Letter from The Daily Iowan editors | We’re listening

The Daily Iowan is here to chronicle your stories; to uncover injustice and give a voice to those who are silenced.


Michael Guhin

The Daily Iowan newsroom is seen on Feb. 26, 2019.

George Floyd’s killing at the hands of Minneapolis police officers has sparked historic civil rights demonstrations across the country and calls for swift action long overdue from leaders on every level of government and in the corners of every industry.

The call for change has reached us here in Iowa City, which has been the site of more than two weeks of protests that have caught the attention of Iowa City leaders.

Since day one, The Daily Iowan has been covering every step of the moment — from nightly protests, to city council meetings, to the governor signing a police reform bill that swept with unprecedented speed through the state Legislature.

Like other news media across the country, we’ve been capturing these historic events visually, too. We were there when officers tear gassed hundreds of peaceful protesters on Dubuque Street, and the striking photos and videos of smoke filling the sky caught national media attention. The next day, Mayor Bruce Teague vowed that flash-bangs and tear gas would not be used again.

We’re dedicated to chronicling this movement, to showing the community how thousands of people are filling the streets to fight for justice. Journalism exists to uncover injustices, serve the community, and tell their stories. This is an important one.

At the same time, as journalists, we have a duty to minimize harm, and we don’t take that lightly. We’re constantly having internal conversations, revising our guidelines, and coaching our journalists in the field on the sensitive nature of these protests and this movement.

But we know we can always do better.

We recognize we have sometimes fallen short and marginalized the communities we always strive to represent in our coverage and on our staff. But we’re learning. We’re listening. We’re dedicated to covering the fight against racial injustice properly and accurately.

Which is why we’d like your input; your voice; your stories. The DI, as a 150-year institution, is always evolving. Our journalists are constantly looking for new ways to engage with and tell the stories of the University of Iowa and Iowa City community.

What stories are we missing? Who is a change-driver you think we should highlight? Have an experience you want to share? Question you want answered?

We want to hear from you. Give us your feedback through this Google Form.

  • Josie Fischels and Caleb McCullough, summer editors
  • Sarah Watson, academic year executive editor