CREATING GREAT VIRTUAL EVENTS It’s amazing how quickly the events world has changed and how much we’ve all learned about virtual events in such a short time. From my experience, the early attempts at virtual events ranged from OK to terrible. But that's to be expected. I’ve likened it to the early days of the internet when dial-up was horrendously slow and it was text only. Still, we were all so excited to read a newspaper on the screen, even though there were no graphics and it took forever for pages to load. But quality quickly improved and high-speed connectivity put it over the top. I expect the same will happen with virtual events – new platforms will evolve and the bar will be raised as execution improves.
There’s a story legendary Washington Post political investigative reporter BOB WOODWARD tells in his speeches to make the point to audiences about the craft of investigative reporting. The reporter’s job, the story illustrates, is never really done. The truth unfolds over time – it never drops in a reporter’s lap in one piece. And sometimes, the truth winds up being something very different from where it looked like things were headed at the beginning.
REPORTERS HAVE THE BEST JOBS IN THE WORLD "If someone came from Mars and spent a year traveling in the United States, and went back to Mars and was asked, Who has the best jobs? The answer would likely be the reporters. Because reporters necessarily spend their days asking questions about what is important. What is happening? What are people talking about? What is truly on their minds? What does it mean? What is hidden? What don't we understand? How can we better understand? Who should we talk to? Where should we go? What should we read? What should we study? What is the impact? Never once in 48 years at The Washington Post, did I ever hear an editor say, Go find something routine. Something boring. Reporters ordinarily don't do the routine. We also get to make momentary entry into peoples' lives when they are engaged in the big issues and conflicts. And we then are able to get out of their lives when they are no longer engaged. A lawyer or doctor, for example, is often saddled with clients and patients who have routine, cookie-cutter problems. They can get stuck. The investigative journalist shouldn't get stuck but gets to move on. As Howard Simons, the great managing editor of the Post during Watergate, often said, find a subject on which the sun is rising, not setting. Search for the rising sun.” – Bob Woodward
This is not a blog about politics. It’s about how journalism has changed. August 8th was the 45th anniversary of the resignation of President Richard Nixon. That resignation was prompted by revelations of Oval Office criminality associated with the Watergate break-in, a story first reported by BOB WOODWARD and Carl Bernstein of The Washington Post. The anniversary prompted me to watch All the Presidents Men on Netflix.
I was with BOB WOODWARD in Toronto and New Haven for public ticketed events in the past week. What amazes me most when we travel together is the awe and reverence people display when they meet him. I saw it over and over in the many events we've done together since the release of his latest book. Steve Paikin, the popular veteran TVO broadcaster, was not immune to that feeling. He moderated the Toronto event and wrote this piece recapping what he called “one of the greatest nights of my life.”
The article was originally published on the Walmart Book Blog. Interview by Gretchen Tarrant. Walmart: Regarding your process for the book, obviously you’ve written about numerous presidents and there’s been a lot of conversation surrounding this book in particular, especially regarding your reporting technique of using deep background sources. In what ways was writing Fear and researching President Trump different from past books and presidents? Bob Woodward: Well the same and different. In August when President Trump called me to complain that I hadn’t interviewed him—though I had tried to reach him through six different people—I said to him that there was no way I could do this book by going to the White House and just talking to people. I had to go talk to them at their homes and outside of the White House. The idea of show up, go see people . . . I had frankly become quite lazy, and was having people over here to my home, not going and knocking on enough doors at night. So I started doing that and found that it worked.
BBC News anchor KATTY KAY can cross off two big honors this month. SATURDAY NIGHT LIVE PARODIED KATTY IN A SKIT THIS WEEKEND BBC News anchor can cross off two big honors this month. First, Saturday Night Live parodied MSNBC’s Morning Joe program following the announcement that the show’s co-hosts, Mika Brzezinski and Joe Scarborough, got married in November. "Katty" was shown trying to get a word in edgewise – and then comes back at the very end. Watch the whole 6:06 if you can – very funny. Katty later posted on Twitter, "So now that Claire Foy’s played me on SNL - can I play the Queen?"
On September 11th, the 19th book by legendary investigative journalist Bob Woodward will be released. Fear: Trump in the White House is the inside story of President Trump as only Bob Woodward can tell it.
THE EVENT PLANNER'S DILEMMA How comfortable are you putting political speakers on your conference or event agenda? If the answer is, “Not very,” you probably know you’re not alone. With valuable relationships in the room, being sensitive to the potential danger of offending attendees just makes sense. Many event planners are wary about booking political speakers and talking politics in the current political climate. On the heels of the most contentious election in my lifetime – one that saw families and close friendships torn apart – is it any wonder there’s apprehension about going down the path of talking politics at meetings and events?