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
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.”