Friday, October 23, 2009

Kathryn Koob and Terrorism on the next Iowa Journal

Thirty years ago this week, trouble was brewing in Iran. Militants were in the middle of planning a series of events that would change the country's landscape forever. On November 4th, 1979, militants stormed the American Embassy in Tehran. 66 people were taken hostage, 53 of them remained that way for 444 days.

One of them is Iowa native Kathryn Koob. Koob was working in the Iran American Cultural Center.

We traveled to Waverly to talk to Koob about her captivity and release plus her thoughts on the experience.

We'll also hear part of a speech from Jane Mayer, who spoke to Grinnell College about terrorism earlier this year.

Broadcast date is Thursday at 8p and Friday at 630p. You will also be able to view the story later in the week on

Here's the newly released press release about next week's show.

Kathryn Koob, former Iranian Hostage
and Jane Mayer, author of The Dark Side:
On the Thursday, October 29 edition
of The Iowa Journal

(Johnston, Iowa) –Thursday’s episode of The Iowa Journal will talk with Kathryn Koob, who was taken hostage in Iran in 1979. This program airs Thursday, October 29 at 8 p.m. It will be rebroadcast Friday, October 30 at 6:30 p.m. on IPTV and Saturday, October 31 at 8:30 a.m. on IPTV WORLD. It will also be available online at
In 1979, Koob was the director of the Iran-American cultural center. While there, she was abducted and held hostage in Tehran for the 444 days Iranian students. She has chronicled her life in a book called Guest of the Revolution and is now an instructor at Wartburg College in Waverly. The Iowa Journal host Paul Yeager talks to Koob about her time as a hostage, her views on Iran today, and her belief that one of her captors is a well-known Iranian figure of today.
The Iowa Journal will also show an excerpt of a presentation by author Jane Mayer, whose book, Dark Side: The Inside Story of How the War on Terror Turned into a War on American Ideals, documents U.S. torture tactics on detainees as part of the post 9/11 war on terror.
For more information about The Iowa Journal, visit or call (515) 242-3146. For information on how to watch IPTV WORLD in your area, visit

Monday, October 19, 2009

H1N1 and the Midwest League.

Here's a look at this week's show and the press release sent out for it.
I'll post a bit more on the show later in the week.

October 19, 2009
Jennifer Glover Konfrst, 515-242-3146

H1N1, Professional Baseball:
On the Thursday, October 22 edition
of The Iowa Journal

(Johnston, Iowa) –Thursday’s episode of The Iowa Journal will focus on the H1N1 flu and take a look at Iowa’s professional baseball teams. This program airs Thursday, October 22 at 8 p.m. It will be rebroadcast Friday, October 23 at 6:30 p.m. on IPTV and Saturday, October 24 at 8:30 a.m. on IPTV WORLD. It will also be available online at
School districts across the state are reporting a greater-than-normal number of sick children. Medical clinics are seeing a growing number of patients with influenza symptoms. Given that flu season is just beginning, The Iowa Journal explores how government, business, and medical leaders are preparing for and responding to H1N1.
H1N1 is not necessarily more deadly than other flu strains, but because the virus is new, few people have immunity against it, and more people could get sick. The virus's ability to mutate is also causing concern. Although there's no evidence it will change, the possibility makes for unknowns. Who will be most vulnerable, what will be the severity of the illness, and will vaccines be safe and effective?
Guests for this episode include: Rebecca Curtiss, bureau chief for the Center for Disaster Operations and Response at the Iowa Department of Public Health; Jami Haberl, executive director for Safeguard Iowa Partnership, a statewide disaster management coalition of businesses and government leaders.
This episode will also look at Iowa’s professional baseball teams. Of the six teams in the state, four of them are in the Midwest League, which plays Class A baseball. There are teams in Cedar Rapids, Davenport, Clinton and Burlington. The Iowa Journal will explore the set up of these teams and how they create the baseball experience for their fans.
For more information about The Iowa Journal, visit or call (515) 242-3146. For information on how to watch IPTV WORLD in your area, visit
# # #

Iowa Public Television is Iowa's statewide public broadcasting network. IPTV provides quality, noncommercial programming to make a difference in the lives of Iowans. As one of the last locally controlled media enterprises in the state, IPTV is committed to telling Iowa's stories like no one else can. Our mission to educate, inform, enrich, and inspire Iowans enables IPTV to present an unequaled array of programs of lasting value to Iowans regardless of where they live or what they can afford. More than 1.4 million viewers a week turn to IPTV for programming that reflects a range of interests for Iowans in all demographic categories. Iowa Public Television stations include: Channel 11, Des Moines; Channel 12, Iowa City; Channel 21, Fort Dodge; Channel 24, Mason City; Channel 27, Sioux City; Channel 32, Waterloo; Channel 32, Council Bluffs; Channel 36, Davenport; Channel 36, Red Oak.

