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An Iowa newspaper is celebrated for 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 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 three years traveling across the country interviewing publishers of locally-owned newspapers, including Doug Burns, who was formerly 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 former co-owner, Carroll Times Herald

This episode was originally produced 11-17-22

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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.