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

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Several U.S. military social media accounts were hacked this week by those claiming allegiance to the so-called Islamic State.

Parshotam Lal Tandon / Flickr

President Obama announced a new plan to support community-run broadband in Cedar Falls today.

NASA / NASA's Marshall Space Flight Center

The Kepler mission may have lost two of its wheels, but data being mined from the mission has unearthed eight potentially habitable planets.

Image provided by artist.

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

Listen to the podcast to find out more about the artist.

Gongashan / Flickr

Twelve people, including four cartoonists at Charlie Hebdo, a French satirical magazine, were shot dead Wednesday in an apparent militant Islamist attack.

Jon Fravel / www.flickr.com/photos/jfravel

Today on River to River, we explore the controversy surrounding the firing of the University of Iowa’s former field hockey coach, Tracey Griesbaum, as well as take a broader look at what the playing field is like for female coaches in both men’s and women’s teams in the U.S.

Griesbaum led the UI field hockey team through 169 wins in 14 seasons. She posted 12 winning seasons and made six appearances in the NCAA tournament.

Gage Skidmore

Though Ohio Republican John Boehner won a third term as Speaker of the House, he does not have a friend in Iowa Congressman Rod Blum of Dubuque.

Joyce Russell / Iowa Public Radio

A Michigan State Geoscientist is warning about a possible oil spill from a proposed crude oil pipeline that could bisect 18 Iowa counties.

Image provided by artist.

In this encore episode of IPR Studio One's "Java Blend" host Ben Kieffer talks with Brother Trucker.

Download the podcast to find out more about the band and their Iowa-inspired music.

cobalt123 / flickr

Epilepsy affects millions; and yet, the cause of the neurological disorder is in most cases is unknown.

Also unknown are the details of the leading cause of death from epilepsy, what medical professionals call "sudden unexpected death from epilepsy" or SUDEP. Recently, University of Iowa neurologists have been chosen to join only 8 other groups around the world to study SUDEP.

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

Listen to the podcast to find out more about the the Coralville native and his music.

John Pemble / Iowa Public Radio

In 2014, Gov. Terry Branstad won an unprecedented sixth term as Governor of Iowa, and Iowans elected the state’s first woman to Congress when Republican Joni Ernst won her seat in the U.S. Senate. 

Carl Wycoff / Creative Commons License

Iowa lost many notable citizens and natives in 2014. As we wrap up the year, we remember a few as a tribute to all.

John Pemble / Iowa Public Radio

Data centers, legislative scuffles, and national park scandals: this year was big for Iowa news.

Ed Yourdon / Flickr

Most people consider themselves either a night person or a morning person. What if you're sleepy all day long?

In this episode of IPR Studio One's "Java Blend," host Ben Kieffer will chat with Bob Dorr & The Blue Band.

Mauro Heck

This week, Havana erupted in celebration with the announcement of a new era of relations between Cuba and the United States. On this news buzz edition of River to River, host Ben Kieffer sits down with Iowan Mauro Heck, who has just returned from Cuba.

Heck says that while Cuba is beautiful and the people are inviting, the country is "organized chaos."

In 2012, the Vatican accused Catholic nuns in the US of straying from church doctrine, but in a report released this week, the church now says it welcomes the efforts of the sisters.

Rich Herrmann

It’s deer hunting season. On this edition of River to River, hunting concerns in Iowa, including the problem of poaching.

The World Affairs Council of Philadelphia / Flickr

The invisible primary has ramped up with Jeb Bush's declaration that he is "exploring" a presidential run.

Bob Mical

The controversy over the retracted Rolling Stone story about an alleged gang rape of a student identified only as "Jackie" at a fraternity house on the University of Virginia campus has sparked many debates. On this segment of River to River - the lessons learned in journalism, ethics, and the way new media impacts how these stories are told and discussed.

Truthout.org / flickr

The U.S. Senate Intelligence Committee report on torture contains some very grisly findings, detailing CIA interrogation techniques, like mock execution and sleep deprivation.

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

Listen to the podcast to find out more about The Candymakers' latest album, Ridiculicious.

The refrain can be heard more than 20 times. "My hands are behind my head."

That Hartford Guy / Flickr

Nixon resigned the office of president 40 years ago this month. But the question remains: What were the lessons of Watergate? And has our country learned them?

John D. (Jay) Rockefeller IV

During his administration, George W. Bush said the detention and interrogation of terrorism suspects was humane and legal.

Eastern Iowa Coalition of Reason

Our country is very much identified as "one nation under God," however, the number of non-religious Americans has risen dramatically.

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

Listen to the podcast to find out more about Switchback's latest album, Kanoka.

For over two decades, the musical partnership of Brian FitzGerald and Martin McCormack, known as Switchback, has been entertaining audiences around the world with their unique American Roots ~ Celtic Soul blend of music. 

Oskar Annermarken / Flickr

Diabetes was first named in ancient Greek civilization, but there's still much we don't know about the condition.

VIEVU

President Obama made the announcement this week that, in the aftermath of Ferguson and other cases, the White House would call for $75 million over three years to make 50,000 body cameras available to police departments across the country.

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