By Bryan Anderson
Bob Woodward’s keynote address on Saturday was quite similar to the Fall Convocation speech he gave at Elon University last month. Woodward spoke in great detail about the Watergate Scandal and his interview with President Gerald Ford about the pardon. He even used the following identical lines when describing the phone call he received from Carl Bernstein: “The son of a bitch pardoned the son of a bitch.”
Though the Q&A portion of the event was quite informative and offered new information I had not heard before, the speech itself was underwhelming since I heard most of it before. My favorite question was when someone asked Woodward for his thoughts on emerging business models. Woodward saying he didn’t have an answer is telling of the environment many newsrooms are finding themselves in — struggling to find a sustainable revenue model.
I appreciated how Woodward spoke of Jeff Bezos’ purchase of The Washington Post and publishers taking on a limited influence. He highlighted the importance of having publishers aware of the newsgathering process but removed from the day-to-day decisions.