The IowaWatch Connection

2015_12_22_IowaWatchConnectionsWithSponsorThe IowaWatch Connection, a statewide audience engagement program, was launched as a pilot with a $25,000 John S. and James L. Knight Foundation grant awarded through the Investigative News Network. The program is underwritten by AARP Iowa.

The program includes a weekly, statewide news and public affairs radio program that airs on participating stations across Iowa.

Jeff Stein, host and producer of the IowaWatch Connection radio program

Jeff Stein, host and producer of the IowaWatch Connection radio program

Jeff Stein, executive director of the Iowa Broadcast News Association and a noted Iowa broadcast historian, hosts and produces the program on a network of stations across the state. The program premiered July 5-6, 2014.



IowaWatch has hosted public forums in various parts of the state to explore issues that have impact on Iowans. The first such forum, Critical Decisions about Elder Care, was held April 29, 2014, in Des Moines. A second forum, featuring the documentary Breaking the Cycle: Meth Addiction In The Heartland was held July 1, 2014, in Council Bluffs to discuss the effect of methamphetamine addiction on Iowa families. Subsequent forums on the Breaking the Cycle documentary were held Nov. 19, 2014, in Des Moines and Nov. 20, 2014, in Iowa City. A forum on how to keep young talent in Iowa was held on May 12, 2015, in Waterloo with The Courier newspaper, and on July 22, 2015, in Coralville with the Corridor Business Journal. A forum that explored whether or not boundaries should exist for free speech was held in Iowa City on May 2, 2016 with KGAN-TV CBS2 and the Iowa City Press-Citizen.

Check here for updates about the IowaWatch Connection.


The IowaWatch Connection airs on 19 radio stations covering Iowa. The broadcasts reach listeners across Iowa and parts of Iowa's seven neighboring states. Additionally, an Illinois high school station, WLTL-FM, is airing the program as a teaching tool for students and to help fulfill its public service responsibility.

The IowaWatch Connection airs on 19 stations that cover Iowa and a 20th station in Illinois. This image shows the stations' combined coverage areas.

The IowaWatch Connection airs on 19 stations that cover Iowa and a 20th station in Illinois. This image shows the stations\' combined coverage areas.


Click the yellow icons on the map below to find stations near you that air the IowaWatch Connection, along with air times.


Topics covered include farm safety and safety regulations, the stigma of depression among college students and coverage of the political climate in Iowa.

Program Topic Listen
June 17 - 19
Pesticide Hazards — Iowa’s wide expanses of row-cropped fields produced roughly 2.5 billion bushels of corn and 554 million bushels of soybeans in 2015. And for many, those high yields are thanks in part to pesticides. But what impact, if any, do those chemicals have on our health? It’s a controversial topic and the answer is hard to pin down. In many cases, those we spoke with said the jury is still out.
Categories: Agriculture, Health and Environment

  • Chad Ingels, Farmer, Iowa Environmental Protection Commissioner/Randalia
  • Charles Lynch, Professor, University of Iowa College of Public Health Department of Epidemiology & Principal Investigator of the State Health Registry of Iowa/Iowa Cancer Registry/Iowa City
  • Kamyar Enshayan, Director of the Center for Energy and Environmental Education, University of Northern Iowa/Cedar Falls
  • Gretchen Paluch, Pesticide Bureau Chief, Iowa Department of Agriculture and Land Stewardship/Des Moines
  • Mark Quee, farm manager, Scatergood Friends School/West Branch
  • Kent Boyum, member of the Iowa Organics Association Board of Directors, Director of Economic Development and government Relations for Maharishi Vedic City/Maharishi Vedic City
  • Lauren Mills, IowaWatch
June 10-12
ADA and School Compliance — The federal Americans with Disabilities Act is intended to help people access public facilities, but an Iowa Watch investigation shows most of our schools are not in compliance with the law.
Categories: Education

  • Tara Thomas, Waterloo Community Schools/Waterloo
  • Cael Rudkin, student/State Center
  • Joey Rudkin, parent/State Center
  • Hannah Soyer/IowaWatch
June 3 - 5
Iowa's Business & Economic Climate — Iowa’s economy is a mixed bag. The agricultural sector is in a slump and gaps exist in worker training and skill sets, but other elements are on the rise.
Categories: Economy and Employment, Business and Consumer Affairs

  • Gov. Terry Branstad (R-Iowa)/Des Moines
  • Mike Ralston, Iowa Association of Business & Industry/Des Moines
  • Steve Dust, Greater Cedar Valley Alliance & Chamber/Waterloo
  • Dave DeVault, John Deere Waterloo Works/Waterloo
  • Michael Libbie, "Insight on Business"/Des Moines
May 27 - 30
Water Toxins Revisited — The past year marked a record number of state beach closings due to microcystin, a liver toxin produced by cyanobacteria, more commonly called blue-green algae. What are the risks for people, pets and livestock that come into contact with the toxin? And why are we seeing more of it at Iowa beaches?
Categories: Health and Environment

  • Mary Skopec, Iowa Department of Natural Resources, Beach Monitoring Program/Des Moines
  • Connor Nicholas, Iowa Department of Natural Resources, Beach Monitoring Program/Des Moines
  • Stuart Schmitz, Iowa Department of Public Health, State Toxicologist/Des Moines
  • Alan Carr, Green Valley Park Ranger/Creston
  • Steve Ensley, Iowa State University College of Veterinary Medicine, Clinician/Ames
  • Rhonda Gorden, Twin Lakes State Park visitor/Lake City
  • Lauren Mills, IowaWatch
May 20 - 22
The Moment of Rescue, Part 2 — One split second captured in a photograph defined the dramatic rescue of Patricia Ralph-Neely below Des Moines' Center Street Dam on June 30, 2009. The photo became iconic and won the Pulitzer Prize for then-Register photographer Mary Chind Willie. Willie wasn't the only Des Moines Register photographer out taking pictures that day. Then-Register photographer Andrea Melendez took photos of the rescue as well, but only Willie's photo won the Pulitzer.
Categories: Business and Consumer Affairs

  • Mary Chind Willie, Pulitzer Prize-winning photographer
  • Andrea Melendez, photographer
  • Lyle Muller, IowaWatch


Business and Consumer Affairs
Criminal Justice
Economy and Employment
Government and Politics
Health and Environment
Center News