Author

Dave Busiek

Dave Busiek

Dave Busiek spent 43 years working in Iowa radio and television newsrooms as a reporter, anchor and the last 30 years as news director of KCCI-TV, the CBS affiliate in Des Moines. In that role, he planned coverage of the Iowa caucuses, the floods of 1993 during which 250,000 central Iowans lost drinking water for 12 days, and organized the first national debate between Democratic candidates for president in 2015. He served as national board chair of the Radio-Television News Directors Association. In 2014, he was Broadcasting and Cable Magazine’s News Director of the Year. He was inducted into the Iowa Broadcasters Hall of Fame in 2018 and is a recipient of the Iowa Broadcast News Association’s Jack Shelley award. He is a graduate of the University of Missouri School of Journalism. He retired at the end of 2018. He is a member of the Iowa Writers' Collaborative and his blog, "Dave Busiek on Media" appears on Substack.

COMMENTARY

Iowa GOP blacklists TV station from election night event

By: - November 16, 2022

In what’s become a trend of Republicans stiff-arming mainstream media outlets, the Iowa Republican Party last week denied a Cedar Rapids TV station entrance into the GOP’s election night party in downtown Des Moines. KCRG-TV is the ABC affiliate in Cedar Rapids.  It’s a fine news operation that provides quality coverage in eastern Iowa.  On […]

COMMENTARY

Behind the scenes at a local TV station on election night

By: - November 8, 2022

Most journalists love election night. It’s fast-paced, exciting, late-breaking, unpredictable. You know in your heart that viewers and readers really want to know what happened, so it takes all your skills to deliver a ton of information in an understandable way. In TV news, the key to a successful election night is preparation weeks in advance. […]

COMMENTARY

Do TV stations make a killing on political ads?

By: - October 29, 2022

Cindy Axne went to France! Zach Nunn still has his hand in the air! IRS agents are hiding in Iowa cornfields (wearing dark business suits for some reason) ready to pounce on us! Somebody’s giving “the bird” to who, exactly? On many election days at KCCI, before the polls closed, anchor Kevin Cooney would announce […]

COMMENTARY

Where’s the line separating journalists from politics?

By: - October 12, 2022

A TV news director in North Platte, Nebraska, was fired recently for getting too involved in politics. It raises good questions about journalism and politics.  What can a journalist do in his or her personal life?  What rights do they give up?  And, what is over the line? Press reports say Melanie Standiford was fired […]

COMMENTARY

The debate dance: Change the format to better serve voters

By: - September 29, 2022

Iowans are losing one more traditional handhold on the world of politics as incumbent candidates are either refusing to participate in debates or limiting themselves to just one. And maybe that’s a good thing – but only IF debates evolve into something more useful for voters. Sadly, I don’t think that’s happening, but I have […]

COMMENTARY

Keep your hands off journalists

By: - September 19, 2022

Reporters need a thick skin. Hard-hitting stories can generate a lot of complaints, including abusive language and the occasional threat. It got out of hand this month in Las Vegas where a reporter was stabbed to death in his home.  Police have arrested an elected official who had been the subject of several investigative stories […]

COMMENTARY

The scourge of the written statement

By: - September 9, 2022

One of the negative impacts of the reduction in newsroom staffing is what I call “the scourge of the written statement.” A day doesn’t go by that I don’t read several instances of a newsmaker, often a public official, responding to a reporter’s question by releasing a written statement.  There are limited times when it’s […]

COMMENTARY

Forty years ago, I stumbled into one of Iowa’s great mysteries

By: - August 30, 2022

Through sheer happenstance, I was the first journalist to stumble upon the scene of a tragic set of circumstances, that 40 years later is still a deep wound on our state that time has not healed. On the Sunday morning before Labor Day, my wife and I were driving to church in West Des Moines. […]