Sign The Guestbook
View The Guestbook
Archived Guestbook
Submit An Article
Staff List
Privacy Policy


Weekly Features
Life in the Small Market
A collaborative weekly feature, Life in the Small Market offers up thoughts and views from small town broadcasters across America.
Angie Goff is currently a reporter at KMEG-TV in Sioux City, Iowa. Prior to joining KMEG she was the assistant to Entertainment Tonight's Mark Steines and a reporter for CitiCable 3 in Torrance CA. Notable assignments include coverage in D.C. of the 9/11 attack on the Pentagon, The Tournament of the Roses Parade in Pasadena and interviews with Rudy Giuliani, John McCain and Super Bowl legend Terry Bradshaw. Angie can be reached at

Covering the Candidates

The Iowa caucuses will be here soon ... so you could imagine the traffic of presidential hopefuls we've seen come through in the last six months. Being from the Washington D.C. area...naturally I'm a political junkie... but when it comes to candidates...I found out knowing politics is simply not enough.
You've got to know how to get what you need by working them...otherwise they'll work you!

Before covering any candidate there is one thing to remember. They HAVE to answer your questions.

My encounters so far have been mostly with those running for President- Howard Dean, John Kerry, John Edwards, Dennis Kucinich...etc...

Rule # 1:Don't ever let a campaign aid tell you their candidate doesn't have enough time to talk.

These are all people that want your vote...all people that must answer the questions on issues that matter. Questions that will vary depending where you live.

There's a bigger picture here....they're not questions they need to answer for YOU, they are questions for the people...the is our duty as journalists to ask what Earl and Betty in the nursing home couldn't and want to know.

And if an aide tells you ..they just don't have tell them that's unacceptable.
If they refuse...make sure you have your photographer rolling....then you have a whole 'nother story. If they won't talk...then that's what you report. Especially if it's at a staged event...i.e. Senator X reading to third graders in the schools library. We're not here to give them a free ad.

At KMEG I've interviewed nearly all the democratic presidential hopefuls...some on numerous occasions. It never fails that upon my arrival an aide hands me a release with what so and so is doing...and why. That's great...but then it's my turn to look over it and ask the hard questions. Sometimes they're tough...and sometimes my interviewee doesn't like them...but if there's anything for certain...all questions asked are fair.

For example: On the issue of healthcare one politician advertises all Americans should get the same healthcare Congress gives itself. When I saw him I asked...what kind of healthcare do you you pay for your meds...what's your monthly premiums...and by the way....what's the fiscal note on this plan to guarantee every American the same healthcare you get and how do you plan to afford it as President.

So many a time, I'll be with reporters that ask questions like "What's it gonna take to win Iowa?"..."Can you afford to lose Iowa"....well of course you know the answer to that. 99% of the time I guarantee ALL candidates would say ...that doesn't matter because "I'm gonna win"...or my favorite: "I'll see you on victory night". These questions give the viewer nothing new...nothing useful. They're tuning in to find out how this person will benefit them and just remember...they expect YOU to find it out!