Ben Kieffer

River to River and Java Blend Host

Ben Kieffer joined Iowa Public Radio in 2000 and is host of IPR’s daily noon talk show River to River, which he also helps produce. Since 2001, he has hosted and produced IPR’s weekly, live music program which features artists from around the state and the country called Java Blend.

Prior to joining IPR, Ben lived and worked in Europe for more than a decade. He reported firsthand the fall of the Berlin Wall and covered the Velvet Revolution in Prague. Ben has won numerous awards for his work over the course of more than 20 years in public media.

Ben holds an adjunct faculty position at The University of Iowa School of Journalism and Mass Communication, where he teaches courses on interviewing and radio news. He is a native of Cedar Falls and a graduate of the University of Iowa.

Ben’s favorite public radio program is Wait, Wait, Don’t Tell Me.

Ways to Connect

Wikimedia Commons

Government officials in Iran are sending one of their top food scientists to the World Food Prize Symposium in Des Moines next week. 

C Zellmer / Wikimedia Commons

Chief Flight Attendant Jan Brown remembers the approximately 40 minutes between engine failure and crash-landing with crystal clarity.

Wikimedia Commons

Earlier this week, the U.S. Supreme Court decided not to take up any of the cases before them involving same-sex marriage.

John Pemble

NPR political correspondent Don Gonyea has spent many years in Iowa, covering political races and the Iowa caucuses; but can he reach the status of "honorary Iowan?"

Luc De Leeuw / flickr

On this segment of River to River, media political economist Robert McChesney has a bleak assessment of our new age of internet journalism.

Richard / flickr

What is at the heart of the American dream?

In this episode of IPR Studio One's "Java Blend," host, Ben Kieffer will chat with In Rooms.

Download the podcast to find out more about the Latin America-influenced indie band.

US Department of Labor

United States health officials say they are confident they can prevent the spread of Ebola in the U.S. after the first case was diagnosed in Texas this week.

Mobydoux / Wikimedia Commons

Kelley Page saw his e-cigarette store as the new chapter in his life. So it stung that much more when it was taken away because of his past.

El Photography and Design

A lawsuit against Templeton Rye has received approval to proceed by the state attorney general’s office, but Founder Keith Kerkhoff says the allegations of the lawsuit are untrue. 

Kristen Powers / Official Twitch Trailer

If you inherited a deadly, incurable disease, would you want to know?

This week, Great Britain joined the United States and France in air strikes against ISIS in Iraq. 

Anita Sarkeesian

This month, the video game industry has found itself at the center of a dispute that's led to intense debate under the Twitter hashtag #GamerGate.

U.S. House of Representatives

Democratic Congressman Dave Loebsack says the most recent military campaign ordered by President Obama in Syria requires congressional approval. 

Gage Skidmore / Wikimedia Commons

Republican Congressman Steve King says Jim Mowrer, a Democrat and Iraq war veteran who is running against him to represent Iowa’s Fourth District, owes him an apology.

In this episode of IPR Studio One's "Java Blend," host, Ben Kieffer will chat with Bonne Finken.

Download the podcast to find out more about the powerful vocalist who was born and raised in Iowa.

IowaPolitics.com / Flickr https://creativecommons.org/licenses/by-sa/2.0/

Iowa gained attention for the Supreme Court decision overturning a ban on same sex marriage. But the ruling was no surprise given the court's history.

Lindsey Moon / Iowa Public Radio

Today, there are four recognized strokes in competitive swimming. It wasn't always that way. 

Since 1972, the Iowa caucuses have been the first significant hurdle for presidential hopefuls from both parties.

William R. Goodwin / Wikimedia Commons

Most of us have filled in those tiny rows of bubbles with a No. 2 pencil. But who creates standardized tests? Who tests them? And why do we have to use a No. 2 pencil in the first place?

Lindsey Moon / Iowa Public Radio

In our collective imagination, Iowa is often depicted as nothing but a flatland covered in corn. But is it really?

In this episode of IPR Studio One's "Java Blend," host, Ben Kieffer will chat with The Dandelion Stompers.

Listen to and download the podcast to find out more about the New Orleans-influenced Iowa City group.

Jill Pruetz

Not many animals will use lethal aggression towards those in their own species, but two groups do - humans, and chimpanzees.

Joshua and Lori Kagavi

"The honor of my race, family & self is at stake. Everyone is expecting me to do big things. I will."

Ben Pollard / Wikimedia Commons

Tiffany Allison breathed a sigh of relief when she learned her former attacker was sentenced to 15 years in prison.

Ian Britton / Creative Commons License 3.0

A visiting Professor from Scotland says he's "terrified" about Scotland's vote on independence from the UK September 18th.

Mike Mozart

ACLU attorney Ben Wizner says the history books will be kind to Edward Snowden; he will be remembered well.

Courtesy of Iowa State University Extension

In 2007, Kristi Ruth nearly lost her arm in a farm accident. It’s just once example of the hazards of agricultural work.

Whatsername? / flickr

Iowa ranks as one of the highest binge drinking states in the country.

Jasper / flickr

Jazz legend and vocalist Al Jarreau will headline the Iowa City Soul Festival this weekend with a free performance. 

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