Greenlee’s Iowa Caucus Class

As I mentioned previously, this semester I am taking two journalism classes that act as one experimental 6-credit course (JLMC 312: Advanced Techniques in Photojournalism and JLMC 414X Digital Newsroom) covering the Iowa caucuses. 

Since Iowa has a special first-in-the-nation status (which means that we hold the first major contest of the US presidential primary season), a lot of presidential candidates come to visit Iowa. As a journalism student, that is an amazing opportunity to go to events and learn more about political reporting. 

To learn more about the Iowa caucuses and registering to vote, click here!

Deni Chamberlin and Brenda Witherspoon teach the course together, which is really great because I see Deni as the master of all things photojournalism and Brenda as a reporting and editing expert. It’s been a busy semester, but I’m having a blast! I wanted to catch up on how this class is going, because it takes up the majority of my time.

On Saturday, Sept. 21, we went on a class field trip to the Polk County Steak Fry in Des Moines, which is an annual event held by the Polk County Democrats. 17 Democratic presidential candidates were there to speak to a crowd of over 12,000 attendees, making it the largest Steak Fry in history. I, as well as two other classmates and my professors, attended as press. We got there around 10 a.m., and I didn’t get home until past 6 p.m. It was truly a full-day event!

I felt very cool and official wearing my press passes all day along with two heavy cameras!

Here’s some shots I got of the candidates that day:

Former vice president Joe Biden flipping steaks. I actually had to get on my knees and get my pants muddy for this shot!

Tulsi Gabbard, U.S. representative for Hawaii, greeting attendees. My friend Trevor and I actually got a one-on-one interview with her!

California Attorney General Kamala Harris entering the Steak Fry with a march.

Julian Castro, former mayor of San Antonio, walking to the stage for his 10-minute speech.

Tom Steyer, philanthropist and activist, during his speech.

Pete Buttigieg, former mayor of South Bend, Illinois, speaking to an excited crowd.

My friend Olivia took this picture of me and Trevor when we were walking among the crowd to get shots of attendees. 

Olivia also got this shot of me and Trevor when we were interviewing Tulsi Gabbard!

On Wednesday, Sept. 25, we drove down to Des Moines where Mark Sanford, Republican primary challenger, did a meet and greet at Arby’s. We were also able to get an interview with him there!

To keep up with my photojournalism coverage of the Iowa caucuses, click here!

Already in this short amount of time, I have learned so much about how our nation works. I’ve also learned that I need to be more brave, more curious and daring.

Be sure to take part in the Iowa caucuses on February 3, 2020 and register to vote! Your voice and your opinion matters, and this is how we as students can participate in the making of our future!

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