Thursday, October 15, 2009

The World Food Prize and a guy named Bill Gates

For last 22 years, those who've contributed to helping feed the world have been asked to come to Des Moines and discuss progress, research attempts and for some, accept the biggest award of all-- The World Food Prize.

Tonight is no different.

Dr. Gebisa Ejeta, native of Ethiopia, and now of Purdue University, will be given the award live on Iowa Public Television beginning at 7pm. Ejeta was born in a mud floored shack and now is helping feed his native country and others by his work with sorghum. His hybrids are resistant to drought and the Striga weed. You can learn more about Ejeta here on the World Food Prize website.

Ejeta appeared tall on the video taped piece I previewed earlier in the week. I asked about his height, I found out he'd been a member of the Ethiopian National team. He stands 6-7, so you can imagine the image if the two of us stood next to each other. So, we sat in the Iowa Capital's Law Library. We got a chance to talk to Ejeta on Wednesday. He was gracious with his time. You'll be able to view it later tonight following the ceremony. Our program begins at 8p.

Also included in tonight's Iowa Journal is Bill Gates. Yes, that Bill Gates as he addressed the symposium earlier in the day. Hear what he and others said at the end of our broadcast.

Last week we talked about Iowa's Natural Heritage. It was a fun program to be a part of as we brought in two panelists via the ICN in addition to our in-studio guests of Chuck Gipp, Pat Bode and former Congressman Neal Smith. You can view that on our website here.

Next week we talk about H1N1 and then a look at the Midwest League teams in Iowa. It was fun to visit the Burlington Bees, Quad City River Bandits, Clinton Lumberkings and Cedar Rapids Kernels earlier this summer. This will be the first time we use the video. We also are planning a program about minor league sports in iowa. We hope to talk about the USHL and NBA-D league that play in Iowa.

In two weeks, we'll talk with Iowan Kathryn Koob about her experience as a hostage in Iran. November 4th, 2009 will mark 30 years since she was taken into captivity.

See you on the air at 8p tonight and 630p on Friday.

Give us a follow on Twitter at if you want all the Iowa Journal scoop.

See you tonight.

Wednesday, October 14, 2009

Upcoming Iowa Journals

We are always working on new topics and shows here at IPTV.

Right now I've got a couple of shows and features in the works.

Here's a look at two of the topics I'll have a hand in.

Midwest League Baseball Oct 22 TIJ #307
5 cities in Iowa have professional baseball. 4 of them are in the Midwest League, which plays Class A baseball. ‘A’ ball is the lowest level of full-season minor leagues. There are teams in Cedar Rapids, Davenport, Clinton and Burlington. The last two cities usually battle for the title of smallest towns in the country that have professional, full-season baseball. They are community owned in Clinton and Burlington, one of the main reasons they still have a team. We’ll look at the set up of the teams in their towns and how they make the experience for fans and families. The date of the show is timed to be right before the beginning of the World Series on October 28th. We will do another show using the video and interviews for a show on minor league sports in Iowa and the economic challenges of having a team. This will be in either November or December and will include a look at hockey and basketball. Run time for the story is 3-4 minutes and will be the tag to the H1N1 program.

Kathryn Koob: Oct 29 TIJ #308
Koob was a hostage in Iran for 444 days. Her first day in captivity was November 4th, 1979. She has retired from her work in foreign service in Austria, Australia and other outposts. We talked to her in Waverly on the campus of Wartburg College, her alma matter and employer since her retirement. She’s a member of the Communication Arts faculty. We talked about her time in captivity, who they were (she’s convinced that one of the men in the group was current president Mahmoud Ahmadinejad). We also talked about treatment of hostages mentally and physically, including terrorism and torture. This will story will include her feature set up and then interview. Run time will be in the 20-22 minute length, depending on the show’s tag of the Jane Mayer’s speech from Grinnell.

I'm Back

Just wanted to let you know, I've been away from the blog for a bit. But that's because I've been away from work for a bit.

Amy gave birth to Levi Paul Yeager on September 27th at 215a in Des Moines. Everything went fine. Everyone is fine. Noah has been extremely excited about his brother and we hope that continues.

I did take 2 weeks off, but did return for two Iowa Journal tapings. Now I'm back full time and ready for work. More on that later.