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.

Oregon State Archives

So much of what we know about the past and our ancestors comes from the records they kept. 

And those end up archived somewhere. 

In recent years, the "I Found It In The Archives!" campaign has highlighted some significant finds of documents and the stories they tell. 

Now the Oregon State Archives are getting in on the act, pulling records of notable events in Oregon history out for the public to see. 

Abraxus Games

Just in time for Halloween, the card game that nearly scares you to death! 

Alex Williams and Patrick James are board game designers from the Rogue Valley, and the makers of the new card game "Don't Die!"

The name tells you the object of the game.  Actually, it's a shortened version of "don't die as much as the other players." 


Quick, name the most successful academic program at the nearest university.  No luck? 

Then try this question: how is that school's football team doing this fall?  That one is probably a lot easier, thanks to the American obsession with college football. 

Diane Roberts, who teaches at Florida State (6-1 through October 30) knows about the many issues with college football, but says she surrenders to her own "Inner Barbarian" on Saturdays in the fall. 

She examines the national obsession in her book Tribal: College Football and the Secret Heart of America

What was once the U.S. Army's sprawling Camp White during World War II became present-day White City.

And a federal presence remained, at the Veterans Administration Southern Oregon Rehabilitation Center And Clinics, VA SORCC

What kind of rehabilitation?  Quite a variety, it turns out. 

Catastrophic injuries of body and mind are dealt with; VA prosthetics specialist Randy Tegge talks to us. 

Chris Petrone helps wounded vets reintegrate in society, he joins us as well.

This is another of several Veteran-related interviews in a joint project between JPR and Southern Oregon Public TV called Local Focus: Debt of Honor.

Public Domain

In a society where health care is not universal, people have to ask other people for financial help with major medical expenses.

The concept has morphed from bake sales and car washes to online crowdfunding. 

Enter the Children's Organ Transplant Association.  COTA helps families pull together the money--often in six figures--required to pay for organ transplants and followup care. 

ForeEdge Books

Many people have complained about the "war on drugs" as a modern-day version of Prohibition, encouraging the very behaviors it is meant to discourage. 

Journalist and professor Alison Bass says something very similar is happening in the sex trade. 

In her book Getting Screwed, Bass follows the lives of sex workers and their interactions with the law. 

Among her findings: in areas where adult prostitution has been decriminalized, violence and sexually transmitted diseases occur at lower rates. 


Three-quarters of our planet are covered by oceans, so what happens in those oceans can have a profound effect on the rest of the planet. 

We've learned this lesson--often the hard way--in recent years, as the oceans warm with the rest of the Earth, and the acid levels in the water rise. 

It's getting hard for some creatures, like coral, to survive. 

Abel Valdivia is an ocean scientist at the Center for Biological Diversity

Are you ready to turn your back on red meat and bacon, now that the WHO says they cause cancer?  That's one question for this week's VENTSday. 

Here's another: what do you think of private drone owners having to register with the FAA? 

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.

Viking Press

Maybe you never heard of Edward Proctor Hunt, but he lived a fascinating life. 

He was born into the Acoma Pueblo tribe in New Mexico in the middle of the 19th century, and ultimately lived as an indian in a white world. 

Peter Nabokov tells the story of Hunt in How The World Moves

The book forces readers to confront the fascination with native culture and artifacts American display on one hand, while uprooting and exterminating tribes on the other hand. 


The Federal Energy Regulatory Commission--FERC--removed a major obstacle to the building of the Jordan Cove liquified natural gas (LNG) export terminal and pipeline recently. 

But the federal approval is not the final word. 

State authorities in Oregon still have to weigh in on the LNG plan, which includes a long pipeline running from the Klamath Basin to the Oregon coast. 

The Rogue Riverkeeper program takes a particular interest in the LNG project. 

NIH/Public Domain

There's plenty of drama involved in the practice of medicine.

That's why there have been so many TV shows over the years about doctors and hospitals. 

But the drama can get in the way of good communication, and that's why there is a play called "Bedside Manners."

It is part play and part workbook for health professionals to use, to focus on improving their communication and patient care. 

Kelly Piet Photography

Getting politicians to agree on HOW to reform health care can be a chore, since they don't even agree on a RIGHT to health care. 

Naturopathic doctors Sarah Sue Myers and McClane Duncan of Siskiyou Vital Medicine agree there is such a right, and they agree on plenty more. 

They claim their Medford practice is the first naturopathic direct primary care (DPC) clinic in Oregon. 

We get the goods on their services and plans, including $100 a month for unlimited doctor visits in a single year. 

Storey Publishing

"Medicine" in most of the country means pills or capsules or vials, all carefully packaged, sterile, and bearing little resemblance to items found in nature. 

But there are healing properties in many forests and gardens, and Rosemary Gladstar introduces us to them in her book Medicinal Herbs: A Beginner's Guide.

Ciders, potions, teas, and tinctures and more are laid out in the book. 

Liam Moriarty/JPR News

Umpqua Community College was on the minds of just about all Americans after the mass shooting of October 1st. 

Classes have now resumed, and students and faculty alike are making efforts to remember and memorialize the nine victims. 

Members of a number of music ensembles will join forces for a free concert today (Oct. 23). 

The UCC Memorial Concert starts at 7 PM on campus at Jacoby Auditorium. 

Workman Publishing

It's a little hard to describe the work of Austin Kleon

He's an artist, sure... but in both visual forms and in words. 

For example: he created "blackout poetry," the art of making poems by grabbing the newspaper and blacking out the words you DON'T need. 

Austin continues his spreading of creativity to all comers in The Steal Like An Artist Journal: A Notebook For Creative Kleptomaniacs

D. Drury & Sons

Asifa Kanji and David Drury came from very different parts of the world, but somehow managed to find each other. 

And they were determined to share their love and talents with the world, so off to Mali they went, as Peace Corps volunteers. 

Being hot and dry turned out to be the least of the issues, as a coup forced their evacuation from the country. 

But before that, rich experiences filled them up... experiences they share in the dual memoir Three Hundred Cups of Tea and The Toughest Job.  


Military veterans back from service often turn first to the federal Department of Veterans Affairs (VA) for many of their needs. 

But plenty of other organizations exist to help vets, including the DAV, Disabled American Vets

DAV exists to help disabled vets on a number of issues, including easing the pursuit of services through the VA. 

Brigitte Marker tells us how the work plays out; she is the Department of Oregon Commander for the DAV.  

Wikimedia Commons

If there were money in halting climate change, we might have a lot more enthusiasm for the efforts. 

Which is exactly why groups like Oregon Climate are talking about variations on "climate fee and dividend" programs. 

Under such a program, the emitting of greenhouse gasses would incur a tax or fee, and the proceeds from such a program would be returned to households. 

Who would not want a check in the mail? 

There are some issues to work out, not the least of which is getting buy-in from political figures. 

Twodot Books

The cow is pregnant, and attempting to give birth. 

But there are complications, and the rancher pulls out tools, including chains, a hammer, and a chisel. 

Gail Jenner saw it in her own barn, and tells the story in one of the essays in the book she edited, Ankle High and Knee Deep: Women Reflect on Western Rural Life.

Public Domain

A woman who just had a baby may decide that's it; no more kids, at least for a while. 

But the most reliable methods of birth control, intrauterine device (IUD) and implant, often require a return visit to a doctor, a tough schedule for a woman with a newborn. 

IUD and implant can be placed while women are still in the hospital after giving birth, but not all states require insurance companies to pay for the service. 

California now requires it and Oregon is considering.