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Clay Masters

Host: Morning Edition

Clay Masters is Iowa Public Radio’s Morning Edition host and lead political reporter.

Clay joined the Iowa Public Radio newsroom as a statehouse correspondent in 2012 and started hosting Morning Edition in 2014. He began covering presidential politics in Iowa his first week on the job and created the IPR podcast Caucus Land in 2019, which he co-hosted and which won a regional large market Edward R. Murrow award. Clay is an award-winning journalist whose reporting has appeared on various NPR and American Public Media broadcasts and podcasts. He’s also an occasional music reporter for NPR’s arts desk.

He was one of the founding journalists of Harvest Public Media. Clay began his public media career in his native Nebraska where he covered agriculture and food production for the state’s public radio and TV network.

Clay has a bachelor’s of journalism from the University of Nebraska-Lincoln.

You can contact Clay at cmasters@iowapublicradio.org.

  • A total of 75 of the state’s 99 counties now have a substantial or high level of spread of COVID-19. The man convicted of killing Iowa college student Mollie Tibbetts will not get a new trial. Plus, advocates are raising concerns about restrictions put in place in Iowa prisons, after two staffers were killed on the job, allegedly by two inmates. IPR’s Kate Payne explains that some loved ones are worried the conditions may lead to more violence.
  • Air quality alerts were posted on Sunday for numerous areas of the U.S. including in Iowa because of wildfires. IPR’s Katie Peikes explains that the U.S. Department of Agriculture is helping beef up research at 19 Historically Black Colleges and Universities. Plus, an Iowa casino has re-imposed a mask mandate for its guests to slow the spread of COVID-19.
  • Critics have tried to stop the construction of a large cattle open feedlot in northeast Iowa's Driftless Region and near the headwaters of a stream designated by the DNR as an outstanding waterway. Natural resources advocates say the feedlot has much broader impacts on water quality in the state than just one stream in northeast Iowa.
  • Governor Kim Reynolds signed a law that raises penalties for protest-related offenses and expands some police protections. IPR’s Katarina Sostaric tells us that Black Democratic leaders in Iowa say the governor’s signing of a policing bill on Thursday is a step backward for the state. Organizers for a first-of-its-kind Juneteenth event in Des Moines say this year’s celebration holds special meaning. Plus, many people learn about farming by growing up on a farm or in school. Some people learn by playing and watching video games. Harvest Public Media’s Jonathan Ahl reports on the growing world of the game Farming Simulator.
  • Governor Kim Reynolds signed a wide-ranging tax bill into law on Wednesday. IPR State Government reporter Katarina Sostaric explains that it allows more income tax cuts to kick in, phases out backfill payments to local governments, and shifts mental health funding from local property taxes to the state. IPR’s Kate Payne tells us about an Iowa advocacy group that is providing support to teachers who feel targeted by a new state law that limits certain teachings and trainings dealing with racism and sexism. Plus, Iowa is ending its coronavirus testing program next month saying demand has fallen for testing at the state-funded drive-thru and clinic sites.
  • Public health experts in Iowa are concerned that officials might be moving too fast to reopen the state with big events since demand for COVID-19 vaccinations has weakened.
  • The Nevada Legislature passed legislation this week that would move it ahead in line to go before Iowa and New Hampshire in the presidential nominating calendar. The chairs of the Iowa Republican and Democratic parties are united in keeping Iowa first, and a caucus state.
  • Iowa’s 2021 legislative session ended late Wednesday, three weeks after the target date for adjournment. IPR Morning Edition host Clay Masters talks with IPR State Government reporter Katarina Sostaric about what happened in the final hours of the session.
  • The Register's Annual Great Bicycle Ride Across Iowa was canceled in 2020 because of the pandemic. RAGBRAI organizers have put in place many coronavirus safety precautions for this year's return. Currently, hundreds of new COVID-19 cases are confirmed in Iowa every week and vaccination demand has weakened in the state.
  • IPR Morning Edition host Clay Masters talks with IPR state government reporter Katarina Sostaric about whether legislators seem to be close to agreements so that the 2021 legislative session can adjourn.