Today my J – term class “Iowa Politics and the Media” visited the . Our visit was set up by our two wonderful professors, and professor <a href="http://http://sjmc.drake.edu/about/faculty-and-staff/jennifer-glover-konfrst/" title="Jennifer Glover Konfrst ". Dr. Sanders is a renowned political scientist who has spent many years focusing on how a variety of publics react to and act as a result of various political actions. In addition, Dr.Sanders also tried to focus his teaching style on engaging his students into the learning environment. He achieves this though requiring all of his students to have, and be active on, a Twitter account. He uses Twitter as a forum for discussion, answering questions from students, and encouraging students to ask questions of each other in order to further their learning both in and outside of the classroom.
Professor Jennifer Konfrst has extensive experience in public relations and political communications. She brought in her father, who had the opportunity to be part of the “pool” – or group of reporters – who was able to follow candidates in their planes and motorcades. Glover was invited to speak to the class about his nearly forty years of political journalistic experience. Konfrst used her communications connections to set up a meeting for our class with Kathie Obradovich who is the Register’s political editor. Obradwich shared many valuable pieces of political insight to our class. After her explanation of the importance of the Iowa caucuses and the Des Moines Register’s role in keeping their voters informed and a brief question and answer period we escorted on a tour of the Register’s office.
The Des Moines Register is very well adapted to the twenty-first century. All articles are now released online before they are placed into print. In addition, reporters live tweet events. The office itself is very conducive to the sharing of ideas and gaining of knowledge and stories that will interest their readers. Many of the walls are made out of whiteboard material, so that people can use them to share ideas and collaborate on stories. In addition, their editors and media bloggers sit around a semicircular wall that overlooks a large conference table. This gives them plenty of space to view live streams of CNN and other trending stories that may be of interest to write about.
I am very proud to attend Drake University where I have the opportunity to meet with so many amazing and influential political and journalistic people.