Journalism

Iowa Public Television

Dean Borg has hosted Iowa Public Television's public affairs program Iowa Press since 1972. Next week, he retires as the regular host of the program.

On this edition of River to River, Ben Kieffer asks Borg to reflect on more than four decades of Iowa news and political interviews, including his interview with President Jimmy Carter and the two Bushes who would eventually become presidents, George H.W. Bush and George W. Bush.

Daniel R. Blume / Flickr, Licensed under Creative Commons 2.0

The 1976 film, "All the President's Men," glamorized investigative journalism. The movie won four Academy Awards, was nominated for Best Picture and inspired a generation of investigative journalists. This year another film, "Spotlight," tells the story of an investigative team at The Boston Globe, who uncovered the Catholic Church's pattern of protecting priests accused of child sexual abuse. Will it spark the same inspiration in an industry facing financial struggles, that is growing increasingly fragmented and driven by a need to fill a 24-hour news hole?

Evan Vucci, AP

Republican candidate Donald Trump made a practice of criticizing the media at his campaign rallies, even calling out some journalists by name. That criticism was greeted by booing, jeering and worse from the crowds. NPR political reporter Sarah McCammon was there for all of it. She spoke with Trump supporters throughout the campaign and witnessed the Trump campaign’s relationship with the media.

Courtesy of Joe Palca

During the 25 years he has been with NPR, Joe Palca has covered everything from biomedical research to astronomy.

On this edition of River to River, Ben Kieffer talks with Palca about the process of science and how its findings get communicated to the public. They also discuss his latest series Joe’s Big Idea, which explores the minds and motivations of scientists and inventors.

Daniel R. Blume / http://creativecommons.org/licenses/by-sa/2.0/legalcode

Objectivity, fairness and balance are values that have long guided journalism. But in our rapidly changing media environment, where affirmation is only a click away, do readers, listeners and viewers really want news that adheres to those values? The leaders of three Iowa journalism schools say they do.

Flickr / Ken Lund

Friday morning, the Iowa Supreme Court is expected to release a decision that could dramatically weaken Iowa’s open meeting’s law.

Two years ago the Warren County Board of Supervisors decided to lay off 12 county employees.

The three-member panel did not deliberate in person or through email. Rather they reached their unanimous decision by having the county administrator relay messages among the three board members. 

By communicating this way, the board supervisors hoped to skirt the state’s open meeting’s law.

Flickr / mcfarlandmo

Today marks the beginning of “Sunshine Week", an observation of the public’s right to access information. The Iowa Freedom of Information Council is reminding officials that a higher level of transparency is part of the territory that comes with holding elected office.

Reese Erlich

There are interviews you spend hours sweating over, and then there are situations like the one faced by award-winning foreign correspondent Reese Erlich on a recent trip to Jordan. That's where he interviewed Abu Qatada, once described as Osama Bin Laden's right-hand-man in Europe before he was deported from the UK to Jordan in 2013.

Erlich says he had 20 minutes to prepare. The interview was hastily arranged by another of Al Qaeda's top leaders. Erlich says Qatada wanted to talk about human rights violations by the Assad regime in Syria, and by the U.S.

Sadle Hernandez / Flickr

In 2015, nearly everyone has a camera in their back pocket. Is there still a need to employ photographers? 

David Guttenfelder, an Iowa native who grew up in Waukee and was named Time’s 2013 Instagram photographer of the year for his coverage of everyday life in North Korea, says 'yes.' Good photographers just have to integrate cell phone camera into their professional work.

“I started just carrying my phone as my second camera to be creative,”  Guttenfelder said. 

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.

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.

Paul M. Walsh / Wikimedia Commons

Terry Anderson, a graduate of Iowa State University, was taken captive in 1985 on the streets of Beirut after a tennis match. 

Linh Ta/IowaWatch / IowaWatch.org

Accommodations are available for college students struggling with depression, but university counseling centers are struggling to keep up with the demand. Hear about an IowaWatch.org report on the difficulty these students experience including what is often a harsh stigma associated with being depressed.

