What we are covering in Iowa: Story writing and predictions

BY BRIANNA BECERRA

Over the past few weeks, the Bruin staff has been working tirelessly to prepare for the departure to Iowa. All of the staffers loaded up the bus for the 12 hour bus drive on Friday the 31st. This travel time proved to be useful, as many staff members were able to start on their stories for the upcoming issue. 

The down time on the bus also allowed the staffers to look ahead and think about the historical events that they will attend in the coming days. The trip has left each staffer with many options for events, such as select rallies and campaigns. Each student took a moment to discuss their story for this month and why it is important to them, their hopes for the trip and who they will believe will walk away with a victory from the first caucus of the 2020 election season.

What story are you working on? Why is it important to you?

Seth Smalley
Story assignment: I am working on a story about what motivates campaign volunteers to support their candidate so fully and it is important to me because I don’t know who I am voting for yet and hope that some of the information I learn will help me decide.

What are you looking to get out of this?: A better understanding of each candidate and to come back a more informed voter and citizen.

Who do you think is going to win for each party?: Sanders and Trump

Logan Egleston
Story assignment: Republicans Challenging Trump: As a card carrying Republican, I think this story needs to be told. Multiple media outlets show statistics that Nearing 45% of Republicans would consider voting for a “legitimate challenger” so the notion is very relevant.

What are you looking to get out of this?: There may not be a more electric election process than a caucus, I want to be in the fritz of one to see how it works. It will also provide me the chance to be well-educated on all candidates in the first presidential election I’ll be able to vote in.

Emily Brandyberry
Story assignment: Campaign Managers. I’m very interested in learning how a campaign actually works because as a voter we don’t really get to see that.

What are you looking to get out of this?: I am hoping to gain valuable experience from being in high pressure situations and learning more about what goes into a presidential campaign.

Anna Wolfinger
Story assignment: I am writing about the differences in the towns of Wadsworth, Lordstown, and Newbury. All of our towns have very different economies being only a couple of hours apart, so I talk with them about what they are looking for in candidates and what they think their town needs from the next president.

What are you looking to get out of this?: I want to be pushed out of my comfort zone to talk to people person-to-person. I want to further develop my journalism skills and I want the challenge of writing on the fly. I am also looking to further educate myself on the confusion that is American politics.

Who do you think is going to win for each party?: Biden and Trump

Micah Beck
Story assignment: I am working on making a documentary video of our experience, and what it’s like to be a high school newspaper taking on such a big task.

What are you looking to get out of this?: I am hoping to get an amazing experience, a good video in the end, and the possibility of it looking good on future resumes, showreels, etc

Who do you think is going to win for each party?: Sanders and Trump

Brianna Becerra
Story assignment: Women in politics. I am passionate about women’s rights, so putting these women in the spotlight is very important to me. I will also be asking women voters what they find is most important to them. I find this to be interesting and especially valid in this upcoming election.

What are you looking to get out of this?: I am really looking forward to being a “real” journalist while we’re in Iowa and getting to see the big name news reporters in action.

Who do you think is going to win for each party?: Buttigieg and Trump

Jillian Cornacchione
Story assignment: The Undecideds. Several people vote as “undecided” in the first few rounds of a democratic caucus. I am curious as to what ends up swaying their vote in the end and what especially grabs their attention towards one specific candidate.

What are you looking to get out of this?: With the next presidential election in the near future, and knowing that I will have a voice as a newly voting citizen, I am hoping to expand my political knowledge so that I can make a well-informed decision come voting day. I am also hoping that this trip will help me get out of my comfort zone and prepare me for real world interactions that I will encounter in my future career

Who do you think is going to win for each party?: Biden and Trump

Halle Shaeffer
Story assignment: Generation Z voters. As our generation is becoming voters it is important to tell the story of what we are passionate about. Difference in age often shows a shift in what policies are important, popular candidates, and the outlets in which voters find their information, which is what we intend to find with this story. I am writing this story with Abby Wichterman.

What are you looking to get out of this?: I am hoping to leave the trip with all of the information that I need to make a well informed decision in the 2020 election. Alongside of that, I am especially looking forward to working with a campaign and learning how it is run on a daily basis

Who do you think is going to win for each party?: Sanders and Trump

Abby Wichterman
Story assignment: Gen Z voters. We are passionate about this topic because it is a story untold. The 2020 election will be the first for Generation Z, our goal is to inform young voters. I am writing this story alongside Halle Shaeffer.

What are you looking to get out of this?: I am hoping to learn more about the electoral process. I also want to see what it is like to be involved in campaign and what all the behind the scenes look like.

Who do you think is going to win for each party?: Sanders and Trump

Axel Mueller
Story assignment: Journalists- Everyone reads the news done by interviewers and those on the scene, but people usually don’t think about how they got it, or how hard it is to gain access into these events especially in large scale events such as the Iowa Caucus

What are you looking to get out of this?: I am looking forward to being a part of history, to be able to look back at the 2020 Iowa Caucus and remember how I was a photographer, and journalist who was able to walk alongside candidates as a student from Wadsworth, Ohio.

Who do you think is going to win for each party?: Sanders and Trump

Kate Messam
Story assignment:Comparing campaign styles. I have always been interested in campaign management and this is the best way to learn about it

What are you looking to get out of this?: I am hoping to learn how the other campaigns/candidates interact with each other amidst the political turmoil we are facing in the country

Who do you think is going to win for each party?: Biden and Trump

Brian Coote
Story assignment: The story of us. While the Iowa Caucus is important the real fun is the memories the staff makes and the experiences we have so that it is worth writing about.

What are you looking to get out of this?: A chance to be involved in government, and what is is like to be on a campaign team.

Who do you think is going to win for each party?: Sanders and Trump

Chris Steele
Story assignment: Bernie/pete age gap and voter age. Many of the younger generation are voting for the oldest democratic candidate Bernie Sanders, while the older generation is voting for the youngest candite Pete Budigeg. I am interested in why this is occurring and what about the candidates and their policies that are appealing to each respective group.

What are you looking to get out of this?: I am interested in what happens behind the scenes in these campaigns and how they interact with everyone. I am also interested in seeing how each campaign tackles the problems that face America today and how they react when we interview them and how seriously they will take a bunch of high school journalists.

Who do you think is going to win for each party?: Sanders and Trump

Sarah Scobee
Story assignment: Looking at the effect that social media has on campaigns and how that works with Gen Z. I am also analyzing how campaigns use social media and the people behind their platforms.

What are you looking to get out of this?: I am hoping to get a better grasp on how our elections are ran and get an insider look at what goes into choosing our presidents. I think it is really interesting to see how different the voting process is inside our country and how much effort the candidates put into the caucus. I hope this experience also helps me become better at interacting with people and stepping out of my comfort zone

Who do you think is going to win for each party?: Sanders and Trump


The staffers will be busy in the coming days, going separate ways in order to become acquainted with as many campaigns as possible. They plan to work diligently to be a viable source of political information during the caucus process.

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.

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