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.

TKO: African-Americans In The GOP

Nov 28, 2016
University of California Press

Race loomed large in the recent election. 

One commentator referred to the election of Donald Trump as a "whitelash."  Exit polls indicate the story is more complicated than that, but racial and party identification can correlate closely. 

And sometimes not, as Corey D. Fields demonstrates in his book on African Americans in the Republican party: Black Elephants in the Room

The Keenest Observers host Rob Goodwin returns for this segment. 

University of Oregon

We tend to think in terms of fresh water and ocean water ecosystems, but there's a whole lot of life in between. 

Estuaries, where salt and fresh water meet, are teeming with all kinds of creatures, animal and vegetable. 

Dr. David Sutherland at the University of Oregon studies estuaries, both close to home and in the Arctic. 

And he'll deliver a lecture on Friday (December 2) in Coos Bay about how the estuary at Coos Bay functions. 

Chris Darling/Wikimedia

In earlier days in America, the only acceptable way to handle the unplanned pregnancy of a single woman was to have the baby and give it up in a closed adoption. 

Those days were not so long ago. 

They are still fresh in the memory of Patricia Florin and five other women who brought people into the world, with little chance of ever knowing them. 

Florin collects the stories in her book A Life Let Go: A Memoir and five Birth Mother Stories of Closed Adoption


Black Friday again finds the Exchange crew off work, and probably not braving crowds of Christmas shoppers.  We offer two prime hours from Exchanges past. 

At 8, a story of dealing with childhood obesity, from the mother of an overweight girl. 

Dara-Lynn Weiss tells the story in The Heavy: A Mother, A Daughter, A Diet–A Memoir.  

At 9, Exchange favorite Roman Krznaric goes WAY beyond resumes in his book How to Find Fulfilling Work

Bob Pennell/Medford Mail Tribune

Thanksgiving Day finds the Exchange crew in the stuffing, out of the office.

Instead, a couple of holiday specials: at 8, world-renowned naturalist Joe Hutto, subject of the Emmy winning BBC documentary "My Life As a Turkey", discusses how he became a wild turkey mother in the hammocks of Florida.

Plus: Fourth-generation pilot Eric Walden gives a play-by-play of the ninja-like moves of the wild turkey—mid-air.  And: The once-scorned bronze-feathered turkey is making a comeback, with the help of organic, free-range farmers like Paul Kelly. 


Thanksgiving will be the first time many Oregonians break bread together post presidential election. 

Will the time-honored rule of “no politics at the dinner table” still cut the mustard after an election where so many traditions went out the window? 

John Phelan/Wikimedia Commons

It's not every book of poetry that can make you laugh out loud. 

It's also not every book of poetry that contains poems allegedly written by dogs. 

But that is the story behind I Could Chew On This, Francesco Marciuliano's book from a few years ago. 

Marciuliano, also the writer of the comic strip "Sally Forth," applies a wild and wonderful sense of humor to his work. 

Chronicle Books

If even the thought of having to prepare a meal leaves you cold, it might be time for a little pep talk. 

Julia Turshen delivers one in her book Small Victories

It's about the many things you can do in the kitchen, many with little preparation, and still bring a triumph to the table. 


Alice Hoffman won many awards and fans with her novels, like Practical Magic. 

But she left the realm of the magical to dwell in reality in her book Survival Lessons.

It was inspired by her battle with cancer, and the similar battles of family members. 

Alice Hoffman joined us to talk about surviving and living, back in 2013. 


The rationale for regulations on food production is clear: we don't want what we eat to kill us. 

We seldom fear sudden death from our food, and that's thanks to effective regulations. 

But do the rules stifle innovation, too?  Baylin Linnekin says yes.  He's a lawyer specializing in food and agriculture. 

And in his book Biting The Hand That Feeds Us, he points to a slew of regulations meant to protect people that actually keep perfect edible food off the market. 

Mary Landberg

We all have a beginning and an end.  We just don't like to talk about the end of life very much. 

