The IowaWatch Connection

2015_10_7_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. In 2015, the Iowa State Bar Association and AARP Iowa became the program's underwriters.

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 newspapers, and on July 22, 2015, in Coralville with the Corridor Business Journal. One is being planned in Dubuque for February 2016 with The Telegraph Herald, Greater Dubuque Development Corp., Loras College and other potential partners.

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
Nov. 20 - 22
Water Toxins — This 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
Nov. 13 - 15
Government Transparency — A new Center for Public Integrity and Global Integrity survey on state government transparency and accountability is out, and Iowa did not fare well in the State Integrity Investigation.
Categories: Government and Politics

  • Chris Mudge, executive director, Iowa Newspaper Association/Des Moines
  • Rox Laird, former editorial writer, The Des Moines Register/Des Moines
  • Keith Luchtel, previous director of the Iowa Public Information Board and former statehouse lobbyist/Des Moines
  • Adam Mason, state policy director for Iowa Citizens for Community Improvement Action Fund/Des Moines
  • Zach Kucharski, executive editor, The Gazette/Cedar Rapids
  • Lauren Mills/IowaWatch
Nov. 6 - 8
Cold Cases — The Iowa Center for Public Affairs Journalism helped the Iowa Newspaper Association, the Des Moines Register and other participating newspapers with one story for a statewide project focusing on various murder "cold cases" in Iowa. This is the story about one northeast Iowa murder that remains unsolved, involving two young cousins and a small town that is committed to preserving their memory.
Categories: Criminal Justice

  • Heather Collins, mother of murder victim/Evansdale
  • Jeff Jensen, police chief/Evansdale
  • Tom Nichols, father of murder victim/Evansdale
  • Chris Mudge, executive director, Iowa Newspaper Association/Des Moines
  • Lyle Muller, IowaWatch
Oct. 30 - Nov. 1
Mood of the Electorate — We're just one year away from the 2016 election, and on this program, we'll hear what's on the mind of voters just three months from the Iowa Caucuses.
Categories: Government and Politics

  • Christopher Larimer, UNI political science professor/Cedar Falls
  • Rick Santorum/R-Penn.
  • Jodine Cromie/Iowa voter
  • Blake Delaney/Iowa voter
  • Jesse Young/Iowa voter
  • Sean O'Harrow/Iowa voter
  • Phoenix L'Amour/Iowa voter
  • Lance Warburton/Iowa voter
  • Frederick Dunbar/Iowa voter
  • Rebecca Morin/Daily Iowan-UI
  • Lyle Muller/IowaWatch
Oct. 23-25
Criminal Justice Reform, Part 2 — Some are advocating major changes in how we handle crime and criminals. But is that being soft on crime, or smart on crime?
Categories: Criminal Justice

  • Bernard Kerik, co-founder, American Coalition for Criminal Justice Reform
  • Roxann Ryan, Iowa Department of Public Safety commissioner
  • Sen. Charles Grassley (R-Iowa)
  • Lyle Muller, IowaWatch


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