By Lily Gray
Writing about politics can be one of the hardest beats for any journalist. From keeping up with the constant political changes to maintaining objectivity, Elaine Godfrey, ’15, attacks her beat with integrity, open-mindedness and skill.
She searches for answers by taking the initiative to reach out to people to gather their explanations, opinions, thoughts and feelings, as she covers topics such as lawmakers’ reactions to President Donald Trump’s remarks after the violent protests in Charlottesville.
Godfrey is currently an assistant editor at The Atlantic. She works mainly on the conservative political beat, produces content for a daily newsletter and writes web content.
“Working on the website has a lot of challenges,” Godfrey said. “We need to quickly capture something and add to it. It’s a matter of being prepared and knowledgeable. We don’t want to sacrifice quality for speed.”
Godfrey’s previous job experiences help explain her journalistic chops. Before The Atlantic, she landed the prestigious American Society of Magazine Editors (ASME) internship at Inc. magazine in New York, then went on to intern for New York Magazine.
“I like being able to really write out an issue; that’s what magazine writing is for,” Godfrey said. “It’s such a fun environment to work in.”
Godfrey jump-started her college career by getting involved with Ethos and Revival magazines. She later joined the Iowa State Daily as a columnist in the opinion section and then worked as a reporter. Although she took on the daily stress and structure that newspapers provided, the magazines were where she felt the most freedom.
Through Greenlee, Godfrey found her fire. But she attributes most of her growth in journalism to life outside the classroom.
“My advice to any Greenlee student would be to get involved and study other things,” Godfrey said. “You’re going to learn the most outside of class and find other things you’re interested in.”