Beginning with two deceptively simple questions — “What is the job of the president?” and “What is the job of the journalist?” — Bob Woodward shared insights he has gained from covering 10 U.S. presidents at the UCLA Luskin Lecture for Thought Leadership on May 9.
The distinguished journalist, a co-author of “All the President’s Men,” and currently a Washington Post associate editor, also offered observations from his front-row seat to some recent world-changing events, including the COVID-19 pandemic, the attack on the U.S. Capitol and Russia’s invasion of Ukraine. He also shared his impressions of figures like Amazon’s Jeff Bezos, former president Donald Trump and iconic White House reporter Helen Thomas.
Speaking about his own craft, he let the audience in on his favorite reporting secret: pressing one finger over another to remind him to listen rather than speak during an interview.
“Journalists need to do better, more thorough work, where they really dig — and then dig a little bit more,” he said.
Woodward also participated in a conversation with Mario Biagioli, UCLA distinguished professor of law and communication. The Luskin Lecture for Thought Leadership is an annual collaboration among the UCLA College, UCLA School of Law, the Luskin School of Public Affairs and the Division of Social Sciences.