STORY BY BRIAN COOTE & VIDEO BY MICAH BECK
The Wadsworth Bruin newspaper staff has been given the chance to report on and be a part of the Iowa Caucus. With the Bruin heading to Des Moines, Iowa and other cities nearby, there is a lot of preparation going into the trip.
The five-day trip will involve travel, volunteering for campaigns, going to rallies and attending several caucuses.
Along with the special Iowa caucus edition of the Bruin that the staff plans to print immediately upon their return, they also plan to produce a double issue that contains all the Wadsworth community news as well as high school activities that locals have come to expect.
“While everyone is gone, we will continue to work on the normal pages of the issue,” said staff writer, Natalie Maher. “ I will be working on the ‘What’s Trending’ page, but we will also help with editing the Iowa stories as there’s little time between sendout.”
Much of the staff’s time has been spent researching candidates. In and out of class, the staff has been learning about candidates, from their backstory to their current views on issues in the world. Not only are the candidates being researched, but their campaign staff and managers as well.
“I have been reading magazine articles and journals about each candidate and how they are preparing for the caucus,” said social media manager, Sarah Scobee. “It is a lot of reading and making sure everyone knows as much information about the caucus as possible.”
Also in preparation, the Bruin has started a political podcast to debate issues and document the experiences of the Iowa Trip. The podcast is called The Bruin Political Breakdown and starts with Brianna Becerra, Emily Brandyberry and Logan Egleston discussing the impeachment trial of President Donald Trump and their expectations of the upcoming Iowa Caucus.
“I love politics, so this podcast has given me the opportunity to talk about something that I’m passionate about,” said staff writer and podcast host, Brianna Becerra. “We wanted to start this podcast to inform the community about what is happening in politics, and especially Iowa. We will hopefully record more episodes while we are there to keep everything current.”
The trip has brought attention to the Wadsworth Bruin, getting the Medina Gazette, the Akron Beacon Journal, Channel 5 News, Wadsworth Community Radio and Good Morning Britain involved and interested in the group. The Medina Gazette, Akron Beacon Journal and Channel 5 News have interviewed the Bruin while Good Morning Britain plans to work together with the Bruin staff at the Iowa caucus.
“This is a chance to take a national story and have a local tie to it,” said Cheryl Powers, managing news editor of the Akron Beacon Journal. “It’s different; this isn’t something every school gets to do”.
Channel 5 News will air their segment about the Bruin trip on Friday morning.
Good Morning Britain Skyped with the Bruin staff a week before the caucus to educate them and give them tips on interviewing politicians. The Bruin will team up with Good Morning Britain to scout locations for their camera crew and provide a local view on foreign politics.
“This is definitely gonna surprise your readers,” said Kate Powling from Good Morning Britain.
The Bruin staff leaves for Iowa on January 31. The staff is looking forward to this great opportunity to be a part of our country’s politics and educating not only Wadsworth’s students, but all of Northeast Ohio, as The Bruin is the only local news source going to Iowa.
“This is a once in a lifetime opportunity,” said Bruin news editor, Anna Wolfinger. “We are going to take advantage of every chance we get as well as soak up all of the experience along the way.” Make sure to keep up with the story on all of The Bruin’s social media accounts. Follow The Bruin on Twitter, Instagram and Facebook.