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Retiring columnist Rekha Basu on decades of being a voice for change

Talk of Iowa, hosted by Charity Nebbe

Retiring Des Moines Register columnist reflects on her career, what led her to Iowa and her proudest moments.

After 30 years of coverage at the Des Moines Register, columnist Rekha Basu is retiring. She joins Talk of Iowa host Charity Nebbe this hour to share highlights from her career, how she has seen the newspaper industry change and why she is stepping away in a bittersweet goodbye.

In her more than 5,000 columns, Basu addressed issues of social justice, human rights, race and gender. Some of her most impactful pieces spoke up against the sexual abuse of young women. Her bold feminist writing also led to criticism, but that never swayed her from writing what she thought needed to be put to print.

Basu's final day at Register will be Dec.1, but she doesn't plan to retire her voice just yet.


  • Rekah Basu, Des Moines Register columnist
Charity Nebbe is the host of IPR's Talk of Iowa
Dani Gehr is a producer for River to River and Talk of Iowa. Dani came to Iowa from her hometown in the northwest suburbs of Chicago to attend Iowa State University, where she received a bachelor’s degree in journalism, international studies and French. Before coming to IPR, Dani covered local government in Story County for the Ames Tribune and Des Moines Register.
Natalie Dunlap is a rising junior at the University of Iowa majoring in journalism and minoring in gender, women's & sexuality studies. She is from Iowa City and in her free time enjoys getting coffee and reading downtown with friends.