Great Plains (IA KS ND NE MO SD)

Iowa Outlaws Some Undercover Investigations As Other States Mull Bills

Iowa Gov. Terry Branstad (pictured) signed the so-called "Ag Gag" bill into law March 2, 2012, making it a crime to obtain access to an agricultural facility "under false pretenses" — without defining "false pretenses." Does this apply to hidden cameras? Animal rights activists have often resorted to hidden cameras — and shared with news media photos and videos of shocking cruelty to animals.

"Animals: Iowa, First State To Criminalize Undercover Investigation"

"On Friday, Iowa Gov. Terry Branstad signed into law a bill designed to thwart activists who go undercover to report animal abuse. This makes Iowa the first state in the country to pass such a law; Illinois, Indiana, Minnesota, Missouri, Nebraska, New York and Utah are considering them. Undercover investigations, including videos and photographs, are a principal tool used by activists of all stripes to document abuse cases and have led to legislative reforms, prosecutions and even facility closures around the country."

Source: LA Times, 03/06/2012
February 22, 2012 to February 26, 2012

NICAR Conference 2012 in St. Louis, with Two Pre-Conference Workshop Offerings

NICAR's annual conference will be devoted to computer-assisted reporting (CAR). Learn about tools you need to dig deeper into stories and give readers, viewers and your online audience the information they're demanding. The CAR conference offers something for everyone, from beginners to those on the cutting edge of digital reporting. In partnership with IRE, two intensive pre-conference workshops will be offered: "Follow the Money - Companies' Influence on Politics" and "News Camp: From Words to Data and Back."

Day After Story on Weak Enforcement, Iowa Cracks Down on Polluter

"Iowa’s attorney general is suing a corn processing plant, alleging it has released more air pollution than allowed for at least the past 18 months. Filing of the lawsuit came a day after the Center for Public Integrity’s iWatch News highlighted the state environmental agency’s passivity in curbing emissions at the plant in the Mississippi River town of Muscatine."

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Source: iWatch News, 12/05/2011

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