Dengler Domain: Informed

The tough part living in today’s world is knowing what is true and what is not. The way the social media economy and the news economy is setup in today’s world is to generate likes. Sometimes, a lie can spread around the world faster than the truth. The reason being is high quality journalistic enterprises verify the truth through research and sources before publishing what they know.

The other part in today’s world of news which is struggling is getting good reliable local news. Due to the high-speed nature and people’s reliance on social media for news, this has caused newspapers and television advertising dollars to dry up cutting their ability to report on local issues as evidence by the shrinking and consolidation of newspapers like the Traer Star-Clipper, Dysart Reporter, Gladbrook Northern-Sun into the North Tama Telegraph.

Despite our fearless editor, Ruby McAllister, it is hard to cover all the viable local news, especially the news coming out of the Iowa legislature. Knowing what is happening under the golden dome is important and local news are hamstrung by their dwindling resources. This results in less state hours reporters and few sources to understand what is happening at the Iowa State Capitol.

There are a couple sources I highly recommend for those interested in learning about what is going on at the Iowa State Capitol or in Iowa. Both sources have always left me more informed after watching. The source which gives the best representation of what is going on in Iowa and with interviews with important folks in Iowa is Iowa Press. It may look like a boring show, but they provide wonderful information. The beauty is if you miss it on Iowa PBS on Friday at 7:30 p.m., you can watch it anytime on YouTube after the day of the airing. My suggestion is to watch at 1.5 speed and let it play in the background while you exercise or do another activity.

Another suggestion is the On Iowa Politics Podcast which is recorded and produced by the Cedar Rapids Gazette. This podcast provides a great representation of viewpoints from journalists from each corner of the state. They provide different perspectives on how legislation and how that will impact Iowans in their specific region. This podcast is available anywhere, and it is very knowledgeable.

These suggestions will help give you a better knowledge base of what is going on in the Iowa legislature and across Iowa in general. Both sources provide the facts to help viewers and listeners understand the issues when it sometimes feels like it is hard to find the right information. These sources for the most part avoid a partisan lean, especially Iowa Press, and they in addition to other reliable journalistic endeavors will also provide you knowledge to help inform you. At the end of the day, an informed populace creates a healthy democracy.

Sean Dengler is a writer, comedian, farmer, and host of the Pandaring Talk podcast who grew up on a farm between Traer and Dysart. You can reach him at sean.h.dengler@gmail.com.