Arts & Entertainment, Business, Writing


Bob Woodward

Lesson time 06:30 min

Meet your new instructor: Bob Woodward. In this chapter, Bob underscores the vital role of journalism today. He also shares his belief that there are no boundaries to searching for what he calls "the best obtainable version of the truth."

Students give MasterClass an average rating of 4.7 out of 5 stars

Topics include: What Is Journalism?


Everyone has their own version of the truth. But there are facts. There is reality. And as a reporter, you can come up with the best obtainable version of the truth. the climate, whether the media is revered or reviled, we should and must persist. The story has gone way beyond what we ever really wrote and predicted or had any notion of. I think anyone can be a journalist. I think we are journalists sometimes without knowing it. And that is we get data. We ask about it. We test it. And we talk to other people about it. This is the living business of assessing information. In a sense, we're all whistleblowers, aren't we? That we see things we don't like, and we talk and we complain. The sister who sees her brother doing something he's not supposed to do goes to Mom or Dad and blows the whistle. That's journalism. My concept of this master class is to use dozens and dozens of examples of experience I've had over 46 years, the things that worked, the things, the painful things that didn't work. So there are lessons about the importance of human sources of interviewing another human being, whatever it might be on, and techniques to demonstrate to them that you're really listening, that accompanies the effort to get written notes or documents or vivid evidence that something happened, and then to go have experiences or go to the scene to see if that validates what you obtained from human sources and the documents. That best obtainable version of that truth takes priority over everything. Political party takes priority often, even having the same personal life. Because if you're going to practice journalism, there are going to be periods of intensity when you are not just going to be working on the story. You're going to be living the story. The public often gets to just see the journalists shouting questions at the press secretary, either in the mayor's office or in the White House or in the Pentagon. And it's not a pretty picture of journalists. And it's kind of everyone's got their hand in the air, and they're screaming. And that isn't journalism. Journalism is trying to take and understand something in a comprehensive way. What is surprising about journalism, you wake up in the morning or go to the office, and the air is so often electric. Look what happened, what went on. Somebody just came up here an hour ago and told me. You won't believe what happened. That happens in the news room all the time. You're never really, as a journalist, in a situation where you can't really try to find out something, even if it's private, even if it's highly classified. The biggest secrets in the US government, the biggest secrets that people have, journalists may go make the inquiry because there is such concentration of power in government, particularly in the presidency. But the real important liberation for journalists, I think, is the S...

About the Instructor

Bob Woodward was just 29 when he changed a nation. His Watergate reporting with Carl Bernstein helped expose the corruption of the Nixon presidency. Two Pulitzer Prizes and nineteen best-selling books later, the legendary journalist is teaching his first-ever online class for anyone who wants to find the truth. Learn to investigate a story, interview sources, and understand how the news is written. The next history-making story might be yours.

Featured Masterclass Instructor

Bob Woodward

In 24 lessons, learn how to uncover the truth from the greatest journalist of our time.

Explore the Class
Sign Up