# Media



Good news, bad news

Bleeding Heartland user dbmarin is a musician, former Register reporter and sound designer. His collaboration with video artist Oyoram (7even Stories High) is currently featured at The Des Moines Art Center’s IMMERSIVE installation.

I’ll start with the good news.

It looks as if Matthew Smith, deputy superintendent for the Des Moines Public Schools, has been tapped as the interim superintendent while the district searches for Tom Ahart’s successor.

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Surprising myself, I favor keeping the Iowa caucuses

Marcia Rogers divides her time between Cedar Rapids and Hyde Park in Chicago. A version of this column was first published in the Carroll Times Herald.

This wasn’t the planned first article of a three-part series I was intending to write. 

After all, what would a 2021 Nobel Peace Prize journalist from the Philippines, or a Pulitzer Prize-winning author and The Atlantic contributor on Ukraine and Russia, along with a former U.S. president — or finally my supremely qualified seatmate — say that would completely upend my opinion going into today about something so very Iowan as the caucuses.

Why would anything these four shared in their remarks during Day 1 of “Disinformation and the Erosion of Democracy” conference at the University of Chicago turn my world of thought on this topic upside down?

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Mercy killing

Ira Lacher‘s open letter to Lucas Grundmeier, opinion editor or The Des Moines Register.

Dear Mr. Grundmeier,

Ordinarily, I would submit this to you as a guest opinion essay. But you’ve announced that the Register, once counted among America’s great newspapers, will no longer consider unsolicited opinion pieces. CORRECTION: The newspaper will continue to consider unsolicited guest columns but will “accept far fewer” of them in the print edition.

So I share my views on this blog, which now exists as apparently the sole outlet for members of the Des Moines community wishing to make their opinions known, civilly and responsibly.

In the print edition dated March 13, 2022, you commented about the addition of a new columnist, saying: “I believe this demonstrates the Register’s continued commitment to providing forums for robust discussion of community topics.” My response, to you and the other top executives of the “media company,” which you now call yourself: No. It doesn’t. More about that later.

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Republicans curtailing press freedom

Steve Corbin is emeritus professor of marketing at the University of Northern Iowa and freelance writer who receives no remuneration, funding, or endorsement from any for-profit business, nonprofit organization, political action committee, or political party.

Most citizens don’t know that Republican leaders in Iowa, Utah, Kansas, and Florida are limiting journalists’ access to open-to-the-public legislature and gubernatorial sessions. Their actions raise the question: “What issues and policies are GOP elected officials trying to hide?”

Furthermore, what is there about the First Amendment to the Constitution – specifically freedom of the press – Republicans don’t understand? Maybe GOP’ers are demonstrating their anti-democracy intentions, giving favor to control the media as witnessed by fascists countries such as Russia, China, North Korea, and Venezuela.

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Bobby Kaufmann telling new story about obscene gesture

State Representative Bobby Kaufmann gained extensive media coverage in January for raising his middle fingers at the end of a speech to a conservative audience at the Iowa capitol. At the time, Kaufmann told reporters he was trying to convey widespread frustration with federal government policies and national problems.

But the Republican lawmaker told a different story at a recent meeting with constituents. Now he is claiming his “double-finger” was directed at specific individuals who have supposedly threatened his family.

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Echoes from 1950s might answer fears of 2022

Herb Strentz draws inspiration from three Americans who spoke truth to power when McCarthyism was ascendant.

Edward R. Murrow was among America’s greatest 20th century journalists. He helped see the nation through World War II, mostly through his broadcasts from Nazi-bombed London. He also helped the country get through the “Red Scare” of the 1950s.

Both episodes are distant memories now, even for those who are old enough to remember. But some of us still cling to those memories, and rightly so.

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