Training Reporters to Cover the Iowa Caucuses

Jun 17, 2015

The Iowa Caucuses have remained the same over time, but the media coverage has not. Butch Ward, a Senior Faculty Member at the Poynter Institute, says that since the advent of social media, campaigns have had an easier time reaching the public. That it makes it both easier and harder for reporters.

“Reporting the message from a speech may not be as useful as asking ‘is this consistent with performance? Has this candidate flip flopped overtime?’ I think of that as a sense maker, somebody who introduced a certain sense of understanding and meaning,” Ward says.

“I try to push new reporters to talk to people and not just report information from campaigns.”

During this hour of River to River, host Ben Kieffer talks with Ward about training reporters to cover political stories. He’s helping teach a workshop at Drake University for reporters who have never covered the caucuses.

Kelly Winfrey, a lecturer at the Carrie Chapman Catt Center at Iowa State University also joins the conversation to talk about the announcements that Jeb Bush and Donald Trump are running for President.