Iraq is a surprise topic this week on commercial drive-time radio in Denver

I’m completely amazed at the air time and hype KOA’s Colorado Morning News is giving to dispatches from Iraq by anchor Steffan Tubbs.

Colorado’s Morning News has got to be the only major commercial drive-time radio show in the country that’s actually reporting from Iraq these days, if ever.

I mean, if you don’t know the show, it fixates on traffic, weather, entertainment sports, and the water-cooler headline news…-which is certainly not Iraq. You’ll hear political and entertainment heavyweights on the show, and the questioning they get from Tubbs and co-anchor April Zesbaugh ranges from fawning to lightly critical.

But ongoing reporting about something that’s off the news radar? Almost never. But this week, Iraq.

I’ve admired Tubbs for closing his show most days with, “remember our troops,” but now, there he is in the war zone, talking with commanders and troops and finding Colorado connections. And on KOA’s “Steffan in Iraq” page, you can read his blog.

Tubbs isn’t offering investigative reporting, and he’s being too much of a cheerleader, but still I have to say it’s great to hear our troops on commercial drive-time AM radio…-as well as Tubbs’ other stories.

Tubbs, who went to Iraq in 2006 as well, is part of a Colorado group, including Ryan Huff, a Boulder Daily Camera editor Ryan Huff and folks from Altitude Sports and Entertainment, that’s there to teach Iraqi reporters about journalism.

Here’s Tubbs’ blog on his presentation:

today was a busy one, with my presentation to Iraqi journalists off-base at a place they call Camp Midicah. It is only a couple of miles from where we sleep… and consists of some older Iraqi buildings and mostly U.S. trailers.

I addressed them on TV, radio and overall journalistic technique. The group is about 50 in size… and they were attentive, inquisitive, funny and intelligent. They are a respectful people for the most part, though if they are bored, they will let you know!

They liked my examples of both my TV work and portions of KOA and Colorado Morning News… but they were most interested in whether or not I could truly report on what I want to report. They had a bit of trouble comprehending that… I think so many of them are set in their ways from the old regime. But they are changing. I hope I made at least a dent.

Even those of you who can’t stand KOA have to admit that KOA-style expression and journalism look pretty good, if you’re standing in Iraq. Good luck to Steffan Tubbs.

Leave a Reply

You must be logged in to post a comment.