Catching the Caucus: The media’s perspective

Politics and media are often synonymous with each other, and the Iowa caucuses are no exception. Representatives of the media travel from all over the world to get a peek and report on their findings in the form of photos, articles and interviews. Truman State University students got the chance to collect similar media while attending multiple candidate events and a caucus while representing the Truman Media Network. At a time when all eyes are on the Republican candidates, the Bulldogs provided a glimpse through the eyes of the media personnel covering those candidates. Despite the striking weather resulting in poor travel conditions in Iowa this year, the media was still present in numbers. From university students to well-known reporters, the diversity among the present media made for various perspectives.

 For Tom Costello, a cameraman for USA Today, filming during a rally for Vivek Ramaswamy was simply something he was told to do. 

“I just shoot and send it, and someone else makes the decisions. I’m the gatherer,” Costello said.

While there were plenty of other self-proclaimed gatherers in the crowd, TMN representatives were also able to find media personnel with a more hands-on approach.

Michael Gold, a political correspondent for the New York Times, had been in Iowa since Jan. 3 to ensure he would have an opportunity to cover the Iowa caucuses and related rallies. Gold has been dedicated to following the Trump campaign since August of 2023 to better understand the messaging of Trump’s campaign. Gold also spoke to numerous Trump supporters in Iowa to know where concerns with Trump’s campaign lay for voters as well as to gauge Trump’s progress with voters. 

“Candidates want coverage; they want people to be involved. I think you guys are young, and they want a young person’s perspective, and they want young people to be informed,” Gold said. 

Ellora and Mai, from Atlanta, Georgia were attending the Iowa caucuses to film a documentary for an elective political course. Mai encouraged other young people to use unbiased sources to cover political events to get different perspectives from political parties and candidates. 

“It’s important to not just read headlines,” Ellora added. 

The Truman students representing TMN returned to campus after gathering real-world media experience through a political lens. Multiple interviews and photos were collected throughout the trip in hopes of giving fellow Truman students a look into the effort surrounding the Iowa caucuses.