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.


It's not just that our region is full of interesting people. 

There are plenty of non-human living things to make the place unique and exciting. 

Some of them are too small to see, like face mites.  Yes, the name indicates where they live. 

A samurai master from Japan from two centuries ago would probably appreciate the work coming out of Dragonfly Forge in Coquille. 

Michael Bell and son Gabriel turn out swords the old way, combining centuries-old practices with modern technology. 

Their work is highly regarded, and carries a high price. 

We're a lot more open-minded about people's disabilities than we used to be.  Mostly, anyway. 

But it's not universal... in some parts of the planet, blind people are still considered stupid. 

Rosemary Mahoney had her eyes opened to the way people think about blindness, both with and without it. 

Her stunning book is For the Benefit of Those Who See: Dispatches from the World of the Blind


Immigration, legal and not, is seldom out of the news for long. 

And it pretty much parked on the front pages this year and stayed there, due in large part to the election campaigns. 

Immigration will continue to be a hot topic as new people take office in 2017. 

We take parts from several of our interviews in the subject area and combine them for a full hour of immigration perspectives. 


It was an uneventful trip in the car, but that guy who cut you off and forced you to stomp on the brakes stays with you. 

There's a reason: the human brain's "negativity bias."  It keeps us from getting into danger, but certainly has its drawbacks. 

Neuropsychologist Rick Hanson says it can be avoided; he shows how in his book Hardwiring Happiness

National Weather Service

Nature threw some potential obstacles in front of travelers as Christmas 2016 approached. 

The National Weather Service warned of snow down to valley floor level by Christmas Eve.

University of Washington Field Methods in Indigenous Archaeology

It's a little cold to be digging in the ground at the moment, but at least we have our summer memories. 

And that's the focus of this month's Underground History segment, with Mark Tveskov of the Southern Oregon University Laboratory of Anthropology (Chelsea Rose is away). 

Mark brings in a couple of guests to talk about the summer archaeology program at the Grande Ronde Reservation. 

It brings archaeologists and tribal members together to search for artifacts using techniques in harmony with tribal values. 

Compass Radio: Making Ends Meet

Dec 21, 2016

Finding the way to mental health is no simple feat for many people.

With Compass Radio, we hear directly from members of the Compass House in Medford, which provides services and a community for people with a history of mental illness.

Compass Radio is a series about what it's like to meet the challenges of mental illness, and this month we focus on money issues, and how some Medford residents make financial ends meet with very little income.

Tomáseen Foley doesn't have to do a great deal of research to tell stories of Ireland in days gone by. 

He was born and raised there, in a time and place before many modern amenities arrived. 

Foley's stories are just a small part of the annual celebration he created called "A Celtic Christmas."

This season marks the 20th for the show, featuring story, song and dance, and seen on stages across the country. 


All kinds of programs are in place to help young people avoid suicide. 

But it is still an appealing option to many a young person hurting from a variety of life's challenges. 

Lines for Life, based in Portland, staffs a hotline for people in trouble to call at any time on any day.  And Lines for Life also works to reduce drug abuse, a mission shared with the Oregon Coalition for Responsible Use of Meds

Oregon State University

The state of California started making plans for managing wolf populations before wolves even showed up. 

Then OR-7 wandered through a few years ago, making it clear that wolves would arrive sooner, rather than later. 

Evidence shows that there are resident wolves in California as of a year ago.  And the Wolf Plan is finished. 

Øyvind Holmstad/

The deadline is bearing down, and you need to produce something to keep the boss, the spouse, or yourself happy. 

So step BACK.  Huh? 

It is counter-intuitive, but Alex Soojung-Kim Pang is not the first person to suggest that you're more productive when you're better-rested. 

He makes the case in his new book Rest: Why You Get More Done When You Work Less


The Japanese earthquake and tsunami of 2011 continues to leave a mark on our side of the Pacific. 

The tsunami created by the quake trashed a couple of ports in our region. 

And measurements in the ocean show elevated--though still considered safe--levels of radioactivity, likely the result of the disaster at the Fukushima nuclear power plant

Ken Buesseler of the Woods Hole Oceanographic Institution knows about radiation in the ocean, normal and not. 

Rogue Valley Flying Club

You don't have to be "Sully" to fly a plane.  You don't even have to be a professional. 

Amateur pilots in the Rogue Valley have banded together to create the Rogue Valley Flying Club, offering benefits to members that include planes to rent. 


It's hard to believe it was less than a century ago that women first gained the right to vote across the United States. 

And pay stubs and other indicators show that women have still not completely caught up to men.  That does not mean they have been devoid of influence, though. 

Sue Armitage reaches back in time for the stories of Shaping the Public Good: Women Making History in the Pacific Northwest, just out from Oregon State University Press.


A major story in American history took place in the Klamath Basin, and it will be acknowledged more prominently in the future.  The only question is HOW prominently. 

The Tule Lake area was home to internment camps during the second world war, keeping Japanese-Americans away from their homes and out of the general population. 

The Tule Lake Unit of the World War II Valor in the Pacific National Monument is developing a management plan for how to better tell the story of what happened there. 

Public meetings have already been held and comments have been received. 

Tom Parker/National Archives

The discussion of the plans for the places that once held Japanese-American internment camps prompts a revisit with an earlier guest. 

Precious Yamaguchi is the granddaughter of people who were sent to the camps during World War II. 

She wrote a book about women in the camps, Experiences of Japanese American Women during and after World War II.

Public Domain/Wikimedia

Unless your family is rich or famous or both, you will not be reading about ancestors in history books. 

But every family has a story to tell, and oral historians Daniel Alrick and Julie Kanta help them get told. 

They record interviews with people about their lives and families, a process that started with Julie's college capstone project a couple of years back. 

It's become a business, Living Legacy

Innosanto Nagara grew up in a place and a time where people had to stand up for their rights. 

The place was Indonesia, the time was during the 30-year rule of the repressive Suharto.  Nagara is an activist, and the author of an eyebrow-raising children's book called A is for Activist

He stays in the children's section of the library with his latest work, about a night he feared his father would be arrested for his activism. 

My Night at the Planetarium is the new work. 

Wikimedia Commons

Climate change concerns the planet at large, but requires action at many levels. 

The City of Ashland is one of many local communities that opted to develop a Climate and Energy Action Plan

It is in draft form, has received a large amount of public input, and is moving toward a final document.