Martin Cathrae/Creative Commons

When you ask people what is important to eat, they'll tell you vegetables.  When you quietly watch, they'll mostly eat candy.  It turns out the same is true of news.  The launching board for our conversation is a new study showing that while people consistently rank news coverage of international news, business and politics as being most important to their lives, an analysis of their online behavior tells a different story.  The study sparked this recent article in

Wikimedia Commons

After a 130 year run, Ladies Home Journal is drastically reducing its publication schedule and ending its subscription service, another in a long line of women’s magazines to try and reinvent itself or discontinue publication in the digital age.

Linh Ta/IowaWatch / IowaWatch.org

Accommodations are available for college students struggling with depression, but university counseling centers are struggling to keep up with the demand. Hear about an IowaWatch.org report on the difficulty these students experience including what is often a harsh stigma associated with being depressed.  Also in this program, media political economist Robert McChesney has a bleak assessment of our new age of internet journalism. “Rupert Murdoch, the greatest media imperialist of our era, the guy who’s had patience of decades to take over China.

National Institute for Occupational Safety and Health

For 25 years CareerCast.com has ranked the best and worst jobs. Their rating is based on physical demands, work environment, income, stress, and hiring outlook. 

Host Ben Kieffer revisits conversations with a biomedical engineer and an audiologist, two jobs that made the best list.  He also speaks to an oil rig worker and a newspaper reporter, two jobs on the worst list.

David Plowden

For more than 50 years photographer David Plowden has been capturing images of American and the land he loves most is here in the Midwest. Host Charity Nebbe talks with Plowden about his latest book "Heartland: The Plains and the Prairie." 

Also, Dennis Chamberlin of Iowa State University's Greenlee School of Journalism and Communication discusses how the field of photojournalism is changing.  

Phil Roeder / Flickr

Does drinking coffee prevent dementia? Will diet soda give you cancer?  Science and health reporting is often misleading and confusing.

Durrie Bouscaren / Iowa Public Radio

Today on River to River, Ben Kieffer talks with reporters across the state to discuss what has been happening locally.  The pipe bomb detonation in Cedar Falls, tension at the Statehouse...and an exploration of a recent Des Moines Register investigation on Iowa’s EMT services.

We also find out how the storms across Iowa will affect flood levels, by meeting with a Quad Cities National Weather Service representative and the Director of the Iowa Flood Center.

Above the Din of War

Apr 4, 2013
Peter Eichstaedt

"River to River" sits down with journalist Peter Eichstaedt to talk about his new book "Above the Din of War" which examines the results of the war in Afghanistan through the eyes of the Afghan people.

Flickr / The U.S. Army

More than 60,000 US troops are still in Afghanistan. What hurdles does the US face as that international military operation winds down? Today on "River to River" National Security Analyst Brian Katulis from the Center for American Progress will talk about US withdraw from Afghanistan.  He'll also comment on the status of Iraq, ten years after the start of the Iraq War.

David Shankboone / Wikimedia Commons

The idea was to transform Afghanistan from a desert to a bread basket when a U.S. settlement was established in Helmand Province in the 1960’s. But, Little America has become a modern example of our misunderstanding of a country where 80 thousand U.S. troops are trying to win hearts and minds . Host Ben Kieffer talks with Rajiv Chandrasekaran, author of “Little America: The War Within the War for Afghanistan.”

We all realize the media landscape is changing very quickly. But where are we headed? And have you ever considered putting yourself on a media diet?  We’d originally scheduled Governor Branstad to join us live today. However, late this morning, the Governor’s office let us know that he now has a scheduling conflict. We’ll try to reschedule that conversation for a future date.

Instead today, we’ll listen back to conversation about changes in the media with Executive Director of the Iowa Broadcast News Association Jeff Stein.

desmoinesbroadcasting.com

"The Greatest Generation" includes the veterans who fought World War II as well as the reporters who covered their harrowing stories. One of them was WHO Radio's Herb Plambeck, who left behind a treasure of historic recordings. The original reports, broadcast across Iowa, are held by the Archives of Iowa Broadcasting at Wartburg College in Waverly. Sounds from March-May, 1945, with the U.S. Army in Europe.