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.


What's your definition of compassion?  And can you even put it into words? 

David Breaux has been asking people to do just that for YEARS now.  He stands on a street corner in Davis, asking people to write their thoughts on compassion in a notebook he holds. 

By now, he's filled several, because the best of them are contained in a book he self-published. 

He and book are on tour, and David Breaux visits Ashland on that tour. 

Ryan Hagerty/Public Domain

Hunters are getting fewer and farther between, according to reports from Oregon in the last few years. 

But there are still hunters out there who don't want to follow the rules.  Poaching and other crimes still provide plenty of work for the Oregon State Police Fish & Wildlife Division

And they keep one Linn County Deputy D.A. so busy, he won an award as the Oregon Wildlife Prosecutor of the Year. 

Gordon Friedman/Wikimedia/UCC/JPArt

Running a community college figures to be a complicated job. 

But it's just that much more complicated at Umpqua Community College in Roseburg, still recovering from a mass shooting last year.  Debra Thatcher was not on campus at the time; now she's the president of UCC.

One benefit of writing historical fiction: you already know what happens to the major characters, even if they're in the background of the book. 

So Candace Robb knows which pretender dethroned which king, but she can create and flesh out characters off to the side.  And people have to read her books to find out what happens to them. 

Her latest novel is The Service of the Dead, set in England at the turn of the 15th century. 

Wikimedia/Public Domain

You can say this about nuclear power plants: no carbon emissions. 

But is that enough to make them a viable option in a world attempting to cut emissions sharply?  SOCAN, Southern Oregon Climate Action Now, will at least listen to the arguments in favor of nuclear power plants, at its next regular meeting (Tuesday, September 27). 

Retired physicist Dr. Charles Sinclair, who now lives in Medford, will lay out the workings of nuclear plants. 

Fish need water, and the Klamath River does not have a lot of it, especially in drought years. 

So the Hoopa Valley Tribe filed suit against the federal government over the summer, to force the feds to release more water into the river.  The tribe says the government violates the Endangered Species Act in its current management of river flows. 

Supporters and opponents of the suit break along the usual lines.  The Klamath Water Users Association says the suit unfairly targets farmers. 

The Karuk Tribe stands in favor of moves to provide better habitat for fish. 


Most of Oregon's people live in the Willamette Valley.  So that's where many of the state's elected leaders come from. 

But Oregon has many people living far from the urban areas, with their own concerns about state government.  The Oregon gubernatorial candidates--Kate Brown and Bud Pierce--agreed to hold their first debate in Bend, focused on the issues of Rural Oregon. 

JPR is one of the partners in this first debate (Saturday, September 24th), with Emily Cureton representing JPR News on the panel.

It's a natural fit for the Ashland Culture of Peace Commission to bring in singer Cecilia St. King

She is billed as an "inner peace troubadour," providing songs of peace and hope to audiences in many places. 

The Culture of Peace Commission brought Cecilia to town to take part in the "11 Days for Peace" events beginning September 11th.  She has her own story to tell about living in New York on 9/11/01. 

Audio Pending...

Fall marks the end of the growing season, the time to reap what we sow.

But hang on, there's some sowing to be done as well.  Spring is not the only season for planting, and there are a few things we can be putting in the ground now for next year. 

Christie Mackison of Shooting Star Nursery in the Rogue Valley is well-versed in planting, no matter when it takes place. 

The first of three presidential debates marks the beginning of the end of the election season on Monday, September 26. 

Whatever storyline emerges from this and subsequent debates, there's a long backstory for each of the two major party candidates.  Both are highly successful, both are highly unpopular. 

NPR News presents a special looking at both candidates in depth: "The Making of Clinton and Trump: Character in the 2016 Election." 

The Siskiyou/Moro Campaign/JPArt

There wasn't even supposed to be a race for Oregon Senate District 3 this year. 

But the sudden death of Sen. Alan Bates required a special election to fill the final two years of his term, so district voters will pick a new senator in November. 

The major parties moved quickly to choose candidates.  Alan DeBoer and Tonia Moro will appear on the ballot.  Moro is an attorney and board member at the Rogue Valley Transportation District; DeBoer is a car dealer and former Ashland mayor. 

Copyright Jack Wiens 2016

There's no getting around grief.  If someone we love dies, we're going to feel it somehow, sooner or later. 

Ashlander Jack Wiens wanted to provide an easy-to-read guide for people experiencing grief.  So he wrote and drew Tending Our Grief

It marries Wiens' expertise both as a psychotherapist and as an accomplished artist in a slender volume. 

Wikimedia/Public Domain

We've been tasked with interviewing John McWhorter.  It's not that big an ask, and he literally will not be here in person. 

Do those first two sentences remind you of how CONSTANTLY our language changes?  And that we're not always happy about the changes? 

That's what John McWhorter writes about, in his book Words on the Move: Why English Won't--and Can't--Sit Still (Like, Literally)

He points out the ways in which English is already different from what previous generations spoke. 

Jon Sullivan/Wikimedia/Public Domain

Some people have a reason to truly fear bees, because they're allergic to bee stings.  But everyone on the planet owes a debt to bees, because of the critical role they play in putting food on our tables. 

They pollinate the crops that provide our food. 

Dr. Gabriela Chavarria can probably recite bee benefits in her sleep; she is renowned as an expert on bees and other pollinators. 

And she works at the National Forensics Laboratory run by the federal Fish and Wildlife Service in Ashland. 


Another day, another dollar; another studio, another guitar.  Guitars are common in our culture, and the usual accompaniment of our musical studio guests. 

But we get a SITAR once in a blue moon, and this is one of those times.  Deobrat Mishra from India can trace sitar players back 11 generations in his family. 

And he shares his skills as the director the Benares Academy of Indian Classical Music. 

Wikimedia Commons

Caitlin Shetterly certainly knew that GMO crops existed.  But she had not intended to write about them. 

Until her health, and her son's, began to suffer.  She says the health issues trace back to the consumption of GMO corn, which is nearly ubiquitous in the American food supply and extends to non-food products, too. 

Shetterly writes of her experience and her broader findings in her just-released book Modified


The abuses in the illicit marijuana industry are well-documented: abuse of water rights, environmental abuse of land and water, and more. 

The "more" includes evidence of sexual abuse inside the marijuana trade in the Emerald Triangle of California's North Coast. 

Investigative reporter Shoshana Walter talked to many women forced into sexual acts while they worked as pot trimmers. 

The abuse extends to sex trafficking. 

The Keenest Observers are often the people who stand outside a group or situation.  So that's the name we've given to our occasional explorations of conditions and experiences of minority communities within our region. 

Robert Goodwin returns to host The Keenest Observers with members of the LGBTQ community; there's never a shortage of topics, from "bathroom bills" to the coming SO PRIDE festival (October 1-9). 

Guests include Southern Oregon University Queer Resource Center coordinator Thomas Arce and Evan Mouldeoux of Lotus Rising.   

National Archives

Nearly 80 years and counting.  Amelia Earhart made as much news by vanishing as she did by flying planes when few women did so. 

Now an expedition is getting ready to follow Earhart's trail as the 80th anniversary approaches in July 2017. 

The Archaeological Legacy Institute based in Eugene plans to send a film crew to document the search for Earhart's plane. 


The heart of downtown Medford owes much of its current look and configuration to the presence of Rogue Community College

RCC continues to demonstrate its value to the community--in this case, both Jackson and Josephine counties--in multiple ways.  And a (relatively) new leader is in charge. 

Cathy Kemper-Pelle took the reins of RCC as president over the summer.