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An Iowa newspaper is among a nationwide celebration of local journalism in a Chicago author's book

River to River, hosted by Ben Kieffer

The struggles and successes of newspapers in towns like Carroll, Iowa amid recent crises such as the pandemic and declining revenues are chronicled in a new book.

River to River host Ben Kieffer talks with Dave Hoekstra, an award-winning former columnist of the Chicago Sun-Times, about his latest book, Beacons in the Darkness: Hope and Transformation Among America's Community Newspapers.

Hoekstra spent the last three years traveling across the country interviewing publishers of locally-owned newspapers, including Doug Burns, co-owner of the Iowa-based Carroll Times Herald.

Burns joins Kieffer and Hoekstra for a discussion of the community ties, perseverance and empathy that's demonstrated in these newsrooms and what's to come for local print journalism.


  • Dave Hoekstra, Chicago-based author-journalist
  • Doug Burns, journalist and co-owner, Carroll Times Herald
Ben Kieffer is the host of IPR's River to River
Samantha McIntosh is a talk show producer at Iowa Public Radio. Prior to IPR, Samantha worked as a reporter for radio stations in southeast and west central Iowa under M&H Broadcasting, and before that she was a weekend music host for GO 96.3 in Minneapolis, Minnesota.