr. Patricia Quinlisk, the Iowa Department of Public Health medical director.

Markings and signage for a handicapped-accessible parking space and a loading zone outside a Cedar Rapids school on May 12, 2016. Credit: Lauren Mills/IowaWatch

Most Iowa School Districts Don’t Comply With Americans With Disabilities Act

By Hannah Soyer, May 16, 2016

The majority of Iowa school districts reviewed by the Iowa Department of Education do not meet Americans with Disabilities Act standards, including problems with accessible routes to the school, parking accessibility, and a lack of handicap bathroom stalls.

Source: Planned Parenthood of the Heartland Credit: Lauren Mills/IowaWatch

Telemedicine Has Increased Abortion Access In Iowa But Abortion Numbers Are Down

By Brock Borgeson, July 5, 2016

Despite an increase in accessibility to abortion services, the number of abortions has decreased significantly since 2010. Some possible reasons could include an increase in contraception use, reproductive health care education, fewer teen pregnancies, and more.

Mandy Gavin (the fourth person in from the right) went to see a light show with her friends in Hong Kong in summer 2015. They randomly asked someone who passed by to take this photo. Credit: Courtesy of Mandy Gavin

Iowa Students In China Have Same Acclimation Issues Chinese Have In U.S.

By Jiangqi Guo, March 24, 2016

A number of news reports have revealed difficulty Chinese students have in acclimating the United States. However, few realize that some students from Iowa face similar concerns when studying abroad in China, with the biggest problems primarily being language and cultural barriers.

Top read stories at IowaWatch in 2016, overall:

  1. Stomach Tubes to Feed Elderly Often Unnecessary, May Be Harmful; By Gabe Gao, January 2012
  2. Potent ‘Study’ Drugs Still Popular For College Students, Despite The Danger; By Erin Selin, October 2015
  3. Students Battling Depression Reveal Their Personal Struggles To Graduate; Linh Ta, March 2014
  4. False Leads Make For Long Investigation Into Northeast Iowa Cousins’ Murders; By Lyle Muller, July 2015
  5. Graffiti: The Art of Expressive Vandalism; By Danielle Wilde, June 2013

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