Joyce Russell


Joyce Russell is a correspondent based at the Iowa Statehouse. Joyce has been covering the Iowa Statehouse since shortly after joining the news staff at WOI Radio in 1988. Her earlier broadcasting experience included news reporting at commercial stations in Oklahoma City and Fort Wayne, Indiana. Joyce’s reports can be heard on National Public Radio and American Public Media programs including All Things Considered, Morning Edition, and Marketplace.  She covered the last six Iowa caucus campaigns and interviewed numerous candidates for president, including some who went on to attain the highest office in the land.   

Joyce  has a bachelor’s degree in English from Saint Louis University and  a master’s degree in English from the University of Oklahoma.   

Joyce’s favorite public radio program is Fresh Air.

Marriage Debate

Jan 23, 2011

As promised, majority Republicans in the Iowa House began debate on a proposed constitutional amendment to ban same sex marriage. The House Judiciary Committee approved the measure by a vote of 13 to 8. Earlier in the day, activists on both sides of the issue showed up to speak out.

Voter ID

Jan 18, 2011

There was a lively debate at the statehouse about whether Iowans should have to show an ID to be able to vote. Republicans have long favored the requirement and now that they're in charge in the House, they're pushing a bill to accomplish it. Democrats and their allies are sharply opposed. 

Legislature Convenes

Jan 9, 2011

Republicans flexing new majority muscle were in a triumphant mood as the 84th general assembly convened at the statehouse. But Democrats promised to protect their priorities including health care and education for young children.

Tea Party Plans

Nov 16, 2010

3rd District Race

Oct 19, 2010

Republicans are hoping an anti-incumbent mood will finally help them win the 3rd District congressional race this year against seven-term Democratic incumbent Leonard Boswell. The one-time southern Iowa farmer who now lives in Des Moines faces a challenge from Republican state senator Brad Zaun of Urbandale. Iowa Public Radio’s Joyce Russell caught up with both campaigns in the Des Moines suburbs.

Abandoned Mines

Sep 23, 2010

Underground coal mines once played a significant role in the state's economy. It's less well-known that miners also blasted or dug their way through Iowa hillsides to reach seams of coal buried below. Those strip mines, now abandoned, still mar the landscape in south central Iowa. A federal program is underway to put the ripped up acres back together.

Grassley vs. Conlin

Sep 9, 2010

Iowa Republican Senator Chuck Grassley and his Democratic challenger Roxanne Conlin had their first joint appearance of the campaign, sparring on a range of issues on Iowa Public Television’s Iowa Press. Conlin questions what the incumbent can do in another 6 years in the Senate that he hasn’t already done in 30.

School Tax Credit

Aug 12, 2010

A popular tax credit that benefits Iowa's private schools will soon be under scrutiny at the statehouse. A legislative committee is reviewing all tax credits which cost the state treasury as much as 500 million dollars a year. Iowa Public Radio along with Iowa Watch, an Iowa City based non-profit news service, examined what's called the school tuition organization tax credit. The tax break has critics on financial and legal grounds.

A frontline worker in the Obama administration is riding RAGBRAI this week. Dubuque native and UNI graduate Shellie Pfohl heads the President's Council on Physical Fitness and Sports. She's promoting a new fitness initiative with the Iowa Department of Public Health. Pfohl says on Friday it was hard to stay dry.

Abortion Protest

May 20, 2010

Planned Parenthood of Eastern Iowa observed its 30th anniversary in Cedar Rapids. Protesters from several states showed up. Anti-abortion activists are unhappy about a new program expanding abortion services to small rural communities.

Obama in Ottumwa

Apr 27, 2010

President Obama received an enthusiastic welcome when he brought his White House to Main Street tour to Ottumwa. More than two thousand people turned out to cheer the president’s record so far on the economy, even though unemployment persists in southeast Iowa.

Crowded Debate

Apr 26, 2010

An unusually crowded field of candidates is vying for the Republican nomination in Iowa's third congressional district. Seven men are competing to take on incumbent Leonard Boswell in the general election. That's causing headaches when it comes to holding candidate forums.