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The Jefferson Journal is JPR's members' magazine featuring articles, columns, and reviews about living in Southern Oregon and Northern California, as well as articles from NPR. The magazine also includes program listings for JPR's network of radio stations.

Tuned In: Transitions

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As we turn the page on another year, JPR’s service to the region continues to evolve.

In the year ahead, we're making some significant changes to the Jefferson Exchange, our civic affairs program dedicated to the issues, people and places of Southern Oregon and Northern California. Starting in January, we’ll begin producing the program in a new one-hour format, eliminating the hour dedicated mostly to conversations with authors. The program will air live weekdays at 9am on JPR’s News & Information Service so that listeners tuned in to the final hour of Morning Edition on our Rhythm and News Service can switch over to hear the JX in its entirety. An evening rebroadcast will continue, airing weekdays at 8pm.

We’re making this change in order to focus more of our staff resources on truly local and regional issues, rather than on exploring broader topics that are often covered by NPR and our other content partners throughout the day. It is our goal to improve both the breadth and depth of the topics we explore on the JX, by providing additional time for the program’s host, Geoffrey Riley, and senior producer, Angela Decker, to conduct independent research on the issues we take on and identify a broader array of knowledgeable spokespeople to discuss these issues from different perspectives. In order to create time for this contextual journalism, we’ll curate listener input received by email rather than by phone.

We’re making this change in order to focus more of our staff resources on truly local and regional issues.

Another change that will take place on the JX is that Friday’s program will be reshaped to include many of the regular segments currently heard on the program, such as Underground History, Savor, Rogue Sounds and The Ground Floor, along with several newly created segments that will be produced in partnership with community organizations around the region. One of these new segments will be a weekly roundtable discussion with JPR reporters and other journalists who have done significant reporting on important regional issues. This segment will highlight some of that reporting, as well as provide additional background and historical context on the news and a discussion about future coverage being planned on these issues. Our Friday segments will engage guest hosts as a way to include new voices in the program and each segment will also be separately published as a podcast for inclusion in NPR’s developing Podcast Network (more to come on this soon).

The Jefferson Exchange remains a central element of our public service mission to explore the issues facing our region in a fact-based way that stimulates constructive civic discourse and inspires people to become engaged in their community. We look forward to hearing your feedback about the program as we work toward the goal of making it more local, more able to respond to emerging issues, and more relevant to life in our region.

Paul Westhelle oversees management of JPR's service to the community.  He came to JPR in 1990 as Associate Director of Broadcasting for Marketing and Development after holding jobs in non-profit management and fundraising for a national health agency. He's a graduate of San Jose State University's School of Journalism and Mass Communications.