From Bob Woodward's MasterClass

The State of Journalism

Bob discusses how the internet has transformed the landscape of journalism. He encourages reporters to continue fighting to uncover the truth—even in the face of attacks on the media.

Topics include: The Accelerated News Cycle • Attacks on the Press • The Media Is Not Fake News • Democracy Dies in Darkness

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Bob discusses how the internet has transformed the landscape of journalism. He encourages reporters to continue fighting to uncover the truth—even in the face of attacks on the media.

Topics include: The Accelerated News Cycle • Attacks on the Press • The Media Is Not Fake News • Democracy Dies in Darkness

Bob Woodward

Teaches Investigative Journalism

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In the internet world, people can say anything about anyone. So the question is, how do you develop a system and a process to get it right? In this time period when people distrust journalists-- I think we're as low on the approval rating as members of Congress, or maybe lower-- we have to present stuff that's authentic. We need to do it in a way that people will say, I can believe that. I can trust that. In the internet age, people say it's 24/7-- that's wrong. It's every 10 minutes, seven days a week. So that increases the pressure on the reporter, the editor, and the news organization to get it out. Impatience and speed is driving so much in this that I think it is certainly not serving the reader or the viewer or listener on radio. And we need to pull back and see if there's some way to have more patience and slow it down. There's a saying in the military and in the intelligence business. The saying is, the first information is generally wrong. I think that's true. We're in the midst of this convulsion-- cable news, the internet, tweets. Who would have ever thought about Richard Nixon tweeting? Often people ask-- will there be another Watergate? And the answer is, you don't know. The core similarity between Watergate and the Russian collusion investigation going on right now is that Watergate was built on a series of emphatic denials-- saying, when we were reporting on this, that we are practitioners of shoddy journalism, saying that we are character assassins. In the case of what's going on now, the White House and the president assert very strongly that this is fake news. This is unreliable. And so there is a whole barrage of attacks across the board. President Trump regularly uses this term fake news, which-- as best I can tell-- means he doesn't believe it or he thinks somebody made it up or it's not true. I addressed this question at the White House Correspondents' Dinner. Bradlee and the editors of the Washington Post gave us the precious luxury of time to pursue all leads-- all people who might know something, even something small. Now, in 2017, the impatience and speed of the internet and our own rush can disable and undermine the most important tool of journalism-- that method, that luxury of time to inquire, to pursue, to find the real agents of genuine news, witnesses, participants, documents to dive into the [INAUDIBLE].. Any president and his administration in Washington is clearly entitled to the most serious reporting efforts possible. We need to understand, to listen, to dig. Obviously, our reporting needs to get both facts and tone right. The press, especially the so-called mainstream media, comes under regular attack, particularly during presidential campaigns like this one and its aftermath. Like politicians and presidents, sometimes-- perhaps too frequently-- we make mistakes and go too far. When that hap...

Find the real story

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.

Reviews

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

Listening to Bob who speaks with knowledge and incredible experience inspires you and informs you on the things to be aware of, and principles to aspire to, when pursuing the "truth".

I am a Journalist in Training! :D I really enjoyed Bob Woodward's Class! :D I now have the skiils to take down Chump! :D Yay! :D Peace Light and Love! :D Hoc Ly! :D

This MasterClass with Bob Woodward gives an in-depth look into the profession of journalism. Find the facts. Seek the truth. Democracy dies in the darkness.

I have learned so much about how to find sources and then how to talk to them from these classes. I have also learned a lot about the Watergate story, which I had not known too much about before. Thank you so much Bob for saying what you say about Trump! Everything he does truly terrifies me.

Comments

Stewart M.

A great journalist, thanks for your insight and point of view. Especially on source material.

Aiden B.

Amazing course. Love Bob Woodward. Am going to make my (teenage) children watch this; not to learn about journalism, but to learn about life.

A fellow student

How often are a journalist's normal efforts in saying what the President said replaced by the President's tweets?

Samuel P.

I have loved this course! The integrity of its author has restored my faith in journalism and I have gleaned so much.

Iana Z.

This is not my field of work, but I have learned a tremendous amount. Thank you <3

Pamela K.

Dear Mr. Woodward -- you may never see this, but thank you for this compelling class to see how a real "Master" works. Regular people like myself would ordinarily never get the chance to learn from someone with your experience, insight and generosity. And thank you -- for always going after the leads. Thank god for a free press in this country -- one of the things that makes us great. Thank you.

Gary S.

Bob Woodward is a generous and wise teacher. I am also from Wheaton, Illinois.

Mia S.

"Trump regularly uses this term 'fake news' which as best I can tell means he doesn't believe it or thinks somebody made it up or it's not true. I addressed this question at the White House Correspondents' Dinner, 'The precious luxury of time to pursue all leads, all people who might know something, even something small. Now, in 2017, the impatience and speed of the internet and our own rush can disable and undermine the most important tool of journalism: that method, that luxury of time, to inquire, to pursue, to find the real agents of genuine news, witnesses, participants, documents - to dive into the cab. Any president and his administration in Washington is clearly entitled to the most serious reporting efforts possible. We need to understand, listen, dig - obviously, our reporting needs to get both facts and tone right. 'The press - especially the so-called mainstream media - comes under regular attack, particularly during presidential campaigns like this one and its aftermath. Like politicians and presidents, sometimes perhaps too frequently we make mistakes and go too far. When that happens, we should own up to it. But the effort today to get this best obtainable version of the truth is largely made in good faith. Mr. President: the media is not fake news.' People will occasionally - even frequently - ask, 'What's the thing we should worry about the most?' My answer is secret government. Government has so much power, it's hidden, all kinds of things - not just in the Pentagon or CIA - are done in secret that shouldn't really be secret, that in a democracy we should be informed about. For years, I would give talks and emphasize this point by saying that there was a judge in a case who said, 'Democracy dies in darkness.' This is a time we're being tested, let's not kid ourselves. This is the final exam for democracy. It's a very dangerous time. The only answer is better, more authoritative stories."

Mia S.

"In the internet world, people can say anything about anyone. The question is, how do you develop a system and a process to get it right? In this time period when people distrust journalists - I think we're as low on the approval rating as members of Congress, maybe lower - we have to present stuff that's authentic. We need to do it in a way that people will say, 'Ah, I can believe that. I can trust that.' In the Internet Age, people say it's 24/7 - that's wrong. It's every 10 minutes, seven days a week. That increases the pressure on the reporter, the editor, the news organization, to get it out. Impatience and speed is driving so much in this that I think it is certainly not serving the reader or the viewer or listener on radio, and we need to pull back and see if there's some way to have more patience and slow it down. There's a saying in the military, and in the intelligence business: 'The first information is generally wrong.' I think that's true. We're in the midst of this convulsion - cable news, the internet, tweets, who would have ever thought about Nixon tweeting? Often people ask, 'Will there be another Watergate?' and the answer is, you don't know. The core similarity between Watergate and the Russian collusion investigation going on right now is that Watergate was built on a series of emphatic denials, saying when we were reporting on this that we are practitioners of shoddy journalism, we are character assassins. In the case of what's going on now, the White House and the president assert very strongly, 'This is fake news, this is unreliable.' There is a whole barrage of attacks across the board."

Sunny N.

We are responsible for our profession. We are the only ones who can save it. The U.S. Constitution gives us that right and that duty. Period.