Bob Woodward: How Investigative Journalism Gets Done

Work­ing for The Wash­ing­ton Post in 1972, Bob Wood­ward and Carl Bern­stein blew open the explo­sive Water­gate scan­dal – some­thing one news­pa­per exec called “maybe the sin­gle great­est report­ing effort of all time.” (The whole saga gets doc­u­ment­ed in All the Pres­i­den­t’s Men, avail­able in print and film.) Almost 40 years lat­er, Wood­ward still writes for the Post, and, even though he has pub­lished some clunk­ers since, he remains one of the most promi­nent inves­tiga­tive jour­nal­ists in the US. Above, Wood­ward describes how jour­nal­ists get their infor­ma­tion, how they risk blow­ing their sto­ries, and where jour­nal­ism might be head­ing in the dig­i­tal age.

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Open Culture was founded by Dan Colman.