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What Iowa's Independent Newspapers Are Doing To Get Trusted Local Information To You

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River to River airs weekdays at 12 p.m. on IPR News and News/Studio One and 10 p.m. on IPR News, and is available as a podcast most days by 5 p.m.

With the Cedar Rapids Gazette selling off its own printer, we sat down with the leaders of newspapers in Iowa Falls and Carroll to learn about how they are paving the way for Iowa journalism's future.

Once upon a time, owning a commercial printer was a source of revenue for many newspapers, but these days very few independent newspapers go to press in-house. Since 1883, the Cedar Rapids Gazette has been printing its daily paper.

That came to an end this month. The paper announced to readers it was selling its printer and moving printing services to Des Moines. While it's certainly a change, Zack Kucharski, the Gazette's executive editor, said a dependable reality in the news business is change.

"Thinking of new ways (to reach audiences) is crucial to who we are, you know? We have to come up with ideas for our survival. That's important to us," Kucharski said. "And so I"m confident that as we continue to emerge, we'll be aggressive in that."

On this episode of River to River, host Ben Kieffer speaks with Kucharski as well as the leaders of the Carroll Times Herald and Iowa Falls Times Citizen about how these institutions changed amid the pandemic and how they plan to keep their newsrooms running.

Guests:

  • Zack Kucharski, executive editor of The Gazette in Cedar Rapids
  • Sara Konrad Baranowski, editor of the Iowa Falls Times-Citizen
  • Tony Baranowski, director of local media for Times-Citizen Communications
  • Douglas Burns, vice president for news at the Carroll Times Herald
Ben Kieffer is the host of IPR's River to River
Zachary Oren Smith is a producer for IPR's Talk of Iowa and River to River