Geoffrey Riley

News Director | Jefferson Exchange Host

Geoffrey Riley began practicing journalism in the State of Jefferson nearly three decades ago, as a reporter and anchor for a Medford TV station. It was about the same time that he began listening to Jefferson Public Radio, and thought he might one day work there. He was right.

Geoff came to JPR as a backup host on The Jefferson Exchange in late 2000, and he assumed the full-time host job at the beginning of 2010. The two hours of the Exchange allow him to join our listeners in exploring issues both large and small, local and global. In addition to hosting The Exchange, Geoff oversees JPR’s news department as its News Director.

Geoff is a New York native, with stints in broadcast news in Missouri, Alabama, and Wisconsin before his arrival in Oregon. He is a graduate of the University of Missouri School of Journalism.


Maybe they don't serve breakfast in bed (yet) as in the science fiction movies, but robots DO exist in our world. 

Witness driverless cars, or the machines that replaced workers building those same cars on assembly lines. 

Can we make them smarter, and should we?  That's an ongoing debate, one portrayed in John Markoff's book Machines of Loving Grace.

The book focuses on the opposing approaches of developing artificial intelligence (AI) versus intelligence augmentation (IA). 

Vuong Ta/Wikimedia

Setting up and keeping a non-profit going can be a tricky business, pun intended. 

It helps when non-profit managers compare notes on effective approaches, as they will soon in Fortuna. 

That's the meeting of the Northern California Association of Nonprofits

The refugees showing up in Europe are desperate, AND they're an ocean away. 

But should the United States take a bigger role in helping them find safety?  That's one of the topics in this week's VENTSday. 

The other: the proper use--and value as public records--of police body cameras. 

You've got opinions on events in the news, and our VENTSday segment is designed to let the world hear them.

We plop a pair of topics on the table--frequently unrelated--and let YOU deliver your passionate (and polite) views on them.

Milkweed Editions

The effects of humans on the Earth are so profound, scientists have taken to calling this era on the planet the "Anthropocene." 

And while it may be easy for us anthros to wonder how to slow or stop climate change, hand-wringing is not universal. 

People around the world are making surprising efforts to reverse the trend, efforts detailed in Gaia Vince's book Adventures In The Anthropocene

From artificial glaciers to painted mountains to smaller-scale efforts, she found a lot going on.

It's hard to believe it's been five years since the Affordable Care Act--"Obamacare"--became law. 

What's less hard to believe is that many people still seek better health care laws, to further protect people from medical and economic catastrophe. 

The one-man play "Mercy Killers" debuted shortly before the law passed; it details the all-too-frequent circumstances of a man attempting to care for a sick wife. 

The play comes to Springfield on September 20th and Eugene on September 25th. 

Wikimedia Commons

Parkinson's Disease is one of those afflictions we hear a lot about, especially as the population ages in America. 

And as with many diseases, the search for better treatments and a cure continues. 

Parkinson's Resources for Oregon helps patients and families with an array of services, with a major fundraiser coming up this weekend in Medford. 

Penguin Books

The response to "I'd like to skydive" is often this: "why would you jump out of a perfectly good plane?"  Planes are optional for the current generation of aerial adventurers: BASE jumpers and wingsuit flyers and their ilk.

Their exploits are daring in the extreme, and do sometimes meet with tragedy. 

Freelance journalist Matt Higgins gets inside the pursuit in his book Bird Dream: Adventures at the Extremes of Human Flight, now in paperback.


The way some people tell the story, government is always getting in the way of business. 

But in Oregon, several state agencies are focused on the needs of businesses large and small. 

And a relatively recent addition to the list is the office of the Small Business Advocate in the Secretary of State's office.  It is designed specifically to help clear out regulatory and paperwork encumbrances with other state agencies.

Ruth Miles is the current occupant of that position. 


It probably started a couple of weeks ago... neighbors giving you piles of zucchini, sharing the bounty of their summer gardens. 

We have good growing conditions and good growers here, but can you use all the zucchini/apples/corn before they begin to rot in your kitchen? 

The answer is an emphatic YES, at least in the hands of De Davis-Guy. 