Katy Butler wrote about facing her father's impending death in Knocking On Heaven's Door; she visited the Exchange to talk about it several years ago. 

We revisit that interview in this hour. 

Club Latino Facebook

Rogue Community College works to make sure Latino high school students are aware of educational opportunities after high school. 

So every year it hosts EMO, Educacion, Un Mundo de Oportunidades (Education, a World of Opportunities) at its Table Rock Campus. 

The keynote speaker this year took advantage of educational opportunities in the United States after leaving his native Guatemala. 

Leonel Vicente Vicente only reached the 6th grade there. 


We love to talk about love, in movies and songs and stories and more. 

But romance is not just the realm of the romantic, there's also true science behind people being attracted to each other and falling in love. 

Duana Welch pursues that science in her work and her web page.  It's also written into her new book--you have to say the title carefully--Love Factually


There are entire libraries of books written about the American Civil War. 

But Pulitzer Prize winning historian Steven Hahn ranges far afield in time and space for his latest book, A Nation Without Borders: The United States and Its World in an Age of Civil Wars, 1830-1910. 

The book details the wrenching shift from an agricultural nation with legal slavery to an industrial power taking a prominent place on the world stage. 

Humboldt Area Center for Harm Reduction

Recent reporting highlighted the issues some women face when they take jobs as "trimmigrants" in the marijuana business along the North Coast: sexual harassment and sexual abuse, for starters. 

There are organizations in place to empower women and help them stay safer in a largely unregulated industry. 

Redwood Women's Foundation offers a number of programs and workshops to enhance women's power in society.  Founder and director Michelle Hood--also an HSU sociologist--visits to talk about current issues and goals. 

Brandie Wilson from the Humboldt Area Center for Harm Reduction also joins in, along with reporter Shoshana Walter. 

Public Domain

Pilgrims and Indians, and a big outdoor feast.  That's what we learned about the roots of the Thanksgiving holiday in elementary school. 

There might have been a LITTLE embellishment of the story down the years.  Our resident archaeologists, Mark Tveskov and Chelsea Rose, return with another installment of "Underground History" to sort the fact from the fiction. 

Archaeologist Rae Gould of the Nipmuc Nation of Massachusetts shares some insights; Stephen Sillman of the University of Massachusetts-Boston also gets in on the conversation. 

National Archives

Oregon was green before green was cool. 

In a twenty-year stretch, the state made great strides in protecting the environment: putting beaches in public hands, requiring cash deposits for beverages to discourage littering, and land-use regulations to keep growth compact.  That's just the short list. 

Historian Derek Larson fleshes out the rest in his book Keeping Oregon Green, just out from Oregon State University Press. 

Oregon DOT

The story of Oregon from before statehood is a story of migration: people moving in, historic residents being forced out, other people being shut out. 

Scholars, historians, and just folks will discuss migration this week at the Oregon Migrations Symposium in Eugene. 

Eliza Canty-Jones edits the Oregon Historical Quarterly; Bob Bussel is a professor at the University of Oregon. 

John Duffy/Wikimedia

In an autumn filled with big news stories, DAPL (pronounced "dapple") has proven to be an enduring one. 

The Dakota Access Pipeline is being built to carry oil from the Dakotas to markets in the Midwest and Gulf Coast. 

But a segment as yet unbuilt would cross ancestral lands of the Standing Rock Sioux Tribe.  And protestors have flocked from across the country to stand with the tribe against the pipeline. 

Rogue Valley resident and Red Earth Descendants founder Dan Wahpepah has already traveled to the protest site with supplies.  Charly Otterrobe lives here now but is from Standing Rock. 

Beatrice Murch/Wikimedia

Maybe you've visited one of those web quiz pages that asks you about some word choices, then tells you--often accurately--where you're from. 

The quiz works because people DO use different phrases and idioms in different parts of the country. 

A "hero" sandwich in New York is a "grinder" in nearby Connecticut. 

Josh Katz focuses on the regional variations in his book "Speaking American: How Y’all, Youse, and You Guys Talk: A Visual Guide."