After sixteen best seller books, twelve number one national non-fiction best seller books, years of ground-breaking investigative reporting, two Pulitzer Prizes and now an associate editor of The Washington Post, Bob Woodward served as the lecturer for the Distinguished Lecture Series on Monday night at The First United Bank Center.
Woodward began reporting for The Washington Post in 1971 and a year later found himself in an unstoppable reporting duo with Carl Bernstein. These two worked together to uncover the Watergate scandal.
“We wrote these stories and the conventional wisdom was that Nixon was a conservative Republican law and order president and it was preposterous that we would say that there was this criminal conspiracy to steal the election in 1972,” Woodward said. “We wrote about money and illegal money and money in hundreds of thousands of dollars in safes going to sabotage and spy on Democrats. People did not believe it.”
He spoke to the audience about his experiences with the men in the White House and gave reporting advice as well. He pressed the idea of untraditional sources and going to the scene.
“This is the great reporting lesson of human nature, you have to push people,” Woodward said.
Woodward gathered with students earlier in the afternoon and discussed not only reporting advice and his journalistic experiences but social media as well.
“What do you think the biggest, most important thing going on in American journalism right now is? It’s Twitter,” Woodward said.
He spent roughly an hour with the students having a question and answer session with them and counseling them on the real world of journalism.
“I took away some great advice as he is an amazing writer. He reiterated everything and gave more advice about fact checking and truth telling,” Julia Greif, senior Mass Communication major,said. “I walked out of his lecture thinking his advice was priceless.”
Students from media writing classes and from the student newspaper were in attendance and received original advice from a professional.
“What I took away was that hard work really does pay off. There is no such thing as being too thorough in journalism,” Courtney Anderson, General studies with an emphasis in Broadcast Journalism major, said. “He has a lot of experience that I can learn from.”