She is both Master Gardener and Master Food Preserver through Oregon State University's Extension Service


There are several songs about keeping your feelings inside of you, not letting them show.  The trouble is, that approach might lead people to think a bit less of you. 

That's the rough estimation of the findings of Allison Tackman and colleague Sanjay Srivastava at the University of Oregon

Suppressing emotions can lead to people judging the suppressors harshly, and interfere with the forming of relationships.

Avery Books

Even people who have never had surgery have an idea (from TV shows) how it's done: clean gowns, face masks, sterile tools.  NONE of those things were part of surgery in the early 19th century. 

One American doctor led the way: Thomas Dent Mütter. 

His surgical breakthroughs--including little details like anesthesia--are catalogued in the book Dr. Mütter’s Marvels: A True Tale of Intrigue and Innovation at the Dawn of Modern Medicine, now in paperback. 

Stouts Creek Fire Facebook Page

How hot a wildfire burns can determine which bird species show up when the fire is over. 

That's the basic finding of a ten-year study that focused on fire effects on bird populations after the Quartz Fire of 2001 on the Oregon side. 

The Klamath Bird Observatory's science director, Jaime Stephens, is the lead author of the study. 

Grants Pass Schools

If we are truly determined to reduce violence and sexual assault, it makes sense to work with people at the age when aggressive and violent tendencies begin to emerge: when they are young. 

The Women's Crisis Support Team in Josephine County brings its prevention classes to Grants Pass High School for another school year, with a great deal of previous student interest documented. 

We talk about the components of the program, and the effects it is showing. 

Penguin Books

The sport of rowing gained a reputation over the years--largely deserved--as the snooty sport of wealthy people. 

But a scrubby crew of rowers from the United States held their own with the world's best in the 1936 Olympics, a tale told by Daniel J. Brown in The Boys In The Boat

The sons of loggers and farmers and shipyard workers bested the best in the eight-oar events, and transformed their sport in the process. 

Pink Sherbet Photography

It's not just how we produce energy that is evolving. 

Our thinking about how we use it and channel it, share it and sell it is also changing with time. 

Which is no surprise to either the Redwood Coast Energy Authority or the Schatz Energy Research Center at Humboldt State University. 

Both are in the vanguard of efforts to transform our thinking and use of energy. 

Redwood will be represented at an environmental law conference coming to Eureka Friday. 

We probably all have a rough idea of what a community organizer does. 

David Walls can smooth out that idea with stories of his own work. 

He not only works as a community organizer, and has for years, but he teaches people to do what he does. 

Walls spends much of his time at the North Bay Organizing Project these days, but he visits the North Coast and Ashland this week. 


Crystal Geyser Water Company is moving ahead with plans to open a water bottling plant in Mount Shasta, but it faces a court challenge first. 

The group W.A.T.E.R., We Advocate Thorough Environmental Review, just filed suit against the company and Siskiyou County, seeking more environmental studies. 

The company says it is disappointed in the suit, but generally does not comment on pending litigation. 

Metropolitan Books

If you've ever wondered how many American military bases exist around the world, and why, David Vine has some answers for you. 

He calls his book Base Nation: How U.S. Military Bases Abroad Harm America and the World an exposé of the vast network of American bases. 

His thesis: that the bases do more harm than good, annoying many societies around the world and providing launching points for military adventures far from home. 


It's a lot easier to say the acronym "STEMI" than to pronounce what it stands for: ST-Elevation Myocardial Infarction.

It's the most severe kind of heart attack, the kind of heart attack Ashland resident Finn Honore experienced. 

He's alive to talk about it because he received treatment at Asante Rogue Regional Medical Center in Medford. 

ARRMC just won an award from the American Heart Association for its handling of heart patients. 

Labor Day is just behind us; let's hear YOUR thoughts on the state of labor in America.

That's one of our our VENTSday topics this week... our other: your thoughts on solitary confinement and its use in our prisons.

You've got opinions on events in the news, and our VENTSday segment is designed to let the world hear them.

We plop a pair of topics on the table--frequently unrelated--and let YOU deliver your passionate (and polite) views on them.