Bob Woodward’s MasterClass on Investigative Journalism

Woodward Teaches MasterClass:

“You can come up with the best obtainable version of the truth,” says Bob Woodward in his MasterClass. “Everyone is a journalist. Every person is a gatherer of facts – testing and verifying them, assessing their quality and rendering judgements on truth and meaning, then communicating them to others.

“This is not just the life of reporters and writers but of everyone – scientists, students, business people, laborers, sales people, lawyers, public officials, consumers and parents. It is the community in which we all live.”

Woodward focuses on how to interact and interview and build confidence and trust. Through case studies, he shows how he has done so with government officials at all levels, including presidents, CIA directors, intelligence operatives, FBI officials, senior and lower-level national security officials, top White House advisers, prosecutors, Supreme Court justices and their clerks, business leaders and members of the House and Senate and their aides.

In the MasterClass Woodward uses transcripts of interviews to demonstrate the power of listening and aggressive, patient, all-source method inquiry. Internal government documents will be shared with students as part of the discussion.

Bob Woodward is an associate editor of The Washington Post, where he has worked since 1971. He has shared in two Pulitzer Prizes, first in 1973 for coverage of the Watergate scandal with Carl Bernstein, and second in 2003 as the lead reporter for coverage of the 9/11 terrorist attacks.

He has authored or coauthored 19 books, all of which have been national non-fiction bestsellers. Thirteen of those have been #1 national bestsellers. Fear: Trump in the White House (2018) was both a New York Times and International #1 bestseller. It broke the 94-year first-week sales record of its publisher Simon & Schuster and sold over two million copies its first three months in the U.S. alone.

Bob Schieffer of CBS News has said, “Woodward has established himself as the best reporter of our time. He may be the best reporter of all time.”

In 2014, Robert Gates, former director of the CIA and Secretary of Defense, said that he wished he’d recruited Woodward into the CIA, saying of Woodward, “He has an extraordinary ability to get otherwise responsible adults to spill [their] guts to him…his ability to get people to talk about stuff they shouldn’t be talking about is just extraordinary and may be unique.”

Bob Woodward teaches MasterClass

Gene Roberts, the former managing editor of The New York Times, has called the Woodward-Bernstein Watergate coverage, “maybe the single greatest reporting effort of all time.” (Source: Roy J. Harris, Jr., Pulitzer’s Gold, 2007, p. 233.) In listing the all-time 100 best non-fiction books, Time Magazine has called All the President’s Men, by Bernstein and Woodward, “Perhaps the most influential piece of journalism in history.”

Fred Barnes of The Weekly Standard called Woodward “the best pure reporter of his generation, perhaps ever.” Al Hunt of The Wall Street Journal called Woodward “the most celebrated journalist of our age.”

No one knows Washington like this veteran reporter-historian, who has written #1 best-selling books on the last nine presidents (Nixon, Ford, Carter, Reagan, George H.W. Bush, Clinton, George W. Bush, Obama and Trump), the CIA, the Joint Chiefs, Hollywood and the Supreme Court. No one else in investigative journalism has Woodward’s reputation – uniquely aggressive, but fair and non-partisan.

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