A Look Inside

Feb 3, 2014

We can now say “news team” at JPR with a sense of accomplishment knowing that we have the ability to realize the full potential of that title with the addition of staff and resources. We’ll be joining you in each edition of the Jefferson Monthly with a look inside our burgeoning news operation.

True, “burgeoning” may be overstating things just a bit. But the last half of 2013 featured some key changes in what we offer to our listeners and web visitors under the banner of JPR News:

  • Local news broadcasts began appearing in The Jefferson Exchange, heard on the News & Information Service, at the top of both hours (8 AM and 9 AM, with the show and casts repeating at 8 PM and 9 PM).
  • iJPR.org took on an entirely new look and mission with the changeover effective in late September. It now updates frequently with news from around our region and the world, with embedded audio files allowing you speedy access to stories, interviews and music.
  • The news staff welcomed the return of former News Director Liam Moriarty back as a feature reporter, with the bulk of his work appearing during Morning Edition

That last item is a true case of “multiplication by addition.” Liam’s versatility allows JPR News to cover issues of interest in our region in a way that was simply impossible before his arrival. One person dedicated to collecting news of the region adds a dimension we lacked for several years.

So let’s visit with the rest of news team (I am now removing the quotes) to get an idea of the daily traffic flow at JPR:

Barbara Dellenback is generally the first local voice heard on any of the JPR stations on weekdays. She produces regional news broadcasts within Morning Edition, with casts following NPR News at 6 AM, 7 AM and 8 AM. Barbara also delivers weather forecasts at 19 and 49 minutes past each hour, starting at 5:19 AM, and she introduces Liam’s pieces and other regional pieces he’s selected for air, generally after the NPR News at 7:30 AM on our Rhythm & News Service.

Charlotte Duren is now in her second year producing The Jefferson Exchange, our interview and call-in show airing 8 AM-10 AM (rebroadcast 12 hours later) on the News & Information Service. At a minimum, Charlotte will chase down and schedule 14 interview guests in a week. She also spends time each afternoon updating the web site with fresh offerings from our regional news partners up and down the West Coast.

Geoffrey Riley (me) just began his fifth year as the full-time host of The Jefferson Exchange. In addition to conducting the interviews on the Exchange, I spend the balance of my day researching the topics and guests of future editions of the program, discussing segment ideas with Charlotte, editing Liam’s features, and writing and collecting materials for the web page and social media.

Between Barbara’s regional casts, the long-form interviews of the Exchange, and Liam’s reports in Morning Edition, we are able to cover the news in a variety of ways and depths.

But make no mistake: this is still intended to be coverage of issues, not events. At 3.5 full-time staffers, we are NOT the local equivalent of the New York Times. And we believe in using the time allowed by our primary venues, Morning Edition and The Jefferson Exchange, to explore issues in great detail. You will generally not hear about car wrecks or other “breaking news” items on JPR News. But if somebody bombs the district attorney’s office (as happened in Medford), we now have the tools to keep you informed (and we did).