Kristin Hohman & Logan Mencke
Editor-in-Chief Staff Writer
Investigative reporter Bob Woodward gave keynote address to 1,000+ aspiring journalists
“We have a motto at The Washington Post that we never really say in public,” Bob Woodward said. “The motto is ‘All good work is done in defiance of management. Now, that doesn’t mean break the law or break the rules,” Woodward continued. “But that means, don’t succumb to authority. There needs to be that spirit of defiance.”
The investigative reporter, who is currently an associate editor for The Washington Post, had some bold advice for aspiring journalists during the Associated Collegiate Press National College Media Convention in Washington, D.C. on Oct. 21.
Woodward, along with partner Carl Bernstein, broke the news of the Watergate scandal in 1972, which eventually led to the resignation of President Richard Nixon. He is one of the most recognizable figures in journalism, inspiring a new wave of investigative reporting. He is also the author of several books, including “All the President’s Men”, which chronicles the reporting of Watergate, and was later turned into a motion picture.
Woodward then impressed upon the students the importance of understanding people.
“I’m interested in where you come from, what your philosophy is, what you care about, what you have written,” Woodward explained. “If you show an interest in them, they will genuinely respond.”
During Woodward’s keynote speech, he also gave students advice on how to better themselves as reporters. He told students to start their own in-depth research project, to dig through many different types of sources – whether they be documents, books, or people. This, according to Woodward, will lead to useful and intriguing information for reporters.
As journalists, the whole story will never be told, nor will the story be perfect, according to Woodward.
“In journalism…it’s tentative. It’s the best you can do,” he said. “You are not going to tell the whole story. Ever. The result is never perfect.”